A new revolution in headlight technology is coming, and at long last is finally making its way to the U.S. market. Audi has teased the idea of offering laser based headlights on its models, but nothing significant appeared until a few years ago. The R8 supercar was the first to offer a glimpse of this future back in 2014 with the limited production LMX edition. The LMX utilized the technology in its high beam lamps but never made the trek to U.S. shores due to our country’s stricter safety regulations.
Audi is out to change that with the introduction of another laser light equipped R8 that has been developed for our market. Dubbed the R8 V10 Plus Exclusive Edition, this distinctive offering can be spotted by its Quantum Grey exterior paint that is complimented with contrasting yellow accents. Like before the laser lights are for the high beams only, and befitting its Exclusive moniker, it will also be rare with only 25 examples making the trip to the U.S.
While the lasers seen here are not the lethal variety seen in many sci-fi films, Audi claims that they have several distinct benefits that makes them standout from conventional LED headlights, while also enhancing the overall driving experience for occupants at the same time.
For instance, the laser lights have higher levels of intensity, lower energy consumption, as well as a more defined path. The lasers also have greater range, and can shine their light to objects 600 meters away which is double the range of current LED technology. Just like LEDs and their distinctive appearance, the laser units have their own form of styling flair, and can be spotted by the blue lighting element in the headlight assemblies.
In addition to the exotic lighting tech, the R8 V10 Plus Exclusive Edition also brings goodies such as carbon fiber seats, carbon-ceramic brakes, and several strategically placed carbon fiber aero pieces including a fixed rear wing. 20-inch wheels round out the exterior package, and match the anthracite hue sported by the rest of the car.
The interior of this special R8 has received several key touches from the Audi Exclusive personalization department and includes goodies such as light beams for the doors, leather appointments, a quilted Alcantara headliner with accompanying Alcantara trunk liner, as well as model exclusive “One of 25” plaques for the door sills. The basic interior layout otherwise carries over unchanged, which should please fans of the standard issue R8 V10 Plus.
Performance hardware also carries over largely unaltered, and the car will benefit from the familiar 5.2 liter V10 which is good for 610 horsepower and 413 lb-ft of torque. A 7-speed dual clutch automatic transmission channels all of this grunt to all four Quattro driven wheels, and allows the R8 V10 Plus Exclusive Edition to make the sprint to 60 mph in 3.2 seconds before maxing out at a healthy 205 mph. This is on par with its supercar rivals, though it remains to be seen if the additional carbon fiber elements have had a noticeable effect on its other performance attributes.
Buyers looking to be one of the 25 lucky owners of this special car will be delighted to hear that ordering for the Audi R8 V10 Plus Exclusive Edition is currently underway with the car having a base price of $230,450 which includes the $1,250 destination fee. This will make the car a rare beast with Audi formally unveiling the car at the 2016 Los Angeles Auto Show which could also reveal other details including fuel economy as well as a formal launch date for the new R8 variant. In the meantime, Audi also released a brief video showcasing the laser light technology which can be seen below.
Carl Malek has been an automotive journalist for over 10 years. First starting out as a freelance photographer before making the transition to writing during college, his work has appeared on numerous automotive forums as well as websites such as Autoshopper.com.
Carl is also a big fan of British vehicles with the bulk of his devotion going to the Morgan Motor Company as well as offerings from Lotus, MG, and Caterham. When he is not writing about automobiles, Carl enjoys spending time with his family and friends in the Metro Detroit area, as well as spending time with his adorable pets.