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.