The limited edition Audi R8 LMX will become the first production car in the world to come equipped with laser high beams. The new lighting system reinforces Audi as the leader in automotive lighting technology.
The R8 was the first production car in the world to boast all-LED headlights in 2008, followed by dynamic turning indicators in 2012, and most recently, the Matrix LED headlights that debuted in the new A8.
The new laser high beam technology is the result of a collaboration between Audi engineers and their racing colleagues, where the combination of LED and laser high beams will be used for the first time on the new Audi R18 e-tron Quattro at the 24 Hours of Le Mans on June 14 and 15.
“Audi has long dominated the most important 24-hour race. In addition to the outstanding TDI drive technology, a maximum light yield gives out pilots a major advantage, and with night racing in particular is a key factor to our success,” says Prof. Dr. Ulrich Hackenberg.
“The transfer of laser headlight to the Audi R8 LMX underscores our leading position in lighting technology. The safety benefit this provides to the customer truly represents Vorsprung durch Technik.”
With the new laser high beams, one laser module per headlight generates a cone of light with twice the range of the all-LED headlight. Each module comprises four high-power laser diodes. With a diameter of just 300 micrometres, these generate a blue laser beam with a wavelength of 450 nanometres. A phosphor converter transforms this into roadworthy white light with a colour temperature of 5,500 Kelvin – ideal conditions for the human eye that enable the driver to recognise contrast more easily and help prevent fatigue. The laser spot, which is active at speeds of 60 km/h and above, supplements the LED high beam in the R8 LMX and greatly enhances visibility and safety. An intelligent camera-based sensor system detects other road users and actively adjusts the light pattern to exclude them.
With only 99 units built worldwide, including a limited number of which will come to Australia, the Audi R8 LMX is available exclusively as a coupe.
Its 5.2-litre V10 generates 419kW and 540Nm and sends drive to the Quattro permanent all-wheel drive system via a compact 7-speed dual-clutch transmission. It propels the supercar from rest to 100km/h in just 3.4 seconds before hitting a top speed of 320km/h. Despite the impressive performance, it consumes a claimed 12.9L/100km of petrol.
Finished exclusively in Ara Blue crystal effect paint, the R8 LMX rolls on 19-inch wheels shod with 235/35 R19 tyres up front and 305/30 R19 at the rear. Behind those wheels are carbon-fibre ceramic dics brakes measuring 380mm up front with red anodized brake calipers.
A large, fixed rear spoiler increases downforce on the rear axle. Like the front spoiler lip, the flics on the sides, the engine compartment cover, the exterior mirror housings, the sideblades, the rear wing and the diffuser, are made of carbon-fibre-reinforced polymer (CFRP) with a matte finish.
Rounding off the exterior makeover are titanium grey finished Singleframe grille, the air inlets grilles up front and the outlet grille at the rear.
Inside, the black interior features blue accents, while the folding bucket seats are covered in Nappa leather with Sepang blue diamond pattern. The backrest covers are finished in Ara Blue. The diamond pattern is repeated in the black Alcantara headlining and on the door trim.
Illuminated aluminium inlays bearing the limited-edition number are integrated into the CFRP door sill trims.
Further details for the local market will be announced closer to the car’s Australian launch. However, the order books are now open.