The BMW Qualcomm i8 Safety Car had its moment in the spotlight during the inaugural Formula E Championship race in Beijing over the weekend. But outside of what we all saw, do we honestly know a whole lot about the i8 Qualcomm Safety Car that makes it different from other i8s?

The obvious answer would be to point to all of its safety equipment, which is critical to its function as the series’ official safety car. But what we didn’t know was whether the i8 was up-to-task in a serious racing environment, even if it comes in the form of electric-powered race cars.

All our questions were answered in the lead-up to the race when Qualcomm’s Edward Van Boheemen and Pat Kusbel were invited to drive around the racetrack on-board the i8 Safety car driven by Nelson Piquet Jr.

During the entire ride, the two Qualcomm engineers were asked to explain how they brought Qualcomm’s inventions into cars. It seemed like a fairly easy question for Van Boheemen and Kusbel given their backgrounds. But what both didn’t expect was Picquet Jr. treating the i8 Qualcomm Safety Car like a real racer, blasting it around the track while the two aimlessly tried to answer the questions posed to them.

It’s hilarious to watch these engineers attempt to get their points across while the i8 flings them all around.

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Kirby Garlitos
Automotive Aftermarket Expert - kirby@topspeed.com
Kirby’s first exposure into the world of automobiles happened when he caught Knight Rider on television as a five-year old boy. David Hasselhoff didn’t leave much of an impression on him (that happened later on in Baywatch), but KITT certainly did. To this day, Kirby remains convinced that he will one day own a car with the same ‘spirit’ as the original KITT (not the 2008 monstrosity). He doesn't know when that will be, but until then, he’s committed to expressing his love for KITT, and all cars for that matter, here at TopSpeed.  Read More
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