Audi was the first automotive brand to use laser lights on a production car, with the limited-run Audi R8 LMX a few years back. Since then, not only has Audi used laser lights on more cars but other brands have adopted the tech as well, such as BMW. Now, the Audi e-tron GT is available with the brand’s latest laser light tech (standard on Vorsprung editions, optional on others) and, according to Top Gear, it’s worth paying for the option.
In this new long-term update for Top Gear’s Audi e-tron GT, editor Ollie Marriage comments on the laser lights’ ability to light up a road far better than traditional lights. So much so, in fact, that he claims they’re well worth the upgrade.
Unlike traditional headlights or even LED lights, which use bulbs and diodes, respectively, Audi’s laser lights use a literal laser that shines its beam through a phosphor converter. That creates a light at 5,500 kelvin, which is a very white, almost blue-ish white light. More importantly, it can shine its beam up to 600 meters (1,968 ft). For reference, a quarter-mile is about 420 meters (1,320 ft)…
According to Marriage, turning on the laser lights — which only happens when the forward facing camera recognizes that there isn’t any oncoming traffic and your speed is 44 mph or more — looks like someone turned on a WWII searchlight. That’s intense.
Snazzy, super bright, and rarely used headlights might not seem like an option worthy of the high cost. However, drive down an unlit highway at night, or a desolate back road, with no other traffic to help light the road, and you’ll be very happy you opted for such lighting. It’s the sort of option you don’t realize is necessary until you use it and then you never want to go without it.
[Source: Top Gear]