Audi R8 LMX
It’s now just over a month until this year’s Goodwood Festival of Speed which, along with the usual collection of famous old race cars, will also mark the debut of Audi’s new flagship supercar.
Dubbed the Audi R8 LMX, the new car is going to be remarkable for two reasons. The first is its performance: with 562bhp and a 0-62mph time of 3.4 seconds, this car will be faster and more powerful than its predecessor. In addition, the LMX will reach a top speed of 198mph (1mph faster than the R8) and house a mid-mounted 5.2 litre V10. The second reason, though, is the one that will have most people talking: laser headlights.
Of course, Audi has always took pride in its lighting – the R8 was the first production vehicle to feature all-LED headlights in 2008 and then, in 2010, came the A8 with its pedestrian-detecting ‘night vision assistant’ – and the new R8, it seems, is set to continue this trend. That’s not to say though, that other car manufacturers aren’t also considering the technology. In fact, BMW were actually the first to showcase laser headlights in their 2011 i8 concept, although it seems in this case, Audi ultimately achieved the upper hand: the R8 is set to be released this summer, whereas BMW customers will have to wait until November for optional laser headlights.
The headlights will work by firing blue laser beams at a phosphor converter, which will work with LEDs to illuminate the road up to 500 metres ahead. In addition, a computer will also work to detect other road users and to adjust the lights accordingly. One of the colours available on the new car is going to be a crystal effect ‘aqua blue’ which, Audi say, is inspired by the light emitted from the lasers. There’ll also be an additional choice of grey and black colour schemes.
However, potential buyers will have to act fast as Audi are only producing a limited run of 99 of the new supercars, which will first be available to buy at the end of June for around £160,000. The cars will be around in mainland Europe during the summer and the UK this autumn. Customers in the US, however, where the laser technology is outlawed, will have to settle with old-fashioned LEDs for the time being.