By on May 10, 2014

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Audi is likely to beat BMW’s i8 to the laser-headlight punch with a rather expensive limited edition.

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The 210,000-euro limited-to-99 edition is equipped like the R8 V10 plus, with a 570-horsepower and the S-tronic automated manual, but it has one interesting and so far unique feature: when the car reaches a speed of just under 40mph, special laser spotlights activate, emitting 5500K white light and offering a view down the road well beyond what’s capable with modern LED or Xenon lamps. Apparently, there’s also a camera system that checks for oncoming cars and makes sure the laser headlamps don’t blind them.

As the R8 nears the end of its model run, this LMX is giving Euro-market shoppers yet another reason to consider it over a deposit on a Huracan. No word yes as to US sales but given our government’s remarkably conservative lighting regulations, it probably isn’t worth holding your breath.

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72 Comments on “Audi R8 LMX Might Be First To Market With Laser Headlamps...”


  • avatar
    thelaine

    Frickin lazers. God I hope they’re powerful enough to vaporize enemy drivers.

    • 0 avatar
      WheelMcCoy

      “Frickin lazers. God I hope they’re powerful enough to vaporize enemy drivers.”

      They probably are. That’s why BMW is delayed. Rumor has it they are also developing deflector shields. And yes, Mercedes is working on a cloaking device.

  • avatar
    Lie2me

    Mercedes-Benz has announced the 2016 “S” Class will have X-ray vision

  • avatar
    PrincipalDan

    Major Carnagle: Where’s the laser?
    Professor Hathaway: It’s coming.
    Major Carnagle: It’s coming? Ha! It’s not even breathing hard.

    (Gee remember when even a movie about the military industrial educational complex bent on world domination could be a lighthearted comedy?)

  • avatar
    thelaine

    Check and check. Just need cloaking device and I’m good to go.

  • avatar
    OneAlpha

    Yet another promise of future past that reality has failed to deliver on.

    Next you’re gonna be telling me she’s got a great personality.

  • avatar
    kjb911

    am I the only one who had Dr. Evil in his head when reading the word laser

  • avatar
    Kenmore

    Meh, I’ve already got ’em on both our cars from wickedlasers.com

    ‘Course, they’re green… and pipe-strapped to the mirrors.

  • avatar
    TheyBeRollin

    …for those drivers that think their HID headlights don’t destroy the retinas of other drivers fast enough…

  • avatar

    When the industry finally ran out of ideas to get you to upgrade…

    FRICKIN LAZER BEAMS ATOP THEIR CARS…

  • avatar
    05lgt

    I like that it’s already integrated with a targeting camera. Just a quick obd flash from accurately identifying and blinding oncoming AMG’s.

  • avatar
    jpolicke

    Can they be aimed to fry police laser speed radar?

    • 0 avatar
      05lgt

      The lidar they usually sight over? I’m not sure it can blind the device as easily as the operator. You want a strobbed infrared output that walks up and down in pulse frequency to confuse the speed sensor, not just an overwhelmingly bright visible wavelength source. That would be more than a little bit illegal.

      • 0 avatar
        golden2husky

        Why would that be illegal? Unlike transmitting radar which is illegal, there is no such law about light. Laser jammers are legal unless something just changed.

        • 0 avatar
          Lie2me

          They’re legal except California, Colorado, Illinois, Minnesota, Nebraska, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Tennessee, Virginia and Washington D.C.

        • 0 avatar
          jpolicke

          Well I was half-way kidding about the cop radar. As far as there being laws against light, try aiming a laser at an aircraft and see how many different law enforcement types come looking to find you.

  • avatar
    mcs

    Of course, there will be the inevitable cheap 5mW Chinese knock-off versions.

  • avatar
    69firebird

    Great.For those that didn’t already enjoy the blinding-blue aftermarket headlights enough.I swear,cops need to start cracking down on this bs.

    • 0 avatar
      mcs

      Have you been injured, permanently blinded, or die in an auto accident caused by laser headlights? If so, you may be entitled to significant compensation up to and including a free oil change from Audi USA. Just call the number on your screen…

      • 0 avatar
        jpolicke

        ..And then call this number to get your structured Audi settlement paid NOW..

      • 0 avatar
        28-Cars-Later

        Non-attorney paid spokesman!

        • 0 avatar
          golden2husky

          Maybe there might be a class-action suit if enough folks get blinded. Perhaps it will work as well as the class action suit over e-books. My wife has spent several thousand on e-books and her share of the settlement was a hair over four dollars.

          • 0 avatar
            jpolicke

            No, this won’t be a class action. These will be individual suits looking for phone number-like damages. Which would be entirely appropriate for something involving damaged vision. How much would you sell an eye for? Truthfully, the very possibility of an injury of this nature would be enough to incline me, were I CEO of a carmaker, to drop the entire project.

        • 0 avatar
          CoreyDL

          I have a structured settlement and I need cash NOW!

  • avatar
    28-Cars-Later

    Wonderful. Since I’m already being blinded daily by the post 2010 ultra bright headlights, now I can get laser eye surgery while I drive to correct the damage.

  • avatar
    SaulTigh

    Yeah, that’s great. Can I get a $10 replacement at Walmart?

  • avatar

    How about using mirrors as a countermeasure?

  • avatar

    “there’s also a camera system that checks for oncoming cars and makes sure the laser headlamps don’t blind them”

    Given the quality of German engineering how long it will take for cameras to fail and then the lawsuits start. Wait until GM weaponizes this technology.

  • avatar

    That color ( Azure, Le Mans Blue, Estoril Blue or whatever blue) looks amazing on R8 with CF side blades.

  • avatar
    pacificpom2

    here is an explanation of how BMW’s system works. http://auto.howstuffworks.com/laser-powered-headlight1.htm
    Sorry, no “fricking” laser beams to melt the retina’s of the oncoming drivers. Mind you I can see where these would be a problem in the US, firstly there is the NIH syndrome, plus the transportation board still think sealed beam headlamps are more than adequate for the nations roads. Even Bi-Xenon lights were probably a stretch to get past the legislatures.

  • avatar
    Drzhivago138

    Eh, this is nothing new. In vo-tech school, my Dad knew a guy who had just bought a brand new Power Ram W150 and put airplane landing lights on the bull bar. They’d go bombing around pastures on Friday nights chasing deer. Fun, but kind of expensive, since landing lights pnly have a life of about 25 hours.

  • avatar

    @pacificpom2

    +1

    I suspect gullible comments are mostly because of the name – “Laser Headlamps” which is a little deceptive.

    For those who needs visual aids for explaining, here is the link > youtu.be/h29SwJDXMBc

  • avatar

    R8’s got laser eyes!
    It knows what you’re thinking!
    It comes as no surprise!
    Xmas lights are blinking!
    And it’s so curious
    And it’s so curious
    And it’s so curious
    And it’s got laser eyes (Hey!)!
    And it’s so curious
    And it’s so curious
    And it’s so curious
    And it’s got laser eyes (Hey!)!
    It’s got laser eyes
    Ahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh
    Suffragette!

  • avatar
    Big Al from Oz

    I have found that the best light is halogen. Up here in the Top End of the NT you just don’t drive at night without a minimum of a couple of driving lights and a roo bar.

    I’m currently using halogen KC Highlighters. The light isn’t the best or strongest but they are very durable and completely made of steel, even the mounting system. They seem to be able to light up about 400m down the road with a good spread down the verges.

    HID and LED seems to make it harder to focus.

    I think the reason must be the frequency of the different light sources.

    Even at work white light which cover the fuller spectrum than LED used for inspection purposes, ie, identifying cracks in metals is best. LED just doesn’t cut it.

    I know 18 months ago when I was searching for driving lights in the US it was hard to find decent ones as the selection in many of the auto accessory stores was limited.

    But, the KC Highlighters can hit a tree or roo and still work!

    Keep the lasers in the Northern Hemisphere.

  • avatar
    mcs

    Is Audi really going to be the first with laser-powered headlights? Both the i8 and LMX are due for release next month. So whoever is first, it’s only going to be by a few days or even hours. I’d call it a draw.

  • avatar
    ixim

    More eye candy for the in-your-face, up yours demographic.

  • avatar
    thelaine

    I’m getting one with a “strobe” setting.

  • avatar
    shaker

    I already find HID’s (“Rude Blues”) quite distracting enough. I think that it’s the narrower band of wavelengths that they emit – so unnatural that you unconsciously look at them. Kinda like watching a meteorite coming down on your house.

    Audi: Now, with even more power for the 1%! (/classwarfare)

  • avatar
    notapreppie

    How is this a laser? Laser colors aren’t given as color temperature (referring to their ideal blackbody radiation temperature) but rather in wavelength (usually nm unless you’re doing something in a very large or very small wavelength).

    I’m guessing this is just a highly collimated standard light source.

  • avatar
    mkirk

    You need them on the tail lamps to blind folks that follow too closely. Worked in Iraq anyway.

    And I’d skip the expensive upgrade as you’ll be able to get them on the next gen Kia Optima.

  • avatar
    schmitt trigger

    Me:
    I still prefer carbide-acetylene lights.

    http://theoldmotor.com/?tag=acetylene-lights

  • avatar
    Jolgamazatlan

    Real Heart-of-Stone (Bank Loan Officer): To what do we owe the pleasure of your visit to us today Mr. Lee-Adopter?

    Er. Lee-Adopter: I will be needing a sizable loan for an unexpected transportation expense that has come up.

    Real Heart-of-Stone: Well, sir your regular consumer credit is at the limit, for as you know you, you recently purchased the new Audi R8.

    Er. Lee-Adopter: As a matter of fact this is about the R8. A stone hit my drivers side light and I must replace it.

    Real Heart-of-Stone: Oh… your car has the new laser lights I read about. I think we can work something out to help you. I believe we can arrange for a third mortgage on your house plus a commercial bridge loan with your business as a guarantee.

    Er. Lee Adopter: Oh thank you Mr. Heart-of-Stone, you are a life saver!

    Real Heart-of-Stone: And don’t worry Mr. Lee-Adopter, should anything untoward happen to that other light I have a brother-in-law who owns a high-end pawn shop. I am sure he would be willing to consider that Cartier watch and those Luis Vuitton shoes that you are wearing.

  • avatar
    sgeffe

    As I’ve posted in other threads, LED headlights seem to be a great step-up from the HIDs without the glare and color-shifts.

  • avatar
    WaftableTorque

    Laser, schmaser, Lexus had them back in 2000 for their laser guided cruise control. And promptly changed them to radar in 2004 when they realized cameras get gunked up with dirt and mud.

    On an other note, I once owned a car with only 2.5 seconds of forward low beam visibility at highway speeds. I bought a pair of Bosch driving lamps, but there was too much light spillage to use them with low beams without annoying oncoming traffic.

    I realized what I really needed were pencil beam lamps, but even then they required some sort of active aiming mechanism to adjust for payload and forward elevation.

    It’s all moot in my mind though. 6 seconds of forward visibility on low beams is phenomenal, and I’ve been in HID equipped cars (2002-06 ES300) and halogen equipped cars (Windstar) with such range.

  • avatar
    stuki

    Wonderful for driving on roads dead straight for miles, I presume…

    • 0 avatar
      Big Al from Oz

      @stuki
      What you wrote is quite true.

      It seems you mind works much harder driving the twisty bits with driving lights than during daylight hours.

      It’s the distance the lights shine with the limited area of illumination. Quite a different sensation when driving with just headlights.

      It takes a little time of your mind to readjust to how you normally drive at night.

  • avatar
    carlisimo

    I already find LED taillights to be too bright. Taking it up a notch doesn’t fill me with confidence…

  • avatar

    I have a better idea than laser light and thinking about patenting it or selling to BMW. It is called “localized thermonuclear surround light”. The idea is to create a small controlled and sustained sustained thermonuclear explosion above the car using magnetic fields created by vehicle and powerful but compact and efficient lasers. It is like creating small sun above the car that will create phenomena known as localized sunlit landscape so driver has an impression of driving during daylight. Driver will be able to see the landscape around him for several miles. might be very useful when driving on the autobahn during night.

  • avatar
    Big Al from Oz

    @Inside Looking Out,
    BMW in South Africa has tried something similar to what you are describing to prevent car jackings.

    It’s a little more eco-friendly and low in CO2 emissions.

    http://blog.beforward.jp/wp-content/uploads/2013/12/flame.jpg

  • avatar
    DrGastro997

    Great, what will the laser aftermarket head-lighting wannabes install now? In addition to the fake blue, purple or pink lights, now aftermarket lasers???

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