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Hello Future – BMW i8

We love downtown Dubai. As you may have noticed, it’s our favorite spot to shoot. The environment just seems to complement any vehicle that passes our lens. So it should come as no surprise that we chose downtown again to shoot the vehicle of the future, the BMW i8.

We were lucky enough to get an audience with the owner of this beautiful machine, Mr. Huzaifa Husain, a prominent businessman and petrol head who calls Dubai home.

When did you buy the i8?

I bought it 8 months ago. It’s the 2014 model and one of the earliest ever made.

Can you tell us more about the performance and specs of the car?

It houses around 350 HP and can run for 30 Kms on a full charge, which would take hardly 3 to 4 hours to recharge.

That’s a lot of charging. How are you able to manage considering the lack of charging stations in Dubai?

Well I do have two chargers, one at home and the other at my office. I drive it every day and have to make sure that it never runs out of juice.

How do you feel about electric car market in the UAE?

The market here mostly consists of hybrids that use fuel to generate electricity. There are very few plug in cars available in Dubai. The i8 happens to be one of them, running on pure electric power.

You do have a reputation as a motor head. What were the previous cars you’ve owned?

Before the i8, I’ve owned an Aston Martin DB9, an Audi R8, and a Mercedes SL63, in that order. I’ve never owned a car for more than a year as I drive daily and tend to get bored of them.

However, I also have a weekend car that I drive mainly for leisure. I currently drive a Lamborghini Diablo. I’ve also owned a Bentley GT, Corvette Z06, Lamborghini LM002, Gallardo, Ferrari 355 and a couple various off roaders. I gotta say though, the craziest car I’ve ever owned was the Lamborghini LM002.

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It does look like a spaceship. Do you miss the roar of a fuel engine? The electric engine must sound eerily quiet after years of driving gas guzzling supercars.

That’s the beauty of BMW engineering. They’ve managed to build an audio roar into the system so it sounds just like a petrol car. It’s brilliantly designed in their acoustic studios and very hard to tell the difference.

Is this the first BMW you’ve owned?

Oh no. I do have quite a good relationship with BMW. I bought a 645 convertible in early 2008, which I sold to buy the BMW X6 in mid-2008 when it first released in UAE. My father drove a 7 series too.

You must have a lot of friends among the UAE auto dealers.

Yes, I do. My whole family does in fact. Relationships matter. Keeping a good relationship with your dealers can do wonders and will often get you preferential treatment.

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How long do you plan on keeping this car? What do you plan on getting next?

(Laughs) I’ll probably sell it by the end of the summer. As I said before, daily driving tends to take the romance out of the car-driver relationship.

Truth be told, most of my car purchases are impulse decisions. If I see something I like, I’ll get it. As of now, I’m happy with the i8.

Hello Future – With BMW I8

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Editor : Rohit, Driveaholic

Photography : Chris Johnson, Driveaholic 

Videography : Chris Johnson, Driveaholic

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