You may already know about the so-called ‘laser headlights war’ between Audi and BMW, which started between the two manufacturers when Audi launched the Sport Quattro Laserlight Concept at the 2014 CES.
For those who don’t know, when Audi launched its concept BMW said on its Instagram account that if they wanted to show a concept car with laser headlights they had to bring their Concept Vision Efficient Dynamics Concept presented back in 2011.
Everything seemed to end when Audi unveiled the R8 LMX as the world’s first production car equipped with laser high beams. Although BMW announced that it will offer laser headlights on the i8 this Autumn, the Bavarian carmaker delivered the first eight i8 cars to their customers, each using the laser-powered headlights.
This means that BMW became the first carmaker in the world to launch a production car fitted with laser-powered headlights. So, the ‘laser headlights war’ ended with BMW taking a remarkable victory.
Besides the new laser headlights, each BMW i8 is powered by a 1.5-liter TwinPower Turbo three-cylinder petrol engine that delivers 231 hp (170 kW) and a maximum torque of 320 Nm. In addition, there is an electric motor that generates 131 hp (96 kW) and 250 Nm of torque.
While the petrol engine delivers the power to the rear wheels, the electric motor sends the hp to the front wheels. With a total output of 362 hp (266 kW) and 570 Nm of torque, the hybrid system pushes the BMW i8 from 0 to 100 km/h (62 mph) in 4.5 seconds, while top speed is electronically limited at 250 km/h or 155 mph. Meanwhile, fuel consumption is less than 2.5 liters/100 km or over 113 mpg.
The design of the body of the new BMW i8 is just as groundbreaking as the vehicle’s concept in entirety. Its proportions, lines and surfaces all convey its lightweight design and efficiency as well as its signature BMW dynamics. Just by a glimpse, it is easy to tell that the new i8 is both a BMW i model and a next generation sports car.
Furthermore, the distinctive look of the new BMW i8 is partly made possible by the structure of overlapping and interlocking surfaces, as highlighted by its color scheme. Thanks to this layering principle, the new BMW was able to give the new i8 several progressive styling and aerodynamic forms.
The compact construction of the new BMW i8 clearly sets apart the electric motor and combustion engine, thereby enabling the car’s front and rear sections to feature a low-slung design. In turn, this design helps highlight the i8’s dynamically stretched flanks. The sporty design of the new BMW i8 is further accentuated by doors that open forwards and upwards like wings.
Since the new i8 is a BMW i car, it also features the so-called black belt. This black belt on the BMW i8 appears in a "V" shape from the hood and then flows over the roof to the rear section. Here the black belt borders the center section of the rear apron.
On the front, the black belt is bordered by the body-colored apron and side panels, while on the rear, this signature feature is overlapped by the "floating" roof pillars extending over the tail lamps. In addition, the new BMW i8 features a "stream flow" contour of its side window styling. This stream flow helps establish the route taken by the air between the falling roofline and the character line.