From today, the range of equipment available for the Audi R8 now also includes the first full-LED headlamp. In addition to the daytime running light, which now features 24 LEDs per headlamp, light-emitting diodes are also used for the turn signals, the low-beam and the high-beam headlights.
The 3590 (about $5600) option in Europe completes the list of equipment available for the high-tech, mid-engine sports car.
The earlier launch of LED technology at the front of the car required a waiver by the European Union to allow its use on a mass produced road car. The advantages of LED technology are lower energy consumption and a color that more closely resembles daylight, provides greater contrast and being easier on the human eye. LEDs are maintenance-free, require a lower voltage, are compact and offer greater design freedom.
The new full-LED headlamp represents the pinnacle of Audi's lighting strategy. The use of LEDs already enjoys a long tradition, having previously been used in tail lights, brake lights and daytime running lights. Since early 2003, Audi has also used the semiconductor technology in a number of concept cars to implement some or all of the lighting functions at the front of the car.
Audi first introduced a strip-shaped foglight at the Detroit Auto Show in 2003. That same year, the Audi Nuvolari quattro concept showed the first full-LED headlamp at the Geneva Auto Show. And the Le Mans quattro concept - a legitimate predecessor to the Audi R8 - illuminated Frankfurt with LEDs on the eve of the 2003 Frankfurt Auto Show.