The first 8 customers of the BMW i8 finally received the keys to their hybrid supercars in a special event held at BMW Welt, Munich (read about IAB's visit to BMW Welt). Thus, BMW managed to beat Audi as the first manufacturer to sell a production car with laser headlight technology.
The optional fitment is claimed to enhance the illumination range by up to 600 metre, making it twice as effective as the standard high intensity LED headlights. Further, laser headlights consume 30% less power than the already efficient LEDs, while being lighter and smaller. The camera aided digital high-beam assistant eliminates dazzle on oncoming traffic.
The i8 is the German automaker's first plug-in hybrid vehicle. The low-slung carbon fibre bodied supercar incorporates a three-cylinder twin turbocharged 1.5-litre petrol engine and an electric motor. While the IC engine producing 231 hp and 320 Nm of torque drives the front wheels, the electric motor which generates 131 hp and 250 Nm of torque takes care of the rear wheels.
With a combined output of 363 hp and 570 Nm of torque, the i8 is capable of accelerating from rest to ton in just 4.5 seconds while returning an impressive fuel economy of 40 km/l (claimed figure under European driving cycle). Top speed is electronically limited to 250 kmph.
The BMW i8 was showcased at the Auto Expo earlier this year. Philipp von Sahr, president, BMW Group India, told IndianAutosBlog last month that the i8 will be launched here by the end of 2014.