Another intoxicating chapter is about to be written in the success story of the BMW i8, as the updated version of the 2+2-seater – the world’s highest- selling plug-in hybrid sports car since its launch in 2014 – is joined by the new BMW i8 Roadster in the line-up. The open-top two-seater with electrically operated soft-top adds a whole new sensation of freedom to the combination of locally emission-free mobility and high-calibre performance. It opens the door to virtually silent motoring with zero CO2 emissions, bringing an extra edge of purity to the experience of open-top Sheer Driving Pleasure.

Like the new BMW i8 Coupe, the new BMW i8 Roadster is based on the LifeDrive vehicle architecture with aluminium chassis and carbon-fibre- reinforced plastic (CFRP) passenger cell. The further optimised BMW eDrive technology employed in both models comprises a high-voltage battery with significantly expanded cell capacity and energy content, and an electric motor generating a higher peak output. The result is a noticeable increase in dynamic performance, operating range and the amount of driving possible using purely the electric drive system.

The proportions, lines and surface design mark out both the BMW i8 Coupe and BMW i8 Roadster as belonging to a new breed of sports car. On an individual level, the BMW i8 Coupe stands out as an extremely sporty 2+2 seater, while the BMW i8 Roadster oozes all the freedom of open-top motoring for two. The two models sport “Coupe” or “Roadster” lettering respectively on their C-pillars. The choice of exterior paint finishes now includes the new E-Copper metallic and Donington Grey metallic shades.

The BMW i8 Roadster: emotion-packed design, a character all of its own

The BMW i8 Roadster carries over the BMW i design language into another vehicle concept, and is awash with individual highlights that radiate elegance and fire the emotions. The soft-top roof has a visual lightness to go with its low physical weight and serves as a defining element of the silhouette in reinforcing the road-hugging impression made by the car’s low centre of gravity. The body’s dynamic wedge shape can also be best appreciated when viewing the two-seater in profile.

When opened, the BMW i8 Roadster’s broad roof retracts fully into the rear end. A unique mechanism allows the soft-top to be folded into a compact package and stowed away in a perpendicular position, creating around 100 litres of additional storage space behind the seats. The all-electric roof opens and closes very quietly in 15 seconds, a process which can be initiated while travelling at up to 50 km/h. Dropping down the roof raises the rear window by around 30 millimetres into a comfort position, where it can serve as a draught stop.

Innovative lightweight design cuts the roadster weight penalty. The familiar lightweight design measures used for previous BMW i models have been meticulously adapted to the specific requirements of the i8 Roadster. The open-top two-seater comes with newly designed frameless gullwing doors made from CFRP with an aluminium outer shell, while the windscreen frame is made entirely from CFRP. This ultra-strong high-tech material is ideally equipped to provide exceptional rigidity, maximising the car’s occupant protection even if it rolls over.

CFRP is also used to manufacture the side skirts with their extra-large cross- section. Additional struts and panels in the front and rear axles also help to maximise the body’s rigidity. The unladen weight of the new BMW i8 Roadster stands at 1,595 kilograms, meaning the design’s inherent weight penalty vis-à-vis the Coupe is limited to around 60 kilograms, a remarkably low figure for an open-top car.

Optimised BMW eDrive technology: more power, longer range, a further enhanced electric driving experience

Rigorously further developed BMW eDrive technology and the optimised operating strategy of the intelligent energy management lead to a significant increase in the number of driving situations where the electric motor can be solely responsible for powering the car. This underscores the ground- breaking character of the new BMW i8 Coupe and ensures that drivers of the new BMW i8 Roadster can enjoy silent and locally emission-free open-top motoring to the full.

Underpinning this new level of electric driving experience is an updated version of the lithium-ion battery developed for the BMW i8. The high-voltage unit is located centrally in the car’s underbody. Its cell capacity is up from 20 to 34 Ah and gross energy capacity rises from 7.1 to 11.6 kWh (net: 9.4 kWh). All of which means the electric motor has more energy at its disposal. The cell configuration allows a 9 kW/12 hp increase in peak output to 105 kW/143 hp, lacing quick sprints on pure-electric power with an even more vivid streak of dynamism.

In the standard driving mode, the new BMW i8 Coupe and new BMW i8 Roadster can be driven exclusively on the electric motor alone – from step-off to a speed of 105 km/h, which is up from 70 km/h in the original i8. The combustion engine is only brought into play at higher speeds or when the driver stamps down hard on the accelerator, and is switched off again far more frequently when a measured driving style is maintained. Pressing the eDrive button allows both models to travel at up to 120 km/h on electric power alone. The electric range of the new BMW i8 Coupe in the NEDC test cycle has increased to 55 kilometres (34 miles)* and the new BMW i8 Roadster posts a figure of 53 kilometres (33 miles)*.

Engine with optimised emissions

The internal combustion engine has also undergone further optimisation to ready it for the new BMW i8 Coupe and new BMW i8 Roadster. The three- cylinder unit extracts maximum output of 170 kW/231 hp from its displacement of just 1.5 litres, along with peak torque of 320 Nm (236 lb-ft). In the process, it generates an even sportier soundtrack. A particulate filter is now fitted to further reduce emissions by absorbing the particulate matter contained in the exhaust gases.

The system output produced by the electric motor and engine acting in unison is now 275 kW/374 hp. The new BMW i8 Coupe accelerates from 0 to 100 km/h in 4.4 seconds, while the new BMW i8 Roadster takes a tick longer with a time of 4.6 seconds. Both models have an electronically limited top speed of 250 km/h. Combined fuel consumption, as calculated in the EU test cycle for plug-in hybrid vehicles, stands at 1.9 litres per 100 kilometres * for the BMW i8 Coupe and 2.1 litres per 100 kilometres * for the BMW i8 Roadster, plus 14.0 kWh and 14.5 kWh of electrical energy respectively per 100 kilometres*. Petrol CO2 emissions come in at 42 grams per kilometre* for the BMW i8 Coupe and 46 grams per kilometre* for the BMW i8 Roadster.

Hybrid-specific all-wheel drive, precision-tuned chassis

The electric motor’s power is transmitted to the front wheels and the engine’s drive to the rear wheels, resulting in a hybrid-specific all-wheel-drive system that is controlled by the car’s intelligent energy management. In hybrid mode, the electric motor provides a power boost to assist the engine when the driver is accelerating with particular vigour. It is also able to recuperate energy and feed it to the high-voltage battery on the overrun and under braking. The petrol engine’s high-voltage starter-generator can likewise generate additional reserves of electricity, thereby ensuring sufficient energy is on tap at all times for the electric drive system in the new BMW i8 Coupe and new BMW i8 Roadster.

When the navigation system’s route guidance function is activated, the intelligent energy management ensures the electric motor is employed as extensively as possible and as judiciously as possible from an efficiency point of view. The system analyses the route in full and sets up the powertrain management to run on purely electric power, particularly over low-speed sections of the journey.

The model-specific tuning of the suspension and damping systems, the specially configured steering characteristics, a firmer roll stabilisation set-up and targeted modification of the DSC parameters together guarantee that the new BMW i8 Roadster retains all of the plug-in hybrid sports car’s trademark handling and performance qualities. Dynamic Damper Control is included as standard on both models. The standard 20-inch light-alloy wheels fitted to the new BMW i8 Roadster feature a lightweight construction and each weigh around one kilogram less than the lightest wheels previously offered for the BMW i8.

Exclusive equipment with innovative style

The new BMW i8 Coupe and new BMW i8 Roadster come with Carpo interior trim as standard, comprising full-leather upholstery in Ivory White for the Coupe and Ivory White/Black for the Roadster. As well as Halo interior trim, the list of optional extras also includes new Accaro interior trim with an Amido/E-Copper colour scheme. Standard specification also includes features such as a leather sports steering wheel with multifunction buttons and shift paddles, electrically adjustable and heated seats, the multifunctional instrument display, the Driving Assistant including Surround View, the BMW Display Key and the Navigation system Professional. The main menu in the Control Display is now presented in the form of horizontally arranged tiles with a live mode.

The equipment options available include a model-specific BMW Head-Up Display, the non-dazzling BMW Laserlight with BMW Selective Beam and acoustic pedestrian warning.

Seamless connectivity with BMW Connected and ConnectedDrive

ConnectedDrive Services are also included as standard, providing access to functions such as Real Time Traffic Information and On-Street Parking Information, as well as Concierge Services. The BMW Connected personal mobility assistant interfaces the vehicle with the customer’s selected touchpoints, such as a smartphone or smartwatch, via the flexible Open Mobility Cloud platform.

Numerous products and services offered as part of the 360° ELECTRIC portfolio are designed to help make electric mobility in the new BMW i8 Coupe and new BMW i8 Roadster a convenient and practical experience in everyday life. Both models are supplied with a mode 2 charging cable as standard that enables the high-voltage battery to be recharged from a standard domestic socket in under four-and-a-half hours. Hooking the vehicle up to a BMW i Wallbox allows charging to be performed at a rate of up to 3.6 kW and completed in under three hours. The BMW i Wallbox Connect makes it possible to utilise the globally unique BMW Digital Charging Service – the key to intelligent charging which either optimises cost efficiency or ensures preferential use of self-generated solar power.

All figures relating to performance, consumption, emissions and range are provisional

*The fuel consumption, CO2 emissions, power consumption and operating range figures were determined according to the European Regulation (EC) 715/2007 in the version applicable. The figures refer to a vehicle with basic configuration in Germany and the range shown considers the different sizes of the selected wheels/tyres and the selected items of optional equipment.

The values are already based on the new WLTP test cycle and are translated back into NEDC-equivalent values in order to ensure comparability between the vehicles. [With respect to these vehicles, for vehicle-related taxes or other duties based (at least inter alia) on CO2 emissions, the CO2 values may differ from the values stated here (depending on national legislation).]

The CO2 efficiency specifications are determined according to Directive 1999/94/EC and the latest version of the Pkw-EnVKV, and based (for classification) on the fuel consumption and CO2 values as per the NEDC cycle.

Choosing the right Mercedes-AMG GT model is now twice as exciting, with the Australian range to include the open-top Roadster models for the first time; meanwhile, models already on sale receive an update highlighted by significant boosts to power and torque.

The low-slung Mercedes-AMG GT is the hero model of the performance-focused AMG range, which to date has been anchored in Australia by the well-received AMG GT Coupé and AMG GT S Coupé models. Power and torque outputs for both will be significantly boosted when they arrive in October – the AMG GT Coupé gains 10kW (to 350kW) and 30Nm to (630Nm) and the AMG GT S Coupé received an extra 9kW (to 384kW) and 20Nm (to 670Nm) respectively. Like all models in the range, they will also now be fitted with the distinctive Panamericana grille along with styling ehancements to the front apron and intakes.

The pair is joined in Australia by the range-topping AMG GT R Coupé, the 430kW/700Nm monster which set the daunting Mount Panorama racetrack alight in February 2017 with a new production car record of 2 minutes 16.5 seconds during a demonstration session at the LiquiMoly Bathurst 12-Hour Race.

Excitingly, the existing choice of three AMG GT Coupés now expands to include a special edition of the new AMG GT C Coupé as well as two open-top roadsters, effectively doubling the choices available to intending Mercedes-AMG GT customers.

Dropping the top: the AMG GT and GT C Roadster

In preparation for the warmer months to come, Mercedes-AMG introduces the AMG GT Roadster and AMG GT C Roadster to its Australian range. Both are set to embody the seamless linking of typical AMG Driving Performance with unrestrained open-top driving enjoyment. A high quality, triple layer fabric roof is stored in a Z-fold arrangement behind the seats when open. The roof opens and closes in 11 seconds up to a speed of 50 km/h.

Like the AMG GT Coupé, the AMG GT Roadster utilises a powerful V8 front mid-engine design harnessing 350kW of power and 630Nm of torque. A torque tube connects the engine to the AMG SPEEDSHIFT 7G-DCT transaxle at the rear for an ideal weight distribution of 47:53 per cent.

Other equipment designed to maximise open-top enjoyment includes a ‘draught stop’ wind deflector and heated seats, while a 10-speaker Burmester surround sound system and COMAND Online multimedia system with a 21.3cm high resolution colour display add enjoyment and everyday convenience.

The AMG GT C Roadster not only delivers more output and torque (410kW and 680Nm), it also impresses with numerous technical highlights from the AMG GT R Coupé for even more dynamic performance. Like the AMG GT R, the AMG GT C Roadster is recognisable by its wide, muscular rear end and large wheels. Other technical measures include active rear axle steering.

Positioned between the AMG GT S and AMG GT R Coupé models, the AMG GT C Roadster incorporates standard features including AMG Performance seats in nappa leather, an AMG Performance steering wheel in black nappa leather and DINAMICA®, heated and ventilated seats, and AIRSCARF neck level heating.

For a limited time: AMG GT C Edition 50 Coupe

To celebrate the 50th anniversary of the establishment of Aufrecht, Melcher and Großaspach – the high-performance arm of Mercedes-Benz better known as Mercedes-AMG – a special ‘Edition 50’ version of the newly arrived AMG GT C Coupe has been created. 

Powered by the same 410kW/680Nm front-mounted V8 as the AMG GT C Roadster, the AMG GT C Coupe will be available exclusively in ‘Edition 50’ specification until 2018.

Highlights of the AMG GT C Edition 50 Coupe include AMG Performance seats and steering wheel, the AMG interior Night Package, Edition 50 detailing in the head restraints and steering wheel bezel, quilted nappa leather upholstery, AMG trim elements in black chrome, LED high performance headlamps, black chrome exterior highlights, 19/20-inch AMG cross-spoke forged wheels and a choice of two ‘designo’ paint colours – graphite grey magno or cashmere white magno.

Mercedes-AMG GT range arriving in October - Australian pricing and availability

  • Mercedes-AMG GT Coupé - $258,711 (MRLP) 
  • Mercedes-AMG GT Roadster - $283,711 (MRLP) 
  • Mercedes-AMG GT S Coupé - $298,711 (MRLP)
  • Mercedes-AMG GT C Edition 50 Coupé - $335,211 (MRLP) 
  • Mercedes-AMG GT C Roadster - $338,711 (MRLP) 
  • Mercedes-AMG GT R Coupé - $348,711 (MRLP)

The newest model in the exhilarating Audi Sport range is being unveiled, in the new TT RS. With its distinctive five-cylinder sound, a tremendous 294 kW of power and limitless traction thanks to quattro all-wheel drive, Audi is presenting its Coupé and its Roadster at the Beijing Motor Show for the first time.

“The new aluminium five-cylinder engine delivers 400 hp (294 kW), which is 60 hp (44 kW) more than its predecessor,” says Dr.-Ing. Stefan Knirsch, Audi Board Member for Technical Development. “Together with the quattro drive, it ensures sporty driving pleasure with maximum traction. Audi uses Matrix OLED technology in the rear lights for the first time.”

A jury of international motor journalists has voted the 2.5 TFSI “Engine of the Year” six times in a row. Now Audi has further developed the five-cylinder engine in all areas – with lightweight construction measures, reduced internal friction and increased power delivery. As a result, the turbo engine gains a good 17 per cent increase in performance at an unchanged capacity of 2,480 cc. At 294 kW (400 hp), it is more powerful than ever before. The maximum torque of 480 Nm (354.0 lb-ft) is available between 1,700 and 5,850 rpm. It ensures fantastic pulling power, which accompanies the unmistakable sound. Cylinders positioned directly beside each other and farthest away from each other fire in alternation. This brings with it a very special rhythm. The TT RS Coupé accelerates from 0 to 100 km/h in 3.7 seconds, the Roadster in 3.9 seconds – this corresponds to the performance of a supercar. Audi regulates the top speed at 250 km/h, or at 280 km/h upon request.

The forces of the 2.5 TFSI engine flow via a seven-speed S tronic, which shifts at lightning speed, to the quattro permanent all-wheel drive. Its multi-plate clutch distributes the power freely between the axles. This provides strong grip and immense driving pleasure. The wheel-selective torque control makes handling even more agile and safe. Using the Audi drive select system, the driver can influence the quattro drive and other components such as the steering, S tronic, engine characteristic and exhaust flaps. The four modes available for this are comfort, auto, dynamic, and individual.

In addition to its light weight, the Audi TT RS has its sporty chassis to thank for its outstanding handling. The direct steering provides close contact with the road and makes it a pleasure to drive challenging winding stretches. At the front axle, ventilated and perforated steel discs are in action behind the 19-inch wheels – or 20-inch forged lightweight wheels as an option. Alternatively, lighter and particularly abrasion-resistant carbon-fibre ceramic discs are available. At the back, a steel monoblock disc is used. 

As an option, Audi supplies RS sport suspension plus adaptive dampers in magnetic ride technology. In this case, the damping characteristics can be influenced electronically. The control technology is integrated into the driving dynamics system known as Audi drive select.

For the first time in a series-production Audi, Matrix OLED technology (organic light emitting diode) is used in the rear lights as an option. These emit an extremely homogeneous, high-contrast light. The light can be continuously dimmed, it does not cast any shadows and does not require any reflectors – this makes the OLEDs in 3D design efficient, light and visually impressive. Each rear light contains four wafer-thin units which become smaller from the inside out. The biggest bears the TT logo and the four Audi rings. The TT RS has LED rear lights and LED headlights as standard. Alternatively, the latter are available as intelligently controlled Matrix LED units.

Large air inlets, a Singleframe grille with a newly designed honeycomb grille and quattro logo, a fixed rear wing and two large, oval exhaust tailpipes – the new TT RS Coupé and the new TT RS Roadster exude concentrated power. Along the flanks, aerodynamically-shaped side sills emphasise the dynamic design. Both models measure 4.19 metres in length, 1.83 metres in width and 1.34 metres in height.

Controls and display in the new TT RS are focused completely on the driver.  All information is displayed as standard on the fully digital Audi virtual cockpit with 12.3-inch screen. The driver can choose from three views, including a special RS screen that highlights the rev counter and provides information on tire pressure, torque, and g‑force, among other things. 

The Audi virtual cockpit also displays a shift light which informs the driver that the engine speed limit has been reached. For the first time in the RS portfolio, the RS sport leather steering wheel with shift paddles has two operating satellite buttons for turning the engine on and off as well as the driving dynamics system known as Audi drive select, in addition to multifunction buttons. This means that the driver’s hands stay on the wheel at all times. The driver can influence the exhaust flap control via the sound button on the center console.

Audi also offers a huge amount of high-end infotainment technology. The options include MMI navigation plus with MMI touch including free text search and natural voice control, as well as the Audi connect online module with Wi-Fi hotspot. Using Audi phone box, compatible cell phones can be charged inductively and paired with the onboard antennae for optimal reception. The new Audi smartphone interface technology displays selected apps from the cell phone directly in the Audi virtual cockpit. The Bang & Olufsen sound system is a highlight for fans of excellent acoustics.

The new Audi TT RS will arrive in Australia in mid-2017. Further details, pricing and specification will be announced closer to launch.

Following in the footsteps of its sibling, the third-generation Audi TT Coupe, the all-new TT Roadster has arrived in Australia. The new TT Roadster offers a fresh design and advanced technology in the all-new model, but its sporting ability really sets it apart from its predecessor – and the competition.

“The design is sophisticated and classically Audi with its convertible soft top; the virtual cockpit demonstrates our progressive technology, and now our new Roadster line-up offers an all-quattro approach – highlighting the focus on sporty dynamics and driver enjoyment,” said Andrew Doyle, Managing Director of Audi Australia Pty Ltd. “Like the Coupe, the new TT Roadster sets a benchmark in its segment for its use of progressive technology, with the Audi virtual cockpit, the outstanding ergonomics of the interior and of course, the exceptional quality of finish. “The ability to offer our customers such a talented and distinctive drop-top sports car certainly adds to the desirability of the Audi brand. As a fast-growing premium brand, it’s important that we are able to deliver the ideal vehicle to fulfil the needs of our owners, whatever they may be,” said Doyle.

The TT Roadster is powered by a 2.0 TFSI engine that is more powerful and more efficient than before. It produces 169kW and 370Nm, making it ideal for sporty drivers. Available exclusively with a six-speed dual-clutch S tronic transmission and quattro all-wheel-drive, the new TT Roadster can reach 100km/h from rest in 5.6 seconds, while returning fuel efficiency of 6.7 litres per 100km. For exciting dynamic performance, the TT Roadster employs Audi’s ultra lightweight philosophy with its Audi Space Frame (ASF). It also benefits from a new generation of quattro all-wheel drivetrain technology, which through the use of advanced software, actively sends more drive to the rear wheels during dynamic driving.

The TT Roadster has an electric folding soft-top that weighs only 39kg. It takes just 10 seconds to open or close, and for added convenience, can be operated at speeds of up to 50km/h. It also features an electrically retractable wind deflector. The Audi TT Roadster is on offer in Australia in two distinct model lines: Sport and S line. The very high level of standard equipment in both model lines sets new standards in this segment.

Highlights in the Sport line are:

  • Innovative Audi virtual cockpit with multifunction sports steering wheel
  • MMI Navigation plus with MMI touch, DVD player, 10GB music storage, live traffic and map updates
  • 18-inch alloy wheels in a dynamic new design
  • Xenon plus headlights with LED daytime running lights
  • Convenience key
  • Electric, heated sport seats with electric lumbar support
  • Electric folding roof with electrically retractable windbreaker
  • Audi parking system plus (front and rear)
  • Rich Alcantara and leather trim
  • Audi Drive select
  • Ambient interior lighting
  • Storage and luggage compartment package

In addition to the above, S line models also feature:

  • S line sport interior and exterior styling
  • S sport front seats in rich Alcantara and leather, with pneumatic bolsters
  • 19-inch alloy wheels in a dynamic titanium contrast design
  • Full LED headlights including dynamic rear indicators
  • Audi sound system (5ch amplifier, total output of 155w through 9 speakers and 2 subwoofers)
  • Digital radio
  • Matrix LED headlights (with dynamic indicators at the front and rear), as well as a selection of sporty new alloy wheel designs up to 20 inches in diameter are also available for all models.

Pricing (Manufacturer List Pricing (MLP) – excludes dealer delivery and statutory charges)

Sport

  • TT Coupe 2.0 TFSI quattro S tronic 169kW 6.7L/100km - $81,500

S line

  • TT Coupe 2.0 TFSI quattro S tronic 169kW 6.7L/100km - $89,000