Audi's laser headlights to make US debut in R8 Exclusive

Only 25 examples will be built, but the next-gen headlight tech should soon trickle down to other models.

Audi's laser headlight technology is finally set to make its US production debut, but only for a few dozen customers.

The laser high beams will initially be limited to the R8 V10 Plus Exclusive, a special edition capped at just 25 units, however the next-gen technology should soon trickle down to other models.

Each headlight integrates a laser module containing four high-output laser diodes, which emit a blue light at the 450 nanometer wavelength. The beams illuminate a phosphor converter that provides a pure white light.

The lasers serve as a supplementary high-beam that only activates in certain conditions at speeds higher than 40 mph. The setup projects a low, wide beam atop the standard LED high-beam pattern.

Notably, the laser high-beam lacks the advanced dimming system of Audi's Matrix Laser headlight tech that is currently under development. The adaptive system uses an active micro mirror that manipulates the beam pattern to avoid dazzling other drivers.

Unfortunately for US buyers, 'matrix'-style headlight technology does not comply with archaic federal regulations. The US-bound R8 also lacks the Matrix LED headlights available in other markets.

Only 25 R8 Plus Exclusive examples will be produced, each with a starting price of $230,450 (including $1,250 freight).

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