BMW has put out official word on the next i-Series model it will be rolling out, a roadster convertible built on the i8 for a 2018 launch.
Harald Kruger, chairman of the board of management at BMW AG, confirmed during a press conference in Munich this week in Munich that the i8 roadster has been approved for production. It will join the i8 lineup for the high-end luxury market. Prior to that, BMW will release another i3 model with longer range on the battery.
“In the second half of 2016, we will launch another i3 model, with 50 percent more battery capacity,” Kruger said. “This will be followed by a BMW i8 Roadster in 2018.”
According to BMW’s blog, the convertible i8 roadster will be built under the codename I15. Like the “regular” i8, the two-seater roadster will blend “lightness, dynamic capability and efficiency with a very special aesthetic allure.”
Its powertrain will likely be carried over the i8, and it will be getting an updated battery pack with a potential increase in power. It could get a 10 percent boost to reach 420 horsepower when combined with the three-cylinder gas engine.
An i8 convertible has been shown in concept form for several years. Its expected to come to market to get a jump on the next-gen Tesla Roadster, which is expected to show up around 2020.