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Audi and BMW have been wrangling over who would launch the first production model with laser lights and it looked like the four-ringed brand was going to win when they unveiled the R8 LMX last month. However, BMW has beat them to the punch as they've just delivered the first i8s to customers in Germany.

Presented to customers at a special ceremony, the cars have a plug-in hybrid powertrain that consists of a 1.5-liter TwinPower Turbo three-cylinder engine, an electric motor and a lithium-ion battery. This enables the model to have a combined maximum output of 362 HP (266 kW) which allows the coupe to accelerate from 0-100 km/h in 4.4 seconds and hit a limited top speed of 250 km/h (155 mph). More importantly, the i8 averages 2.1 L/100 km (134.5 mpg UK / 112 mpg US) and can travel up to 37 km (23 miles) on electricity alone.

According to BMW's German Head of Sales and Marketing, Roland Krüger, “In November of last year, we welcomed the first BMW i3 customers here at BMW Welt. Today, we are continuing the BMW i success story with the first eight BMW i8 customers worldwide. As ‘the first of a new era’, the BMW i8 combines the sustainable design of a carbon-fiber body with a powerful plug-in hybrid."

Gallery: BMW delivers the first i8s, beats Audi to the laser light punch

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