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Friday Slide Show: BMW i8 Share This on LinkedIn   Share This on Google   Tweet This   Forward This

17 August 2018

It's hard to explain but for the second time we found ourselves face-to-face with a sleek sportscar posed for its close-up at the mall. This time it was a BMW i8 Spyder designed by Benoit Jacob.

The i8 is a carbon-fiber, scissor-doored, plug-in hybrid from BMW's Project i that first hit the streets in 2014. We're not sure what year this hunny is but a used one will set you back about $80,000, we understand.

It's lithium-ion-powered electric engine on the front axle has a range of about 15 miles but the turbocharged 1.5-liter 3-cylinder gas engine mounted on the rear wheels gets about 29 mpg for a combined fuel economy of about 76 mpg. So you can make it about 310 miles without sweating and 370 with.

Enough to get to the mall, anyway.

How anyone can park an $80,000 sportscar without a blemish in a mall is beyond us. Their other car must be a Lamborghini. But we were glad they did.

How anyone can park an $80,000 sportscar without a blemish in a mall is beyond us. Their other car must be a Lamborghini.

The only problem was that we were short of cameras. We came to shop, after all. For socks, as it happens. We've found they sometimes come in handy.

Fortunately we had our iPhone 6 Plus with us, fully charged. Its range is a good deal better than the i8, we think. At least it was able to stay alive as we circled the car, which remained motionless.

Good thing because to enhance the sportscar experience, the hybrid i8 plays a fake engine roar on its sound system. And that would have scared the birds, spotting the paint job and causing a lot of Healing Brush time on these photos.

As it was, these image were greatly enhanced in Lightroom.

We applied a preset modeled after Martin Evening's Capture One default Raw simulator to all the JPEGs as a starting point. They we kicked the Clarity up to 40 and adjusted both the Highlights and Shadows back into range. We found a little Dehaze helped defeat the overcast lighting. And we couldn't stop ourselves from adding a little Contrast to bring out that shiny paint.

We also indulged in a little Luminance Noise Reduction even though these were shot at a modest ISO 32. Lightroom knows all about the iPhone's wide-angle distortion so we enabled Profile Corrections too, although they remain dramatically wide.

We did all that of that before Syncing the set and then we went through each image tweaking the tonality and color and doing a little cropping.

It's about as much fun as you can have outside an i8. So fasten your seat belt and turn up the volume. We'll take you for a ride -- in the parking lot.

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