Last month, Audi R&D chief Ulrich Hackenberg made a big promise: “We will be the first car brand to put laser lights into production,” he told journalists at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas. He did not specify which vehicle would be fitted with the technology, which was showcased on the Audi Sport Quattro concept.
Now BMW announces that its i8 plug-in hybrid sports car “will be the first series production car with this innovative lighting technology.” It will be an option on the i8 from the fall of 2014 onwards. Full LED lights are standard; the laser option pertains to high-beam headlights and doubles their reach. The last we heard from BMW is that it would likely not be offered on i8s sold in the U.S.
The race is on. And as far as we are concerned, it doesn’t matter which brand has it on its option list first. It’s lasers locked and loaded on the tarmac that counts and the company that has the first vehicles with laser headlights at dealerships wins. We look forward to finding out which carmaker that will be.