|Photo Credit: Audi AG|
It's been more than two years when the beam of some vehicle headlights gained intensity in Europe. In 2014, the first use of laser lighting technology debuted on a pair of niche vehicles (the European BMW i8 and a limited 99-car run of the special edition Audi R8 LMX. Generating a powerful white illumination using an indirect shine of a laser (a laser is projected through a mirror into a phosphorous lens), laser automotive lights may represent the next progression beyond LEDs as a high-beam source. As this lighting concept is slowly becoming a potentially bright opportunity for greater driver visibility during the nighttime, North America has not been involved in the efforts to highlight the use of laser lights. The prohibition on laser lights served as a reminder towards decades where the North American standards for vehicle lighting tends to lag behind European rules. Uncertainty with the technology has prevented its availability at the initial release of the latest 2017 Audi R8 supercar. However, unlike the European-style, body-integrated headlights that took decades before American highway laws permitted the use, Audi has placed the introduction of laser lights on an express track to roads in the United States.
Making its scheduled public debut at the 2016 Los Angeles Auto Show occurring later this month, a limited edition version of the Audi R8 will feature a full LED headlight system aided by a high intensity laser module. The 2017 Audi R8 V10 plus exclusive edition will consist of just 25 examples retailing at a MSRP (Manufacturer Suggested Retail Price) of $229,200 US (equating to more than $306,000 in Canadian dollars).
The showcase feature on the special version of the Audi R8 supercar, laser lighting on the exclusive edition will utilize a laser module using four diodes beaming at a wavelength of 450 nanometers (a wavelength resulting in a blue light) into a phosphor converter. The end product is a pure white light that will shine when the R8 V10 plus exclusive edition model is travelling at speeds above 40 miles per hour (64.374 kilometer per hour) depending on driving conditions. In addition to laser lights, dynamic front turn signals will be equipped on he limited release R8 becoming the first Audi product to feature this combination of advanced lighting.
|Photo Credit: Audi AG|
Captivating in darkness, laser lights' first application on an automobile sold in North America does a lot more to be noticed. A prestigious form for an already exotic quattro all-wheel drive, ten-cylinder engine propelled supercar, the 2017 Audi R8 V10 plus exclusive edition's is visibility identified in the light by a Quantum Gray exterior paint colour with a carbon sideblade and Signal Orange accenting the cars's outer surface. Treated with a high-gloss anthracite, 20-inch diameter wheels incorporate a 10-spoke Y-design pattern. carbon ceramic brakes, carbon fiber rear diffuser and a fixed rear wing spoiler have also been included with the appearance of the 25-car run of the R8 V10 plus exclusive edition.
Decked-out with a long list of Audi exclusive details such as leather door sill trim and an Alcantara headliner patterned with a diamond-stitching, the special R8's full leather interior mixes Black and Signal Orange colouring. The 2017 Audi R8 V10 plus exclusive edition's Titanium Black-optic exterior package provides a silky smooth performance sensation for the vehicle's driver as well as the passenger as they sit in racing shell seats.
Based on the limited 25-vehicle production of the 2017 Audi R8 V10 plus exclusive edition, there appears to be little chance that automotive laser lighting technology will be arriving to counter Canada's nighttime for the interim. Audi's ability to champion laser lights into North America represents a major step forward that could likely see adaptation to more broadly offered models.