BMW i8 - Image Credit: James Groth - Miles Ahead Communications (2014)
** An Automotive Lifestyle POV by James Groth, Miles Ahead Communications for The Motorsports-Report
Rand Luxury is a international event production company. CEO, Bradford Rand challenges himself to produce unique events that incorporate the freshest, innovative technology products with the most revered international luxury brands. This results in an evening of entertainment unlike anything else in Los Angeles.
He succeeded in topping last years marvelous event with an array of new and intriguing companies, supported by presenting sponsors Variety and The Wall Street Journal. These are VIP invitation only events that are covered by the media due to the number of new products being introduced to the market.
My focus for this lifestyle POV will be on the centerpiece of the evening, the BMW i8 featured in Crystal Pearl with BMW i blue accents. As a plug-in hybrid with functional curves to rival Sofia Vergara, this car represents the future of elite sports cars. Besides its stunning looks, the i8 will satisfy LA’s environmentally conscious as the first sports car with the consumption and emission values of a compact car.
The BMW i8 project started in 2008 with the intent to reinvent urban mobility. As a performance orientated car guy that also believes in social responsibility, the i8 is my choice as the current pinnacle for sports cars. With this highly developed plug-in hybrid, BMW has created super car that strikes a perfect balance between performance and efficiency.
For striking this balance, the BMW i8 will be welcome equally at Hollywood’s Red Carpet affairs and Monterey’s posh car collector events. Should you need more rational to own an i8, tell the wife your buying a piece of art for the garage equipped with optional Louis Vuitton luggage made entirely of carbon fibers for her. However, this automotive artwork attains155 mph on the autobahn.
What follows are the specifications to back up these allocates. Performance comes from BMW’s e drive combining an electric motor up front producing in hybrid mode 266kW (362 hp). In the rear is a 3-cylinder 1.5-liter gasoline motor producing an outstanding 170 kW (231 hp) for its small size. This translates to BMW figures of 0-60 km/h of 4.5 seconds in electric mode or 0-100 km/h in 4.4 seconds with the gas motor, fast by any standard except the hyper exotics. For added safety and performance, all-wheel drive is standard.
The standard tires are 195/50 R20 front and 215/45.R20 for the rear, these are an unusually narrow size for a performance car. This is because the narrower profile produces less rolling resistance and better fuel mileage. There are optional 215 fronts and 245 rears as a performance option depending on how ‘green’ you decide to go.
Much of the efficiency comes from the extensive use of light weigh materials. Carbon fiber is utilized in the body shell and aluminum for the chassis.
The eye catching scissor doors are designed for easy of entry and exit and are made from thermoplastic, aluminum and carbon, the result is a 50% lighter door. The gorgeous interior is made from of lightweight, sustainable and wherever possible renewable materials.
The eye catching LED tail lights also function as a channel for the air stream over the rear aiding the aerodynamics of the i8. This underlines the aerodynamic theme throughout the car that delivers an outstanding drag coefficient (cd) of 0.26 (in lay terms, the wind resistance of an egg). Yet this beauty looks nothing like the egg- styled autos of past attempts at efficiency.
|Rear ¾ Wave - Image Credit: James Groth - Miles Ahead Communications (2014)|
I showed I8 photos to the William Turner art gallery director, a car guy with an eye for design. Rob thought the car, painted in Crystal Pearl with I blue accents looked too much like the car in “Tron”, but right in dark colors without accents. I agree. However, I think most of artists will appreciate the flowing design and see it as a wave sculpture.
Those of us that live on mountain roads with abundant animal life will want the optional high-bean laser lights that increase range and enhance illumination. The enhanced lighting of recent years can be life saving to you and the critters. If you have driven a classic car at night recently, you will be reminded at how easy it is to out drive your headlights. As fast as the i8 is order the option.
This is the responsible super car we knew one of the prestige manufactures would develop, this time its BMW beating the Ferrari’s of the auto world to market.On sale now starting at $135,000.
The BMW I8 has Rodeo Drive attitude with Bay Area social consciousness, all without compromising its Germanic nature.
Highlights from the Rand Luxury Technology Showcase
As guests entered the event they were offered a glass of champagne, setting a festive tone to the evening. Friendly, knowledgeable brand ambassadors were giving demonstrations from 29 booths. It’s not possible to cover each in this POV, so I will highlight a few of the ones that I interacted with. This year Chef was Michel Euliss, a fellow car guy with a Maserati Mexico in his collection. His Let’s Celebrate! catering company provided the appetizers and particularly tasty sauces for pasta that had people coming for seconds.
My first experience was with Opticwash, the world first automated cleaning kiosk. It’s primarily designed for professionals in eye wear, jewelry, and the dental industry. CEO, Bryan Meyers put the finishing touch on me by washing and drying my reading glasses, university ring, and Movado watch in mere minutes. Non-professionals may consider one of these machines too, since the ultra violet light source kills 99% of all bacteria.
|Executive Director, Chad Ordoyne with Executive Assistant, Amber-Leigh Polowich - Image Credit: James Groth - Miles Ahead Communications (2014)|
Staying with the clean theme and adding the sustainable element to the mix, we get “water from air” by Untapped Water Systems. I live in the canyons of Malibu so sustainability is a strong consideration when adding something to the household. Executive Director, Chad Ordoyne and assistant Amber gave me a sample of the quality water this machine produces and the pitch on its unique qualities. Primarily this machine will provide 5.5 gallons of drinking water a day. The device also acts as a humidifier, thus reducing mold, pollen, and prevents waterborne bacteria and viruses. No need for delivery of water bottles. Considering that California is in its worst drought ever and we are rationing watering, the Untapped Water System is a device for the times we live in, ideal for home or office.
My lady friend and I found the stylish Ultrasone headphones adding a new level of experience to the ‘Eagles Live’ concert. If you demand unique style with your high-end speakers, the diamond glass and aluminum enclosures from Waterfall will make a sound and style statement like few others. On audition were the handcrafted Victoria Evo’s for $7,000 or $5,800. Exceptional in sound and striking in appearance, they can also be mated with their Hurricane satellites for home cinema.
We were impressed with image from the Grand Cinema Line by SIM2 Multimedia. There were two models on display, the value for dollar of the Superlumis projector at $3,500 coupled with the 103 inch screen for $3,000 should work very well for all but the most demanding enthusiasts for both film and sports.
We found the 3D printing display from the 3D Systems fascinating. With their system you can design-to-manufacture parts and products with their 3D printers. The end products can be made from plastic, metal or ceramics. This is truly a revolutionary system.
A number of guests took a break outside to enjoy Cobia Black cigars courtesy of David Weiss. His Lone Wolf lounge on Wilshire in LA is one of the most comfortable environments to enjoy all the top brands.
The #1 faucet brand Moen makes all styles, including ‘motion sense’ for hands free convenience. It’s Moen’s ultra modern kitchen and bath lines that distinguish them in terms of style. A node of thanks to Moen’s founder who in 1939 invented the single-handle faucet, designed to mix hot and cold water. Mr. Moen thus revolutionized plumbing giving the world the gift of warm water
I ran into Bradford Rand on the way out saying thanks for a great evening and received a LOKSAK from the brand ambassador pictured. This simple device is something we all need to protect our electronic devices from water and dirt while working in adverse conditions or traveling. The plastic allows you to work while the device stays watertight. They also have ‘Shield Sak’ to protect hacking, scanning or tracking.
This was a fun and electronically enlightening evening. I look forward to the next Rand Luxury Showcase.