New Audi R8 LMX is first car to Feature Laser Lights as Standard
Not only is the new limited edition LMX version of the Audi R8 the most powerful roadgoing super sports car ever made, but it’s also the first production car to adopt laser high beam lighting as standard. The Goodwood Festival of Speed is where the new 570PS, 198mph R8 LMX will make its UK public debut with deliveries of the ‘super’ super car beginning in the autumn.
The Audi R8 LMX has some pedigree, being based on the acclaimed V10 plus model that features a high-revving, mid mounted ten-cylinder engine, double wishbone suspension and ASF (Audi Space Frame) aluminium body, so there will certainly be some interest in the production run of the coupe that has been limited to just 99 models; especially with its powerful 540 Nm of torque, 570PS output, 0-62mph time of just 3.4 seconds and top speed of 198mph.
Helping out that powerful engine sat menacingly under the bonnet is a compact, seven-speed S tronic transmission that transfers all power to the quattro permanent all-wheel drive system before distributing to the racing-inspired 19-inch, 20-spoke wheels that themselves are swathed in 215mm front and 305mm rear width tyres. To help control these the car has carbon-fibre ceramic brake discs with red anodised calipers that measure 380 mm in diameter at the front.
And then there are the laser lights with the laser beam blue brightness passing through a phosphor converter before spreading their loveliness into the night sky – and this laser blue has inspired a new colour for the new R8 LMX. Not only can the supercar be ordered in Daytona Grey matt effect or Mythos Black metallic paint finishes, but now also in an Audi exclusive Ara Blue crystal effect customised paint finish; just making car stand out that little bit more – if it ever needed it.
In fact, the blue theme continues in the interior with the bucket seats upholstered in Fine Nappa leather with Sepang Blue diamond stitching and backrest covers in Ara Blue. The Sepang Blue diamond stitching is also found in the Alcantara headlining and black Fine Nappa leather door trim panels, and sewn into the edges of the parking brake lever, centre tunnel console, steering wheel and instrument cowl. Giving that extra bit of ‘je ne sais quoi’ to the interior are matt carbon covers for the centre tunnel console and parking brake lever, inlays in the doors and the arc around the cockpit, and illuminated aluminium inlays bearing the limited-edition number integrated into the CFRP door sill trims.
Subtlety personified; until you get out on the road.
Looking at the Audi R8 LMX, the whole car screams power, with a large, fixed rear spoiler fitted to increase a necessary downforce on the rear axle, and speed it increased by a judicious use of carbon fibre-reinforced polymer (CFRP) for the front spoiler lip, side flics, engine compartment cover, exterior mirror housings, sideblades, rear wing and diffuser. That look is added to by the titanium grey Singleframe grille, front air intakes and outlet grille at the rear are finished in titanium grey, before being topped off (or should that be ‘bottomed-off’) by high-gloss black tailpipes.
But let’s take a closer look at those laser beams.Back in 2008, the Audi R8 became the first production car in the world to feature all LED headlights – now almost a given on quality cars – before adding in dynamic indicators with a unique sweeping action in 2012 and Matrix LED headlights in 2013. So it’s probably no surprise that the Audi R8 LMX is becoming the first car to feature the laser spot for the high beams, thus increasing the illumination range substantially.
It came about following the camaraderie of Audi engineers and their racing colleagues, with the Audi R18 e-tron quattro at the 24 Hours of Le Mans on June 14 and 15 featuring the laser lights, as Prof. Dr. Ulrich Hackenberg, AUDI AG’s Board Member for Development, explains: “Audi has long dominated the most important 24-hour race. In addition to the outstanding TDI drive technology, a maximum light yield gives our pilots a major advantage, and with night racing in particular is a key factor to our success. The transfer of the 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.”
Just how much more light is produced?Using the new laser high beams, one laser module per headlight (comprising of four-high-power laser diodes) generates a cone of light with twice the range of the all-LED headlight. Each module has a diameter of just 300 micrometers that generate a blue laser beam with a wavelength of 450 nanometers, before the phosphor converter transforms this into roadworthy white light with a colour temperature of 5,500 Kelvin – scientifically ideal conditions for the human eye that enable the driver to recognise contrast more easily and help prevent fatigue.
You could say that this gives safety in numbers.