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.