What do smartphones and the BMW i8 have in common? Glass. Scratch-resistant Gorilla Glass, that is. The i8 will be the first production car to use the chemically hardened material, which is more durable, lighter and provides more sound deadening than conventional laminated automotive glass. We thought it would be a natural replacement for windshields, but, according to Autoweek, BMW said it will be used for the rear window for sound deadening purposes. The Gorilla Glass will still be laminated,
Today's automotive windshields are commonly made with two layers of tempered glass sandwiching a sheet of optically clear polyvinyl butyral (PVB), a plastic layer that holds everything in place even when the glass is broken. While the basic design works very well (credit Henry Ford with introducing laminated glass in 1919), scratches and chips in the glass weaken the material to the point where it may eventually crack and require replacement.