Audi introduces laser beams on Sport Quattro LaserLight
Audi has just introduced laser high beams on its Sport Quattro LaserLight Concept car. This is the first application we have heard of that uses laser lighting. Audi has always been a leader in lighting technology and this is a welcome step in a positive direction.
This writer is no fan of LED headlights. They make perfect sense as taillights. However rows of overly bright dots do not improve the front end look of cars and crossovers. The worst offenders are the cars that add little rows of lights down low. As if to say, “yes we have those too.” If laser lights are going to supplant some of this nonsense we are all for it. The Toyota Corolla now has LED lights standard. We love the Corolla, but the low cost of the car and its 300,000 sales volume remove any semblance of exclusivity that LEDs may have once had. We do like whiter light that is cast farther down the road and the low power draw of LEDs. Maybe there is a way to get that without the bad styling.
Audi may show us the way. The Sport Quattro LaserLight Concept is hybrid 700 horsepower beast that can achieve up to about 94 MPGe when its plug-in electric powertrain is humming its tune. Or the driver can use the V8 to get where he or she is headed. Either way, the concept has lasers now for high beams. The low beams are LED matrix style lights. The cool effect is that the Quattro has two lights on either side. Audi says that is a Quattro look.
The Lasers are actually tiny diodes just microns in diameter. The laser lights are twice as bright as LEDs and have three times the luminosity. The can illuminate the road ahead up to a third of a mile.
Commenting in the new Quattro LaserLight Prof. Dr. Ulrich Hackenberg, member of the Audi Technical Development Board said “The new show car demonstrates technical ‘Vorsprung’ On-board this car we have e-tron technology with 515 kW of power and 2.5 l/100 km (94.09 US mpg) fuel economy; laser headlights that leave all previous systems in the dark with its higher performance as well as new display and operating systems with cutting-edge electronic performance. We are showing the future of Audi here.”
The new laser high beams are not yet scheduled for release on any production Audis. When they do appear it will be important to remember not to point them at any planes or helicopters as that is a felony offense in the US.