Audi Reveals R8 LMX, Takes the i8's Laser Headlight Crown

Audi R8 LMX 18 photos
Photo: Audi
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BMW's i8 hybridized sportscar is already famous for being the first production car with laser headlights. However, a new type of Audi is here to take its crown and it's not a brand new one. Say hello to the R8 LMX, claimed to be the first production car with laser high beams, or a gentle slap on the face for the Bavarians…
Technically, the R8 LMX is not a full-production car. It's more of a limited edition technology demonstrator. Only 99 of these will be built, all based on the most hardcore V10 setup of any street Audi. Output for the 5.2-liter engine is 570 hp, just like on a Gallardo, so it's not surprising that 0 to 100 km/h takes only 3.4 seconds.

The LMX is already available for order and will start being delivered this summer. The i8 is also available right now, but the major difference is deliveries will take place this fall. What's more, a number of other Audis are adopting the technology. For instance, the R18 e-tron race car will use it during the 24 Hours of Le Mans on June 14 and 15. It's also been showcased on an updated version of the quattro concept at the beginning of the year.

Laser technology promises to deliver twice as much range as LEDs with even less energy consumption. If it's the way future cars will see the road, Audi's 99 R8 LMXs will be a great marketing tool above all else.

Just like with the BMW i8, only the high beams use lasers. The rest of the system is based around the LED system developed for the refreshed 2014 model year R8. Here's how Audi describes its system:

"Each module comprises four highpower laser diodes. 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."

In Germany, the R8 LMX will be prices at €210,000, which is significantly more than the BMW model. However, this is justified by the multitude of changes made to the car under the Audi Exclusive program. The Ara Blue paintjob, the wheels and numerous visible carbon fiber pieces set this apart from all other R8s. It just goes to show you can teach an old dog new tricks.
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About the author: Mihnea Radu
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Mihnea's favorite cars have already been built, the so-called modern classics from the '80s and '90s. He also loves local car culture from all over the world, so don't be surprised to see him getting excited about weird Japanese imports, low-rider VWs out of Germany, replicas from Russia or LS swaps down in Florida.
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