Magna to supply industry-first technologies to BMW i8

by Autocar Pro News Desk 18 Sep 2014


Magna International announced today that it is supplying two innovative, industry-first systems on the BMW i8 plug-in electric sports car: outside mirrors with hidden turn signals and SmartLatch an electronic side-door latch system.

The unique design of the outside mirrors includes a hidden turn signal that is fully integrated so that the mirror housing and turn-signal lens are one and the same. The signal is invisible when not in operation, which allows for styling improvements and improved aerodynamics with no additional gaps or incremental wind noise.

The SmartLatch electronic side-door latch requires no cables, rods or moving handles in the door. The benefits include significant weight savings and a reduced number of components, the flexibility to be used in any type of car or truck, and improved safety, sound quality and craftsmanship. Combined with the elimination of the lock rods, release cables and handles, SmartLatch provides an innovative, lower-cost door latching system to global automakers.

"We expect SmartLatch to become the benchmark for door-latch designs over the next few years," said Frank Seguin, president of Magna Closures and Magna Mirrors. "The BMW i8 is an ideal vehicle on which to debut both of these game-changing technologies – the i stands for innovation after all."

"Magna aims to be indispensable to our customers by helping them deliver solutions that lead the market in new directions," said Swamy Kotagiri, Magna's Chief Technical Officer. "The innovations we are proud to supply today for the i8 could one day be standard equipment on everybody's cars and trucks."

Magna International is a leading global automotive supplier with 317 manufacturing operations and 83 product development, engineering and sales centres in 29 countries. Its product capabilities include producing body, chassis, interior, exterior, seating, powertrain, electronic, vision, closure and roof systems and modules, as well as complete vehicle engineering and contract manufacturing.

Photograph: With hidden-turn-signal outside mirrors and SmartLatch, an electronic side-door latch system, Magna International supplies two innovative, industry-first systems on the BMW i8 plug-in electric sports car. 

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