BMW has started the production of its BMW i8 super car with the laser headlights, making it the first ever manufacturer to offer the feature on a production car. First unveiled at the 2013 Frankfurt Motor Show, the i8 recently made its Indian debut at the 2014 Auto Expo and is expected to be launched here by the end of this year.
BMW is not the first manufacturer to integrate laser head lamps in its cars. Audi was the first car manufacturer to display a car with this technology, when it showcased the hybrid Sport Quattro at the 2014 CES, earlier in January.
BMW offers laser in the angel-eye headlamp assembly as an optional extra, with the standard car coming equipped with full LED head lights. The laser head light is made of three blue lasers which combined with other components in the assembly, emit powerful beams which are 70 per cent more effective and brighter than standard LEDs. Beside, laser lights diodes are ten times smaller than those of LEDs and consume 30 per cent less energy than the LEDs. This saves space not only in terms of installation, but also the size of the reflector surface used in the assembly.
The BMW i8 is powered by a 1.5-litre twin-turbocharged three-cylinder petrol engine, which, when combined with an electric motor produces 362bhp of power and 570Nm of torque. The power from the petrol engine, mated to the six-speed automatic gearbox, is transmitted to the front wheels while the energy from the electric motor will be sent to the rear wheels. The car is capable of doing an electronically limited top speed of 250kmph with the 100kmph coming up in 4.5 seconds. Being a hybrid, we can expect the car to stay true to BMW’s claims of delivering an efficiency of 50kmpl.
Prices for the i8 start at USD 1,35,000 (Rs 83.8 lakh) though the customer will have to shell more for the laser lights and other optional extras.