The production version of the BMW i8 is set to be unveiled at the 2013 IAA Frankfurt Motor Show.
Early reports indicate that BMW is expecting its largest markets to be the United States, the United Kingdom, and Germany. Interestingly, China, which is widely recognized as a huge market for luxury vehicles, is not on that list.
“The US will be by far the largest sales market for the i8,” Hendrik Wenders, the BMW i8’s product manager told a German-language version of Automotive News Europe.
Notably, the BMW i8 is also supposed to be the first car ever (of any kind) to use Corning’s Gorilla Glass. Super-strong Gorilla Glass has only been used on consumer electronics so far. SlashGear has some more info:
However, while we expected the windows and windshield to get the Gorilla Glass treatment, it seems BMW is only outfitting the rear window with Gorilla Glass. The car maker says this is for sound-dampening purposes, as the glass will consist of two 0.7mm layers with an acoustic sheet in the middle.
Gorilla Glass is also lighter than traditional glass, making the BMW i8 ever so lighter this time around, compared to if it used traditional glass. The i8 weighs less than 3,300 pounds, thanks to the Gorilla Glass as well as a few carbon fiber components. Of course, though, the hybrid powertrain is rather heavy, so the car still isn’t the lightest around.
The BMW i8 plug-in hybrid electric car is supposed to go on sale in 50 countries in 2014.
The BMW i8, formerly known as the i8 Spyder, won the North American Concept Car of the Year award in 2012 and the Best Production Preview Vehicle award this year.