Luxury carmaker BMW has officially picked Munich-based Osram to provide the headlamps for the optional laser high beams on the BMW i8 plug-in hybrid supercar. When launched in India at the end of 2014, the BMW i8 will become the first model to employ laser lights technology for its headlamps in the country.
The laser lights are set to provide improved intensity over the existing LED lights and uses half the energy of light-emitting diode headlamps. A laser diode can emit 170 lumens per watt compared to 100 lumens from LEDs. The i8 is being built at the company’s plant in Leipzig, Germany, which underwent a massive 400-million euro upgrade last year, ahead of the production start of the i8 and the i3 battery-electric compact hatchback.
Back in July 2014, BMW officially delivered the first eight units of the all-new BMW i8 electric super car, becoming the world’s first production car with laser headlight to reach showroom floors - and in the process beating, rival carmaker Audi to the punch who were readying to roll out the limited edition R8 LMX with laser lights in Europe in late July.
The i8 began as a true Concept car with no plan for production. Six years ago, BMW wanted to subtly suggest that it was thinking of an electric vehicle, but wanted to get away from the dullard image electric vehicles have. So, they made the Vision EfficientDynamics – a pretty, pure design exercise. As the project progressed, BMW realised that a production model could be viable. And so the BMW i8 was born.
The Indian presentation of the BMW i8 got underway at the 2014 Delhi Motor Show, while its commercial launch in slated for November this year. Once launched, the i8 will officially become the company’s most expensive offering in the Indian sub-continent.