crankandpiston takes a shot at car spotting in Dubai, UAE. in the hope of catching a glimpse of the BMW i8 during its regional testing programme.
Just ask 4WheelsofLux and Patrick3331 and they’ll tell you that the life of a car spotter in Dubai is not an easy one. Finding the perfect location is a headache in itself, and even once that’s been nailed down there’s the hours of waiting involved for what could perhaps be just a passing glimpse of this supercar or that. That’s more than enough time for water, caffeine and nicotine supplies to run out and the sun to do its devious work on our pasty forearms.
The crankandpiston team knows this all too well, having staked out in front of the main AGMC BMW showroom in Dubai this morning for a sneak peak of the new BMW i8 in Dubai.
Now some of you may be wondering why we were so keen to grab shots of a sportscar we have …”is that it? no, okay, keep your eyes peeled”… already published tracking shots of during its test program in Dubai. Remember that this former concept model is not just motor show photography fodder and an occasional star in ‘Mission Impossible: Ghost Protocol’. Development of the i8 – which BMW is already calling ‘the most progressive and innovative sports car of its time’ – has been going for nearly five years when the two-seater was still called the Concept Vision Efficient Dynamics, and development of the powertrain has been going even longer than that.
Indeed, the hybrid powerplant – which marries a turbocharged three-cylinder internal combustion unit with an electric motor – kicks out a hardly shabby 349bhp and is seen as the big step by BMW for glamorising the hitherto below radar electric car movement. The production ready i8 is set to roll out next year for a princely $130,000, and – as explained to crankandpiston by BMW board member Harald Krueger – is expected to prove a big draw in the Middle East. Think about the pull petrol-fuelled engines have in the region and that’s an enormous claim. Perhaps now you understand our interest this morning.
Fortunately our patience pays off, as a mere 1h 45m after we first rolled up (and after the Red Bull reserves were long gone), the security barrier raises and the carbon fibre i8 rolls onto out in all its camouflaged glory. Cue a hail of Canon flashes, much to the driver’s bemusement.
It’s tempting to give chase in the Management Fleet Honda Accord Coupe for a few more cheeky snaps, but the fact that the i8 can hit 100kph off the line in 4.6 seconds and go onto a suitably eyebrow raising, but unconfirmed, top speed makes us think twice.
It’s okay though. I’m sure you’ll agree, our first day of car spotting in Dubai has been a good one.