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Coolest Headlights Ever: Audi Sport quattro laserlight Concept to Debut at CES

Sections: Car Safety, CES, CES 2014, Chassis, Fuel Economy, Powertrain

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Audi Sport quattro laserlight concept pre-CES photo

The headlights on the Audi Sport quattro laserlight concept may look normal in photos, but Audi promises they’re laser-poewered marvels of modern lighting technology. The Audi Sport quattro laserlight concept is set to debut at 2014 International CES. (Photo courtesy Audi)

Modeled on the original Audi Sport quattro of 1983, the Audi Sport quattro laserlight concept is set to make its debut at 2014 International CES — and it brings some of the coolest headlights ever.

A press release from Audi (press credentials may be required to view) said the Audi Sport quattro laserlight concept will feature Audi’s e-tron plug-in hybrid (PHEV) drivetrain goodies as well as a pair of what in our opinion sound like the coolest headlights yet seen on an automobile.

Audi AG Board Member Ulrich Hackenberg said, “The new show car demonstrates technical ‘Vorsprung’ on many levels. 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.”

That 515 kW figure represents about 690 horsepower, in case you were wanting us to translate that to ‘Merican. So the Audi Sport quattro laserlight concept should have plenty of giddyup. Considering that level of power, 94 MPG is quite a feat indeed.

It’s those headlights that sound even more interesting to those of us who have been keeping an eye on the latest lighting technologies in cars, however. Quoth the press release:

In the dual headlights, a typical quattro feature, Audi is demonstrating the future of lighting technology by combining matrix LED and laser light technologies. Two low-profile trapezoidal elements are visible within the headlights – the outer one generates the low beam light using matrix LEDs and an aperture mask, while the inner element produces laser light for high-beam functionality.

The powerful laser diodes are significantly smaller than LED diodes; they are only a few microns in diameter. Illuminating the road for a distance of nearly 500 meters (1,640 ft), the laser high-beam light has approximately twice the lighting range and three times the luminosity of LED high beam lights. In this future technology, Audi is once again demonstrating its leadership role in automotive lighting technology with a system that will also be used on the race track in the 2014 R18 e-tron quattro.

Sounds like Audi has come up with a solution to the old saying about “overdriving your headlights.” If you can get a quarter mile or better of light ahead of you, even interstate speeds should be safe for an alert driver.

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