Audi has just released its first official teaser of the 2016 R8, ahead of the car’s highly anticipated debut next month at the Geneva Motor Show. Rather than revealing any of the performance or styling aspects of the brand’s halo performance vehicle, our first look at the next-gen R8 instead focuses on the advanced laser spot headlights.

These new lights, first introduced on the limited-production 2015 Audi R8 LMX, will be an optional feature on the 2016 R8, and each will consist of four high-intensity laser diodes that are brighter and have a longer lighting range than LED headlights. For a sports car capable of speeds of close to 200 mph, the farther ahead you can see, the better. Unfortunately, laser headlights have still not been approved for use by the U.S. DOT, so don’t expect to see this option available on U.S.-spec R8s anytime soon.

The 2016 Audi R8 will come standard with full LED headlights. Each headlight will feature 37 LEDs, and that includes the daytime running lights. Audi has turned these running lights into somewhat of an art form on all of its current cars, and the all-new R8 will definitely continue this trend.

Click past the jump to read more about the next generation Audi R8.

Why it matters

The best part of this image is that it confirms that the recently leaked image shown on Instagram was indeed legit as the pulled-back drape reveals the headlight design and some of the front fascia. Also important is the fact that Audi is continuing its focus on laser headlights, whichwill also be in the R18 e-tron quattro racecar as well as the 2014 Audi Sport Quattro Laserlight Concept.

Audi R8

2017 - 2018 Audi R8 High Resolution Exterior
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Audi launched the R8 almost eight years ago and gave it a hefty refresh just a couple of years ago, but the 2016 R8 is expected to exhibit a new level of performance and technology. On the performance side, the standard engine is likely to be a more-powerful and more-efficient version of the 5.2-liter V10, and there are also rumors of a possible e-tron hybrid model pairing electric motors with a V-6 or four-cylinder engine.

Press Release

Audi is revealing the headlights of its new R8* as the first of a number of technology highlights of the top sports car. The R8 uses LED headlights which can be supplemented by a laser high beam lighting module as an option.

The new R8 will set new standards among high‑performance sports cars – including in its lighting technology. As an option, the latest car development by Audi can be equipped with a laser spot as the high‑beam headlight. The special appeal of laser lighting is that it uses high‑intensity laser diodes, which generate a lot of light energy from a very small component. Compared to LED high‑beam headlights, laser high‑beams attain nearly twice the lighting range.

Each headlight contains one laser module that operates with four high‑intensity laser diodes. This module bundles the four intense blue‑light laser beams. Then a phosphor converter transforms the blue light into pure white light. An identifying characteristic of the laser headlights is their blue light signature. Standard equipment in the new R8 includes an LED headlight system. All lighting functions are produced with 37 LEDs per headlight.

The laser spot for the high‑beam light made its debut in the summer of 2014 in the Audi R8 LMX, a limited edition model of the previous R8 model series. Shortly before that, it was used in the Audi R18 e‑tron quattro race car at the 24 Hours of Le Mans. The laser spot is the latest production technology in a long line of lighting innovations. Audi introduced LED technology to the market for the first time in 2004 – in the daytime running lights of the Audi A8 L W12*. Lighting technologies such as LED daytime running lights, Matrix LED headlights and laser spot high‑beam lights are prime examples of technology that visualize the core values of the Audi brand: progressiveness, sportiness and sophistication.

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