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BMW Inspired by Smartphones to Use Gorilla Glass in Hybrid

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.

  • Spooderman
    Better watch out; if you drop that car from any higher than 6 inches there goes all the glass.
    Reply
  • theclouds
    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.
    Reply
  • guardianangel42
    @Spooderman, you do know that the iPhone uses knockoff gorilla glass right?
    Reply
  • hitman40
    11327363 said:
    @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.
    Reply
  • guardianangel42
    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.
    Reply
  • guardianangel42
    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.
    Reply
  • lp231
    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?
    Reply
  • groveborn
    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.
    Reply
  • kinggremlin
    11327981 said:
    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.
    Reply
  • jscynder
    BMW is actually using it in the rear for its sound-insulating properties.


    Sound firewall. It has the added benefit of lower weight.
    Reply