Germany - BMW has started the production of its i8 Roadster two months ahead of market launch. The plug-in hybrid electric vehicle (PHEV) is being made at the company's Leipzig plant in Germany, which also produces the BMW 1 and 2 Series as well as the i3. The updated i8 Coupe is being made on the same production line as the Roadster.
"We are proud to produce another top-noch product at our plant," commented plant director Hans-Peter Kemser. "An important factor for that is the know-how and long-time experience of our employees in Leipzig with the production of electric vehicles."
The i8 Roadster uses newly-designed frameless gullwing doors that are made from carbon fibre reinforced plastic (CFRP) and have an aluminium outer shell. It also comes equipped with an upgraded lithium-ion battery that provides the model with more range when driving in pure electric mode.
In July 2017, the German OEM announced that it was investing €200m (US$247m) in its Leipzig plant to house the production of new models. As a result, the paint shop is currently being extended while alterations are also taking place in the bodyshop and at the vehicle assembly areas. Work is scheduled to finish in 2020.