If it rides on four wheels and costs a lot of money, you can probably find it rolling around somewhere in Dubai. And while it’s true that the general populace usually sees their transportation needs met by some form of exotic machinery, the local police force is equally keen on being whisked to and fro in something lavish, excessive, and very fast.

We’ve seen Bugatti Veyron cruisers and Lotus Evora ambulances, and now it looks as though the BMW i8 will join the ranks of white-and-green, UAE-style law enforcement.

And why not? Not only will the hybrid sports car have the speed necessary to track down baddies, but it’ll also save a few Dirhams at the gas pump, all in super-efficient, Euro eco-luxury.

While extravagant, the addition of an i8 to the Dubai police fleet shouldn’t come as much of a surprise, considering the list of other high-dollar cars in service. A partial inventory would include the Lexus RC F, Rolls-Royce Phantom, Lamborghini Aventador, Nissan GT-R, Ferrari FF, Bentley Continental GT, Mercedes SLS, Aston Martin One-77, Ferrari 458, McLaren MP4 12C, Mercedes G63, BMW M6 Gran Coupe, and the Audi R8.

Continue reading to learn more about the BMW i8.

Why it matters

While the i8’s lofty price tag is nothing considering the company it’ll keep in Dubai, the hybrid drivetrain is a bit of a puzzler. However, it’s actually not the first EV the cops their have pulled into their ranks. Other electrified workhorses include the Renault Twizy and Zero motorcycle. Perhaps the silent drivetrains would work well when sneaking up on unsuspecting lawbreakers?

Either way, a fleet like this is sure to attract plenty of new recruits, which further underlines the mass appeal of a car like the i8. 

BMW i8

2015 BMW i8 High Resolution Exterior
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BMW’s hybrid sports car hit the automotive world last year like an electric heater dropped into a wading pool. A lot of folks were completely taken by the car’s futuristic good looks and exciting array of technology, including more than a few writers here at TopSpeed. In fact, we were so impressed we gave the i8 a spot on our list of Top Performance Cars of 2014.

As the spiritual successor to the much-celebrated M1 supercar of the late 70s and early 80s, the i8 looks every bit as bizarre and high-tech as something you’d expect 50 years from now. With fuel efficiency and speed both high priorities, mass was trimmed at every available opportunity. As such, materials like aluminum and carbon fiber-reinforced plastics make up the majority of the chassis. Even with addition of both a petrol and electric driveline, the entire car weighs only 3,285 pounds, with the mass distributed evenly 50/50 front to back. And even though there are plenty of swoops and curves to chop up the air, the drag coefficient is only 0.26. Scissor doors add drama to ingress and egress. LEDs are used in the lighting. One look at the kidney grille up front leaves no doubt as to who made the thing.

Inside the coupe, there’s enough space for four (perhaps two officers and two perps?), with seating arranged in a 2+2 layout. Materials include leather tanned with olive leaf extract, bare carbon fiber, plastic from recycled drink bottles, and other sustainable resources. Two large display screens provide operational controls and pertinent information readouts. An iDrive Controller is located in the center console, while customers can opt between three different trim levels: Halo, Carpo or Neso, each with its own take on sustainable luxury, and well-suited to long days of crime fighting.

Most innovative, however, is the complex drivetrain, which includes a TwinPower Turbo, 1.5-liter, three-cylinder engine that delivers 231 horsepower and 236 pound-feet of torque to the rear wheels through a six-speed automatic transmission. This engine combines with an electric motor that sends 131 horsepower and 184 pound-feet of torque to the front wheels through a two-stage transmission, effectively rendering 362 horsepower and 420 pound-feet of torque to four wheels.This affords the i8 a 0-to-60 time of 4.4 seconds and a top speed of 155 mph. A zero emission, all-electric range of 22 miles is possible with a fully charged battery pack, while fuel economy is rated at 95 MPGe, which means more time on the beat and less time at the pump.

Pricing starts at $135,925, which is a pittance compared to many vehicles in Dubai’s police fleet. I’m surprised they didn’t buy a dozen.

Source: Dubai Police

Jonathan Lopez
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