Audi R8's LED Headlights Save the Planet

Robert Farago
by Robert Farago
audi r8 s led headlights save the planet

Wheels Weekly (WW) has the heads-up on Ingolstadt’s claim that the LED headlights adorning the front of their uber-R8 are good for Mother Earth. The blogger-in-chief’s prose sounds a bit like the flanking English translation in a German airplane magazine, but he nails it in the incredulity department. “Now as times are tough for manufacturers, every little selling point are scavenged and placed under a magnifying glass looking to woo any sort of buyers they can gather, pretty much the case with this Audi R8 V10, we’re abit loss [sic] reading an entire page of press release which had nothing to do with Nurburgring records or skidpad figures, rather, boasting about its all LED headlamp, how much CO2 it saves.” It’s not an entire page of greenery, and I’m a big fan of incrementalism. And a car nerd. But it is strange world where Audi’s Head of the “Light and Visibility Department” trumpets CO2 savings. [excerpt after the jump]

“The order book opened in Britain for the V10 engined Audi R8 this month (1 January) and with it the German car manufacturer demonstrated another element of its pioneering Vorsprung durch Technik technology. The range-topping R8 is the first car in the world to be equipped with all-LED (light emitting diode) headlamps. For the first time the high intensity diodes have been used for low beam and high beam settings, as well as for daytime running lights and indicators, intensifying the sports car’s visual drama…

Greater safety, lower fuel consumption

LEDs can also reduce a vehicle’s fuel consumption. When daytime running lights become mandatory in the European Union in May 2011, Audi models with on-board LED technology will be ahead of the competition.

Drivers in a lot of European countries – such as Italy, Denmark, Finland, Estonia, and Sweden – already must use their lights during the day. As a result, just one vehicle’s conventional low-beam headlights, taillights, and license-plate illumination consume some 200 watts – which the alternator must constantly generate.

By comparison, a mere 15 watts is required to power the new Audi A4’s modern LED daytime running lights, which have the added advantage of far better visibility for other road users. All in all, that equates to a decrease of about 0.2 litres of fuel per 100 kilometres and about 4 grams fewer CO2 emissions per kilometre.

A statistical example clearly illustrates the significance of these figures: Thanks to this new technology, the Audi models with LED daytime running lights sold in 2008 alone consumed – during just their first year in use – about 10 million fewer litres of fuel and emitted approximately 25,000 fewer metric tons of CO2.

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  • Polo-kid Polo-kid on Jan 09, 2009

    Full Led Systems are the way car manufacturers need to go. they save power. crisper light so you can see a lot better in adverse weather conditions, they come with the technology to automatically adjust the beam so you dont end up with some tard behind you with a boot full of crap aiming the light too high or in front so your blind and they have a lot longer service life. how many times have you seen a car driving along at night with one or both headlights out so they make up for it with fog lights. that is so much more dangerous. Audi, Lexus & BMW have been running led tail lights for years and ive never seen one of then not working. and FYI lexus never released the full dip/high beam headlights. They were too expensive then. i like the numberplate lights too.

  • Missfruitcake Missfruitcake on Dec 08, 2016

    What's a good headlight upgrade recommendation?

  • Art Vandelay Dodge should bring this back. They could sell it as the classic classic classic model
  • Surferjoe Still have a 2013 RDX, naturally aspirated V6, just can't get behind a 4 banger turbo.Also gloriously absent, ESS, lane departure warnings, etc.
  • ToolGuy Is it a genuine Top Hand? Oh, I forgot, I don't care. 🙂
  • ToolGuy I did truck things with my truck this past week, twenty-odd miles from home (farther than usual). Recall that the interior bed space of my (modified) truck is 98" x 74". On the ride home yesterday the bed carried a 20 foot extension ladder (10 feet long, flagged 14 inches past the rear bumper), two other ladders, a smallish air compressor, a largish shop vac, three large bins, some materials, some scrap, and a slew of tool cases/bags. It was pretty full, is what I'm saying.The range of the Cybertruck would have been just fine. Nothing I carried had any substantial weight to it, in truck terms. The frunk would have been extremely useful (lock the tool cases there, out of the way of the Bed Stuff, away from prying eyes and grasping fingers -- you say I can charge my cordless tools there? bonus). Stainless steel plus no paint is a plus.Apparently the Cybertruck bed will be 78" long (but over 96" with the tailgate folded down) and 60-65" wide. And then Tesla promises "100 cubic feet of exterior, lockable storage — including the under-bed, frunk and sail pillars." Underbed storage requires the bed to be clear of other stuff, but bottom line everything would have fit, especially when we consider the second row of seats (tools and some materials out of the weather).Some days I was hauling mostly air on one leg of the trip. There were several store runs involved, some for 8-foot stock. One day I bummed a ride in a Roush Mustang. Three separate times other drivers tried to run into my truck (stainless steel panels, yes please). The fuel savings would be large enough for me to notice and to care.TL;DR: This truck would work for me, as a truck. Sample size = 1.
  • Ed That has to be a joke.