BMW's i8 carbon fiber hybrid coupe is one vehicle we've been keeping a close watch on since it made an appearance in 2011's Mission Impossible: Ghost Protocol. The concept plug-in hybrid car, which has slowly inched its way towards reality over these last two years will officially go on sale next year for $135,700. But the coolest part may be something that car makers often overlook: the key fob.
Car keys and car fobs are sooo boring. They lock and unlock your car, start and turn off your car, and roll down and roll up your car windows. The BMW i8's key fob is far from generic. You'd be forgiven for mistaking this futuristic key fob for something that controls a spaceship. It looks like a smartphone from a sci-fi flick. The key fob has a "high resolution LCD display" that can reportedly display charging levels, charging times and the remaining distance the i8 can keep going before it needs to be recharged or gassed up.
BimmerFile, the website that managed to snag pics of the alleged key fob also reports that it'll have buttons (virtual touchscreen ones?) that can be programmed to launch shortcuts. The alleged images also shows the futuristic key fob sitting snuggly in what appears to be a dock, which could possibly provide additional information when connected.
The BMW i8 made its official production debut at the recent L.A. Auto Show. It has has a 1.5 liter engine with three cylinder turbo. The 3,300 pound car has a total of 362 horsepower, 420 pound-feet of torque and a top speed of 155 miles per hour. As for its electric drive, the i8 only gets 22 miles, which is less than other hybrid plugins such as the Chevy Volt and Cadillac ELR, which get about 35 miles.
A special car such as the BMW i8 deserves a spiffy high-tech key fob to go along with it, but we can't help but wonder if this kind of thing will even be relevant in a few years as drivers begin using their smartphone apps to control their vehicles.