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      12-09-2013, 07:50 PM   #1
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Drives: 17 BMW F87 M2 6MT MG HBDGR !
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BMW i8 Event at SLS Hotel in Miami

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Revel in the i8 by ddk632, on Flickr

BMW i8 Event at SLS Hotel in Miami

I found out about this event while I was at the LA Auto Show and of course attended last week.

The SLS Hotel is really (really!) beautiful and was an excellent stage for BMW to show off the i8 in a relatively private setting. The event was an official BMW event and customers could get on the list to attend by calling BMW.

The front entrance to the SLS Hotel in Miami during Art Basel 2013. BMW brought a fleet of 100 7-Series to shuttle people around, plus a number of the new BMW i3's (some of them in this image). I also saw an M6 Gran Coupe, a 650i M Sport Edition (pictured on the far left), and an Alpina B7 (just beyond the large L in the photo). A grand event, no doubt!

SLS Hotel by ddk632, on Flickr

BMW brought the same Crystal White i8 that was on display at the LA Auto Show in November to the SLS Hotel event, and other events during Art Basel in Miami, Florida last week.

BMW i8 at SLS Hotel by ddk632, on Flickr

More i8 and Questions Answered!

Lots of cool stuff here. I got to meet some fellow Bimmerposters - which was awesome! - and got to meet the BMW i Brand Manager, Jacob. I didn't catch his last name but I picked his brain on a few i8 details that I will share.

We also got him to open the trunk and I have some photos of that - I haven't seen any photos with the i8 trunk open, so I hope these will be new to you as well!

BMW i8 Trunk Detail by ddk632, on Flickr

This was shot as the BMW i Brand Manager was showing of fthe trunk space in the i8 and was closing the flap. There isn't much space but enough if you're a light traveler for a good road trip!

BMW i8 Trunk Open by ddk632, on Flickr

As usual, BMW put on an amazing event with catered cheeses and hors d'oeuvres as well as complimentary drinks during the event.

They actually had to close off 17th street (just outside of the SLS Hotel in Miami Beach) and CRANE the i8 into the back of the hotel. I spoke with the BMW Account Director from Octagon, the company which puts on these events for BMW, and he showed me a video on his phone of the i8 being lifted on a platform, with a guy walking a rope on the ground in order to turn the platform and steer it to its eventual location inside the back of the SLS Hotel. That was really cool to see.

What did I ask while I was there?

1. Will the electric motor keep charge if you drive the i8 hard, or at high speeds? Say if you take it to the track?

"It's an i8, not an M8". The BMW i Brand Manager confirmed that if you drive normally on the street, even going fast, the electric motor has its own alternator and will keep charged. That means you can do a cross country road trip and just use gas stations if you cannot charge the car, and the electric motor will stay charged giving you full power of both motors constantly.

Now, if you want to take the i8 to the track - some of us had discussed this on another forum - the issue becomes with battery heat more so than with motor charge. The batteries will get too hot from driving at 10/10ths and will be automatically shut off, leaving you with just the gas motor. The BMW i Brand Manager said the car will do laps, but not sessions. I have decided that taking this car to the track will be a bad idea. His explanation regarding batteries overheating made perfect sense.

2. Can you do European Delivery even if you pay full MSRP and not ask for the ED discount?

No. BMW is not allowing any ED on this car, period. Who knows if that will change.

3. Will you be able to customize the i8 through BMW individual?

No, BMW is not planning on offering the BMW Individual program for the initial run and possibly first few years of the i8 production.

4. I've heard different things about the i8 key, is it the same as the i3 key or will it be a special key with a screen on it?

Well, I think we have our answer. The BMW i Brand Manager, Jacob, told me "All I can say is that it will not be the same as the i3 key." -- So the people at the LA Auto Show were wrong... and no fault to them, as BMW has been extremely tight-lipped about the i8. The Crystal White i8 has a regular looking key at the moment, but it will not be the key that customers will get. So looks like that picture Scott26 posted might be it! Sorry Scott, I wasn't doubting you, but I just wanted to make sure

5. Are the doors automatic?

Yes! There is a button on the inside of the doors that you can press and they will close automatically. Awesome!!!

[ Edited to add this photo since it makes more sense here given the context, even though it was not shot at this event ]

BMW i8 Door Close Button by ddk632, on Flickr

I think that covers most of the questions that I had. Hope you found this informative.

It was great to meet so many people, including the BMW marketing/PR team folks, BMW i Brand Manager, and fellow Bimmerposters!

Hope you enjoy these photos of the i8 event at the SLS Hotel in South Beach, Miami.

Unlike the LA Auto Show, the i8 doors were open and the interior visible to all during this event:

BMW i8 Side Profile with Doors Open by ddk632, on Flickr

BMW i8 Doors Open Side Shot by ddk632, on Flickr

BMW i8 Interior and Seatbelt by ddk632, on Flickr

BMW i8 Doors Open by ddk632, on Flickr

BMW i8 Interior 2 by ddk632, on Flickr

BMW i8 Interior by ddk632, on Flickr

Of course, there can never be enough photos of oneself next to the BMW i8 This obviously wasn't shot by me, and a shout out to Jenny, the photographer I met at the event who was kind enough to not only take this photo, but also change the settings on my camera so it would come out right!

Will You Be Mine by ddk632, on Flickr

Now, a fun part of the night was this lady and her (I think) parrot. She was quite the hit and at one point put the bird on the glass guarding the i8 for some photo opportunities. The bird was a professional fashion model, sitting patiently and smiling for the photos!

The Lady and Her Bird by ddk632, on Flickr

Posing with i8 by ddk632, on Flickr

Bird Poses with i8 by ddk632, on Flickr

It was a great party - lots of people there and lots of positive talk about the car. Of course, the i8 was the star of the show!

BMW i Brand Manager Shows Off the i8 by ddk632, on Flickr

BMW i8 Behind the Ropes by ddk632, on Flickr

Star of the Show by ddk632, on Flickr

Until next time,
David / ddk632

Last edited by ddk632; 12-09-2013 at 09:45 PM.