We all knew from the time BMW introduced the production i8 that it was going to be one of those cars that redefine the way we appreciate our loves. it’s that revolutionary, and not just by way of all the high-tech goodies it comes with.
But since we’re heading down that road, this is as good a time as any to shine the spotlight on one of the most innovative things about the i8. And no, we’re not talking about those laser lights that will be a first for a production vehicle. We’re talking about the keyfob, an otherwise unglamorous — yet extremely useful — piece of equipment used on a lot of cars these days.
We all know what keyfobs tend to look like: small, clunky and largely rectangular in shape that serve the sole purpose of having built-in authentication mechanisms, but this one’s unlike anything you’ve seen from a gadget like this.
Ordinarily, key fobs don’t do much in the way of cutting edge design. But the i8 keyfob is different in so many levels, it’s hard too imagine not getting caught up on what it can do.
It can start the BMW i8, that’s for sure. It can also serve to contain lock/unlock buttons, a trunk opener, and sometimes, its own alarm. But the i8’s keyfob’s function doesn’t just end there. It also contains a high-resolution display screen that’s similar to what you can see on a lot of instrument clusters these days. This screen houses some pretty useful information, especially for a hybrid sports car like the i8.
Based on the photo of the i8 keyfob, you can see the range of the sports car before recharging and re-fueling, pretty important information that will allow you to not overcharge your sports car too much. Look closer and you’ll also notice that all-important information on when the car was last charged and whether or not the key fob itself is connected to the i8. On those important capabilities alone, you can already surmise just how revolutionary this keyfob is. Or, as those familiar with those Japanese toys: a Tamagochi, it is not.
But it doesn’t just end there; the i8 keyfob also has a handful of buttons that can be customized specifically to the needs of the owner. It really is tantamount to a mini smartphone with its own re-programmable functions.
For the price it commands — a replacement key fob will cost at least $1,000 — you’d be wise to keep this small yet incredibly sophisticated piece of technology as close to you as possible.
That, in a nutshell, is how best to describe the BMW i8 key fob: small yet incredibly sophisticated...and really, really expensive.
Click past the jump to read about the 2015 BMW i8
The production-version BMW i8 made its world debut at the 2013 Frankfurt Motor Show after a series of concept cars were revealed in the previous years.
The i8 is powered by a hybrid powertrain that combines a 1.5-liter three-cylinder engine that delivers 231 horsepower and 236 pound-feet of torque to the rear wheels with an electric motor that produces 131 horsepower and 184 pound-feet of torque driving the front ones.
With a combined output of 362 horsepower and 420 pound-feet of torque, the i8 goes from 0 to 60 mph in 4.4 seconds and sprints to a top speed of 155 mph.
On the U.S. market the i8 is priced from $135,925.