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One-off BMW i8 to go under the hammer at Pebble Beach

The one-of-a-kind BMW i8 Concours d'Elegance Edition. – AFP/Relaxnews pic, July 29, 2014.The one-of-a-kind BMW i8 Concours d'Elegance Edition. – AFP/Relaxnews pic, July 29, 2014.The unique Concours d'Elegance Edition of the high-tech hybrid supercar will boast a number of special features and the proceeds of the sale will go to charity.

Considered by many as the premium sportscar of the future, the BMW i8 is extremely lightweight and uses a plug-in hybrid powertrain consisting of a 128bph electric motor powering the front wheels and a three-cylinder turbocharged 1.5-litre, 228bhp petrol engine spinning the rear wheels.

The result is a car that can go from a standstill to 100km/h in 4.2 seconds and on to an electronically limited top speed of 250km/h (155mph) yet delivers a fuel economy of 2.1l/100km (134.5mpg) and carbon dioxide emissions of just 49g/km.

That makes the car faster off the line, lighter and more efficient than a current Porsche 911 Carrera S despite being bigger and only having half as many cylinders under the hood.

Unsurprisingly, demand for the standard edition is already very high ahead of the car's official launch in the US this autumn, therefore the Concours d'Elegance Edition could be a great way of jumping the queue and taking delivery of an i8 while the sun is still shinning, the days are long and the roads are clearer thanks to everyone else being on vacation.

And to make sure that everyone knows that the i78 you're driving is a bit special, it will come with a unique Frozen Grey metallic exterior paint finish and an interior trimmed in Dalbergia Brown leather upholstery that has been tanned using dye derived from plant extracts.

It will also be the first BMWi8 to land on US shores with laser headlights as standard (pending regulatory approval) and its own professional charging station. It even gets a special “display” key that has an integrated touchscreen and that can show information such as remaining battery power, range and the closest charging station, at a glance.

The auction will be conducted by Gooding & Company on Saturday, August 16 with all proceeds going to the Pebble Beach Company Foundation and the Pebble Beach Concours d'Elegance. The i8 is expected to fetch between US$150,000 (RM476,175) and US$200,000 (RM634,900) and the auction will be broadcast as a live stream via Gooding's website.

One of the highlights of the classic and supercar calendar, the Pebble Beach Concours d'Elegance is held every August at the Pebble Beach Golf Links in Monterey, California and attracts some of the most rare and exotic cars ever built and is a veritable who's who of the automotive aristocracy.

As well as BMW, McLaren is also hoping to cause a stir at this year's event, choosing Pebble Beach over the upcoming Paris Motor Show as the venue for unveiling its track-focused US$3.3 million hypercar, the P1 GTR. – AFP/Relaxnews, July 29, 2014.

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