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Audi R8 LMX, beats BMW i8 to become first production car with laser headlights

Snapshot: The R8 LMX will be limited to only 99 units worldwide and will debut at the Goodwood Festival of Speed.

When it comes to lighting tech, German automaker Audi had always been four steps ahead of the rest of the world. They were the first ones to come up with all-LED headlights on the R8 back in 2008 and then recently, rolled out the new A8 with the unique Matrix LED headlights. The company had also been testing laser headlights on its R18 e-tron quattro Le Mans race car for months. 

With so much attention paid to lighting technology, It would have been a shame to see BMW beat Audi to the punch in the race of laser headlights technology. Going on sale in Germany this June, the limited edition Audi R8 LMX will beat the BMW i8 to showrooms as the world’s first production car to feature standard laser headlights. 

The original Audi R8 that first debuted in 2007 is nearing the end of its life cycle. Audi therefore, has decided to give the model an extremely limited special edition send-off with the R8 LMX model, before the second-gen R8 is unveiled. Only 99 units of the R8 LMX will be built and sold in the world. 

When asked how exactly the R8 LMX laser lights work, Audi explains by saying, “With the new laser high beams, one laser module per headlight generated a cone of light with twice the range of the all-LED headlight. Each module comprised four high-power 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 colour temperature of 5,500 Kelvin - ideal conditions for the human eye that enable the driver to recognise contrast more easily and help prevent fatigue.” The car’s camera system monitors the road ahead and upon detecting oncoming traffic, it adjusts the light pattern around the car ahead. 

Mechanically, the Audi R8 LMX has been fitted with a 570PS, 5.2-litre V10 engine that sprints from 0 to 100 kmph in 3.4 seconds with top speed of 319 kmph, while putting out 540Nm of peak torque. Visually, the new R8 LMX can be differentiated from the rest of the range with its fixed rear spoiler, wing mirrors, high gloss black exhaust, single frame titanium grille and the additional usage of carbon fibre-re-unforced polymer for the front lip spoiler. 

The limited edition 2014 Audi R8 LMX will be officially presented at the upcoming 2014 Goodwood Festival of Speed in the UK. 

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