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Behold, the Porsche of flashlights

The upcoming mPower Emergency Illuminator, which is set to hit stores in March 2010 for a whopping $250-$300, was designed by the Porsche Design Studio.

Space-age design: The mPower Emergency Illuminator is set to hit stores in March, 2010.

Flashlights are becoming more and more sophisticated, as well as rather expensive. Case in point: the upcoming mPower Emergency Illuminator, which made its press debut this week at an event in New York. Designed by the Porsche Design Studio to be "a stylish product with emergency utility, it will cost somewhere between $250 and $300 when it comes out in March of 2010.

Aside from the fetching design, the mPower Emergency Illuminator boasts some innovative battery technology. One battery "tube" stores two CR123 batteries, while the other has what's called an OnCommand Reserve Battery that the company says has a minimum 20-year shelf life and will deliver "power on command when and where you need it."

While the special reserve battery isn't rechargeable and will wear down if you use the flashlight a lot, it will never degrade just sitting around in its tube. In other words, you could never turn this torch on for years, and it would still work the moment you need it--according to mPower. Replacing the backup battery will cost you around $25, though that price may go up with inflation over the years.

It's also worth noting that the flashlight has a built-in USB port for charging cell phones and other gadgets. If there's juice available from the CR123 batteries, your device will draw power from them; if not, it will charge up via the backup battery.

Comments? Would you rather have this model or the battery-free LED quick charging flashlight from 5.11 Tactical?