Sign in with
Sign up | Sign in

BMW Inspired by Smartphones to Use Gorilla Glass in Hybrid

By - Source: Tom's Hardware US | B 18 comments

BMW will be using Gorilla Glass in its upcoming i8 hybrid sports car.

Readers of Tom's are well familiar with Gorilla Glass and its advantages when used in our gadgets – but it's not just the electronics world that is taking notice of the virtues of reinforced glass.

BMW will be using Gorilla Glass in its upcoming i8 hybrid sports car, making it the first in the automotive industry to employ Corning's technology. While one would easily assume that the hardened glass would be at the windshield, BMW is actually using it in the rear for its sound-insulating properties. According to AutoEvolution, the rear glass will be comprised of two layers, each 0.7 millimeters thick with acoustic sheeting between.

The use of Gorilla Glass has similar advantages to cars as well as for mobile devices; the treated glass can maintain a similar strength of regular glass but with much thinner sheets. This results in a weight savings, which is integral for improving handling characteristics.

This sports car will be powered by a turbocharged 1.5-liter three-cylinder gasoline engine, which delivers and impressive 228 hp and 236 lb-ft of torque, plus the added muscle of an electric motor at the front good for 129 hp and 184 lb-ft and one at the rear good for 13 hp and 81 lb-ft. According to AutoWeek, BMW claims that the rear electric motor, even though light on horsepower, is enough to make up for any turbo lag. All together, the powertrain should be rated at 357 hp and 420 lb-ft.

The BMW i8 is expected to arrive in April 2014.

Display 18 Comments.
This thread is closed for comments
  • -2 Hide
    Spooderman , August 10, 2013 6:10 AM
    Better watch out; if you drop that car from any higher than 6 inches there goes all the glass.
  • -3 Hide
    theclouds , August 10, 2013 6:40 AM
    Well, it doesn't just help with free falls. I'm thinking chip-proof from the many tiny rocks/pebbles on the road launched like projectiles from cars in front. This is a problem even if you don't tailgate.
  • 2 Hide
    guardianangel42 , August 10, 2013 7:36 AM
    @Spooderman, you do know that the iPhone uses knockoff gorilla glass right?
  • -1 Hide
    hitman40 , August 10, 2013 7:52 AM
    Quote:
    @Spooderman, you do know that the iPhone uses knockoff gorilla glass right?


    And yet they were smart enough to think that preventing the screen from cracking is as easy as preventing the impact from ever getting to the screen at all, hence the aluminum casing.
  • 2 Hide
    guardianangel42 , August 10, 2013 8:04 AM
    Quote:

    And yet they were smart enough to think that preventing the screen from cracking is as easy as preventing the impact from ever getting to the screen at all, hence the aluminum casing.


    Which iPhone are you talking about? Because the iPhone 4 definitely didn't have that foresight.
  • 2 Hide
    guardianangel42 , August 10, 2013 8:13 AM
    Also, I don't consider it being smart to learn from a mistake and correct it for the future. Smart would be avoiding making the mistake in the first place. Learning from one is just being mature.

    The iPhone 4 had a flawed design that caused an inordinate amount of broken screens. Between the knock off gorilla glass and the bevel-less design and the glass on BOTH sides, there were far more broken screens than on other devices.

    My friend's iPhone has been in a case since the day he got it but the back screen still cracked twice because, of all things, a piece of dirt got behind the case.

    But don't mistake my comments as baseless Apple bashing. I'm simply pointing out issues with a specific model. Every model of every product has a few and even Apple is capable of producing a dud.
  • 2 Hide
    lp231 , August 10, 2013 9:20 AM
    Windshield are may with tempered glass so when it breaks, it breaks into small pieces reducing the chance of injuring the driver and passengers. Will this corning glass be the same or will they break into large sharp pieces, stabbing everyone inside and those around it?
  • 1 Hide
    groveborn , August 10, 2013 9:48 AM
    Had you read the entire article, or in fact, the first paragraph, you'd note that it's not on the windshield or any other window. It's a sound dampening firewall, essentially, for the rear engine.
  • 3 Hide
    kinggremlin , August 10, 2013 10:04 AM
    Quote:
    Had you read the entire article, or in fact, the first paragraph, you'd note that it's not on the windshield or any other window. It's a sound dampening firewall, essentially, for the rear engine.


    You need to read more carefully yourself. The description in the article is poorly worded. The benefit of this new glass over conventional laminated glass is weight savings. No one uses laminated glass within the structure of the car as a firewall. So obviously, they are talking about the rear windshield.
  • 1 Hide
    jscynder , August 10, 2013 3:28 PM
    Quote:
    BMW is actually using it in the rear for its sound-insulating properties.


    Sound firewall. It has the added benefit of lower weight.
  • 0 Hide
    JPNpower , August 10, 2013 3:32 PM
    Weight savings for good handling! ? Ha ha. I'm dying. Those extra two grams must be deadly heavy. He he. And I thought my jokes were bad
  • 1 Hide
    jscynder , August 10, 2013 4:23 PM
    Well considering the average rear windshield as far as I could find is 1/4" or 6.25mm weighing in at 20lbs and they are talking about 0.7mm per layer with an unknown acoustic layer between. That means that the new BMW rear windshield should only weigh one quarter the weight or 5lbs in this case.
  • -2 Hide
    JPNpower , August 10, 2013 6:08 PM
    That is... impressive actually. Although I doubt that the acoustic layer is that light.

    Awesome tech is cool for everyone. Carbon+ GGlass + hybrid = damn cool future.
  • 0 Hide
    everygamer , August 10, 2013 8:24 PM
    I am thinking they couldn't use it for the windshield or any other main windows because it is likely less safe, if you were in an accident you would want you windshield to shatter into a million tiny pieces rather than stay in big chunks that could cut you to ribbons. Sometimes you want your glass to break :) 
  • 0 Hide
    JPNpower , August 10, 2013 8:54 PM
    Shatterproof glass is nice for this though. A sticky sheet in the middle makes sure that the shattered hunks stick together.

    If this could be integrated with Gorilla, I see a bright future.

    Also, check out this super futuristic car called the Lamborghini sesto elemento. It has a flexng plastic windshield.
  • 0 Hide
    Shin-san , August 11, 2013 7:46 AM
    Ah. I see why they need auto glass for the windshield. Automotive glass is actually designed to break so that if someone in the car hits it, it will break towards the outside, thus, taking away energy from the impact. Gorilla Glass isn't good for that, it seems.

    I was wondering how it does when it shatters. I know that when my old smartphone's screen shattered, I didn't have a bunch of sharp glass going everywhere.
  • 0 Hide
    cilliers , August 11, 2013 9:43 AM
    Who cares about what kind of glass is used if BMW is still stuck on gasoline/electric hybrid. This car is so 2003. Yawn...
  • 0 Hide
    JPNpower , August 11, 2013 5:22 PM
    Oh Cilliers you have no idea...