BMW i8 will get optional laser lights from autumn 2014

Article by Christian A., on February 10, 2014

Following Audi, BMW announced that from the autumn of 2014 it will offer headlamps featuring a completely new laser light concept, as an option, on the new i8 plug-in hybrid supercar. As expected, the new laser light will offer a significantly higher light intensity without heating up the surrounding area. Moreover, laser diodes are ten times smaller than conventional light diodes.

According to BMW, the size of the reflector surface can be reduced by a factor of up to ten vs. LED light. Furthermore, the height of the reflector was reduced from the previous 9 cm to less than 3 cm. If you don’t know, the light produced by the laser headlamp is also extremely bright, similar to daylight, and is perceived by the human eye as pleasant.

The BMW i8 is the world’s first production vehicle to feature this innovative light technology. Thanks to the new laser lights, the BMW i8 will be able to have a high beam range of up to 600 metres, which means more than double comparing it with the modern LED high beam. For those interested in the new BMW i8, you’d better know that this new German sports car comes with a 1.5-liter BMW TwinPower Turbo petrol engine that delivers 231 hp (170 kW) and a maximum torque of 320 Nm.

This petrol engine is combined with an electric drive system and a lithium-ion battery that can be recharged at a standard household power socket. The electric motor found on the i8 delivers 131 hp (96 kW) and 350 Nm of torque. The total output delivered by the hybrid system is 362 hp (266 kW) and 570 Nm of torque.

With these numbers, the BMW i8 hits 100 km/h (62 mph) in 4.5 seconds and has a top speed electronically limited at 250 km/h or 155 mph. Using just the electric motor, the BMW i8 has a range of up to 35 km (22 miles) and a top speed of 120 km/h (75 mph). Average fuel consumption is just 2.5 liters/100 km, while CO2 emissions are less than 59 grams per km. the BMW i8 has a price of $136,625 in the United States, while in Germany it costs €126,000.

Just like its concept as a whole, the design of the body of the new BMW i8 is also groundbreaking, with its proportions, lines and surfaces all conveying the signature BMW dynamics, lightweight design and efficiency. Thanks to its design, the new plug-in hybrid sports car is easily recognizable both as a BMW i model and as a next-generation sports car.

The easily identifiable looks of the new BMW i8 is also thanks to the structure of its overlapping and interlocking surfaces, as further highlighted by its color scheme. This layering principle gives rise to its aerodynamically and progressively styled package. The compact construction of the new i8 helps differentiate the electric motor and combustion engine while lending the front and rear ends with a low-slung design. Aside from aggressively stretched flanks, the new i8 features wing-like doors that open forwards and upwards.

Just like other BMW i cars, the new i8 comes with a signature "black belt" that emerges from the bonnet in a V shape and then flows over the roof to the rear end. Here, the black belt frames the center section of the rear apron, while it is framed by the body-colored apron and side panels on the front. It is also overlapped by the "floating" roof pillars extending over the rear lamps.

Moreover, just like other BMW i cars, the new i8 features a "stream flow" contour of the side window styling, which determines the path where the air moves between the falling roofline. In addition, the new i8 features a character line rising through the rear flanks to the rear spoiler lip.

Press Release

BMW Laser Light goes into series production. The BMW i8 is the first production vehicle to feature the innovative light technology.

Munich. From the autumn of 2014, BMW will be the first manufacturer worldwide to offer a production vehicle equipped with headlamps featuring a completely new laser light concept. With this laser light technology, which was first presented at the 2011 Frankfurt International Motor Show, the BMW i8 (fuel consumption combined: 2.1-0.0 l/100 km; CO2 emissions combined: 49–0 g/km) is not only making automotive history as a plug-in hybrid sports car, but also as the first production vehicle to incorporate the totally new laser light technology. Whilst the basic version of the BMW i8 is equipped with high-intensity, energy-efficient full LED headlamps, the optional laser boost feature additionally ensures a high beam range of up to 600 metres. This means that the already high illumination range of the modern LED high beam is doubled. Thanks to the new laser technology, it is possible to increase energy efficiency by a further 30 percent compared to already highly power-saving LED light.

A highly intensive and efficient form of light.
In addition to lowering power requirement, BMW Laser Light illuminates the road ahead with a significantly higher light intensity without heating up the surrounding area. Laser diodes are ten times smaller than conventional light diodes. They help to save not only available installation space inside the headlamp, but also weight. The size of the reflector surface can be reduced by a factor of up to ten vs. LED light. The height of the reflector has now been reduced from the previous 9 cm to less than 3 cm. The light of a laser headlamp is extremely bright, similar to daylight, which is perceived by the human eye as pleasant. Several high-performance diodes emit a strongly bundled beam via special lenses onto a fluorescent phosphorus substance inside the headlamp. This substance transforms the beam into an exceptionally bright white light that is ten times more intensive than conventional light sources. Due to their highly intensive and virtually ideal beam properties, laser diodes render the overall system even more efficient. In conjunction with the camera-aided digital high-beam assistant, dazzling of oncoming traffic or vehicles ahead is reliably eliminated.

Better visibility and enhanced safety when driving at night.
With the sum of its properties, BMW Laser Light is the ideal light source for the main beam of a vehicle. It combines unparalleled performance and safety with a high level of efficiency and exceptional compactness. Its outstanding range facilitates improved illumination and even better visibility when driving in the dark. As a result, it ensures a more relaxed and comfortable driving experience and enhanced road safety.

The BMW i8 is the world’s first production vehicle to feature this innovative light technology. During the years ahead, further BMW models will be equipped with this future-oriented laser light system.

Conclusion.
The BMW i8 is the future of the sports car, laser light the future of automotive light technology. And the same applies to both: High performance coupled with a high level of efficiency.

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