2019 BMW i8 Roadster is ready to empty wallets and break hearts

BMW’s i8 Roadster blew minds at the LA Auto Show and will make eyes water over its price when it hits dealers in March.

Kyle Hyatt Former news and features editor
Kyle Hyatt (he/him/his) hails originally from the Pacific Northwest, but has long called Los Angeles home. He's had a lifelong obsession with cars and motorcycles (both old and new).
Kyle Hyatt
2 min read
2019 BMW i8 Roadster
Wayne Cunningham/Roadshow

The i8 Roadster turned heads when it debuted at the Los Angeles Auto Show last year, but as is usually the case, BMW left us in the dark when it came to pricing. Now, with the car slated to hit dealers net month, those zany Bavarians are finally telling us what it's going to cost and oh boy, is it a lot: $163,300 aka $19,900 more than the coupe.

BMW's i8 has always been underappreciated. Sure, it's got kooky (but lovely, in our opinion) styling and a little three-cylinder engine, but it's fun to drive and makes you feel like you're about to try out for Rogue Squadron when you jump behind the wheel. BMW figured that the best way to get people to pay attention to the i8 once and for all would be to chop the roof off -- and chop it did, but this is no mere hack job destined to turn the i8 Roadster into a flexible-flyer.

BMW shows off open-top i8 hybrid sports car at Los Angeles auto show

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The boffins at BMW made a lot of changes to get the roof off of the i8. Where the rear seats once lived is now where the top stays when stowed. That top, by the way, can be dropped on the move (up to 31 miles per hour). The chassis of the car gets some fancy 3D printed aluminum parts to increase stiffness with a minimal weight penalty. In fact, the Roadster only weighs 132 pounds more than its Coupe cousin.

That eye-watering $163,300 price tag (before options, of course) might be enough to drive some folks into the arms of a Porsche Cabriolet or an Audi R8 Spyder, but those who stick with the Bimmer will be rewarded with one of 2018's sexiest shapes.

Fear not dear reader; we'll lobby BMW to let us put Andrew Krok in an i8 Roadster before winter weather breaks in the Midwest because it would be funny to see frost form on his suicidal Russian novelist beard as he tries to drive with the top down.