Consultant Eye Surgeon Dr. M. Shamintha Amaratunge was drawn towards the BMW i8 the moment he chanced upon it whilst browsing the Internet. “From then on, I had it in my mind and knew I had to get one” he told us enthusiastically. This enthusiasm was further sparked when he saw an advertisement by an auto sale in the Sunday papers. However, Dr. Amaratunge preferred the experience and after-sales service of the agent, so he did a lot of research on the i8 before heading to Prestige Automobile to seek their assistance.
Teranka Carim of Prestige Automobile tells us “here was a customer who had done so much research on this car, he already knew the ins and outs of it when he arrived”. Dr. Amaratunge cites the futuristic design and environmentally friendly credentials, both of the car’s construction as well as its running as factors which drew him in further, summing up with “it is a beautiful car”. When asked on why he chose the blue, he replies “because it caught my eye, not like the black, silver and white which are more common colours amongst cars in general”.
Dr. Amaratunge’s blue i8 indeed does look stunning as can be seen by the photography on these pages, and certainly stands out. As we at Motor have already reviewed the i8, I will not go too much into the technical details, but being driven in it and experiencing that instant torque hit brings a smile to the face. Dr. Amaratunge feels the same way, as he states “the number one thing for me is the acceleration. It is a different kind of experience to that of traditional internal combustion vehicles”. He also appreciates the smooth ride and enjoys slipping it into Sport mode where he says “you can feel every pebble on the road, but that’s how it should be”. He gets loads of attention when in this car, even when we went to pick it up from his workplace for the photography we had people taking selfies with it. Schoolchildren in particular delight on seeing it.
As you may have guessed, whilst having a employed driver, Dr. Amaratunge enjoys taking the wheel on most occasions and tells us that from his garage “the i8 is the car I feel the most comfortable with... the one I prefer”. He has racked up just under 10,000 kilometers within six months of purchasing it. Whilst he has not done any long trips due to his busy schedule, he has done regular commutes between Ja Ela and Kurunegala and has not found the i8 to be lacking in any area, even on substandard roads. He has a solar charging set-up at home, and gets around 30 kilometers per charge. He proudly tells us that the i8 is the cheapest car of his to fuel, with a fuel cost of around one third compared to the others.
When asked about his experience with Prestige Automobile, Dr. Amaratunge has nothing but high praise. He appreciates the level of after-sales support he receives, even citing that the team has come out at 10.30pm on a Sunday night to assist him when required, quickly and efficiently sorting out any issues. “They even handle the software updates for my car as and when required” he adds.
A little background on Dr. Amaratunge, he is a Consultant Eye Surgeon who once performed 254 surgeries within 12 hours in 2010, as part of a charity project. A philanthropist who believes in giving back to the community, he is engaged in the Suwadesa Project in the Sabaragamuwa Province, under the Provincial Health Ministry. He cites two of the most important values he holds true to heart to be Time Management and Teamwork. Presently his garage is home to the BMW i8, a Jaguar XF, a Mercedes-Benz W212 E-Class and he tells us he plans to house a Porsche Panamera soon...