MotorWeek Drives 2019 BMW i8 Roadster and 2018 i3s


MotorWeek asks: Do the “i’s” have it?

MotorWeek begins by reminding us that BMW tends to do things differently. We couldn’t ask for a tandem review of two more different cars than the i8 and i3s. Sure, they’re both Bimmers, both electrified, and both incredibly unique. However, that’s just about where the comparisons end.

The 2019 BMW i8 Roadster is a plug-in hybrid sports car with a handful of miles (18) of all-electric range. It will set you back about $164,000. The 2018 BMW i3 is a quirky compact car that is really in a class of its own. It comes in an all-electric configuration, as well as a REx variant with a gas-powered range extender.

The new, sportier i3s has a 107-mile range, while the i3s REx will get you 97 electric miles and 180 miles of total EPA-rated range. Regardless of which “s” variant you choose, pricing is in the neighborhood of $50,000. However, keep in mind that all i3 vehicles purchased in the U.S. are eligible for the full $7,500 EV rebate, whereas the i8 qualifies for $5,669.

The new 2019 BMW i8 Roadster features a power-folding convertible top and seats two passengers. It can tackle a zero-to-60-mph sprint in just 4.1 seconds. MotorWeek is impressed with its handling and tire grip. While it performs well on the track, it’s a solid daily driver due to its graceful ride quality and easy-to-drive status.

The new 2018 BMW i3s (sport) features wider body enhancements, wider tires, more aggressive suspension tuning, and a more powerful motor than the standard i3. MotorWeek doesn’t have as much to share about the i3s, but says it’s fun to drive and can hit 60 mph in 6.9 seconds. It also offers plenty of stability and more range than the outgoing model.

Are you a BMW i fan? Share your thoughts with us in the comment section below.

Video Description via MotorWeek on YouTube:

2019 BMW i8 Roadster and 2018 i3s | Road Test

BMW takes the top off its striking i8 plug-in hybrid sports car and updates the compact i3 EV. We take both for a MotorWeek Road Test.

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10 Comments on "MotorWeek Drives 2019 BMW i8 Roadster and 2018 i3s"

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The gas range is endless as long as you fill it up.
The i3 is a nice comfortable 4 adult,, great visibility and sporty ride experience. With easy parking in towns and cities.

The i3 is great at the right price: $9,000. It’s got terrible range making it just a commuting/city car. It’s really only about 25% as good as a base Model 3, so $9K is really a generous amount to pay for it, but at that price it could be worth it.

The i3 can has a tighter turning radius than the model 3. I can carry a 40 gallon water heater in the back, a large box in the back seat without folding it down (due to the wide access side doors and will not be as common a Camry before long. Many of those that have the i3 love it, and couldn’t care less if many others own one. These are owners such as my self that have driven and owned a long list of impressive cars.

Long trips? Such a breeze and enjoyable. I have had many long trips. Including Vegas, San Francisco, Santa Ynez, Palm Springs, Barstow, on Saturday-Sunday trips. 4000 miles in the last 2 months. Cruising up the 4700 ft mountain pass to Vegas at 95 mph, no one was going faster than me anyways. The 3 Tesla’s I passed on the way to Vegas were all cruising no faster than 75mph and stayed behind me. The i3 actually gobbles up miles on long trips without effort. If i had taken my irex instead of my BEV on these trips it would have been too easy.

Just asking, what was the speed limit?

How much did you pay for your “base model 3”? Oh wait! Ha ha. Idiot.

First of all, i3 is quite cheap if you are leasing it. It delivers solid 110-115 miles of range in any condition and has way nicer interior in top configuration then Model 3.

And most important, you don’t have to schedule a service appointment in a week after car delivery for the final assembly:)

Strange, we use it on long trips as well
Our number one car. Of course you have to stop and charge. But what’s the problem? Sounds as if u have 0.0 experience.

I’m afraid this is nothing but a paid commercial for BMW. Motorweek says nothing about the fact that sales have never been anything except abysmal.

At least they admit the i3 is a city-only car and (by inference) can’t be used for long distance trips.

Two examples of insanely expensive cars.
The i3 is almost okeish, but the i8 is just too expensive for what it is.
Amazingly BMW sell many!

End of lease BMW i3-REx are quite affordable and often loaded with dynamic cruise control and emergency braking. Mine bought in 2016 was $28k with 6k miles and four years of warranty.

I’ve driven 700 miles each way to Oklahoma and back without a problem after coding. The fuel stops are brief yet frequent enough for my wife and her dogs. Around town, the 72 mi EV range makes it a 10-stop car. Our Prius Prime, 25 mi EV range, is a 3-stop car. The delivery drive home was 1,200 mi done in 22 hours including rest breaks.

As for the i8, one look at those curled, tail fins and I could help but laugh out loud. Not the worst body art, they were so retro as to be cartoon funny (Edsel like.) Definitely the i8 is second rate and over priced designed by engineers intent on destroying their effort and hoping to taint plug-in hybrids. Junk.