Audi is working hard on the next-generation R8, which means that the German carmaker is preparing to end the production of the current model. But before stopping production, Audi has unveiled the R8 LMX, world’s first production car equipped with laser high beams. This comes as a total surprise as BMW was supposed to be the first company to introduce the laser high beams on its i8 this autumn.
As you may know already the Bavarian company was mocking Audi when the German carmaker unveiled their Sport Quattro Laserlight Concept earlier this year at the 2014 Consumer Electronics Show, saying that if they wanted to show their concept car equipped with laser high beams they had to bring their laserlight concept from 2011.
Today, Audi won the game as their R8 LMX is already available for order and will hit the streets this summer with a price tag of 210,000 euros. After introducing the Matrix LED headlights on the updated Audi A8 in 2013, the German brand with the four rings gets to the next stage with the R8 LMX, the laser spot for the high beams.
The first vehicle to use the combination of LED and laser high beams will be the Audi R18 e-tron Quattro at the 2014 Hours of Le Mans on June 14 and 15.
According to Audi, the laser high beams generate twice the range of the all-LED headlight. With a diameter of just 300 micrometers, these generate a blue laser beam with a wavelength of 450 nanometers. A phosphor converter transforms this into roadworthy white light with a color temperature of 5,500 Kelvin – ideal conditions for the human eye that enable the driver to recognize contrast more easily and help prevent fatigue.
Audi says that the laser spot is active at speeds of 60 km/h (37.3 mph) and above and successfully supplements the LED high beam in the R8 LMX. Powering the Audi R8 LMX is a 5.2-liter V10 engine that delivers 570 hp (419 kW) and 540 Nm (393 lb-ft) of torque. Bolted to seven-speed S tronic gearbox that transfers the power to the Quattro permanent all-wheel drive system, the R8 LMX hits 100 km/h (62 mph) in 3.4 seconds, while top speed is electronically limited at 320 km/h or 200 mph.
Despite these performances, average fuel consumption is 12.9 liters/100 km (299 g/km of CO2). The R8 LMX comes with 19-inch wheels that hide the carbon-fiber ceramic brake discs (380 mm on the fron), underlined by the red anodized brake calipers.
The Audi R8 LMX is highlighted by the Ara Blue paint finish, with crystal effect, developed by Audi exclusive. Moreover, there is a fixed carbon fiber rear spoiler, while the front features flics on the sides. In addition, the R8 LMX come with carbon fiber engine compartment cover, exterior mirror housings, sideblades, rear wing and diffuser.
Meanwhile, the Singleframe grille, the air inlet grilles up front and the outlet grille at the rear are finished in titanium gray. The sport exhaust system features high-gloss black tailpipes. Inside, the sport bucket seats are wrapped in Fine Nappa leather with Sepang Blue diamond pattern, while the backrest covers are finished in Ara Blue.
Other highlights of the interior are the matte carbon used on the covers of the center tunnel console and the parking brake lever, on the inlays in the doors and the arc around the cockpit.