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Audi production vehicle to get laser headlights

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(Crain News Service photo) Audi’s Sport Quattro concept, featured this week at the International Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, has laser high-beam headlamps.

By David Sedgwick, Crain News Service

LAS VEGAS (Jan. 8, 2014) — Volkswagen Group’s Audi Division CEO Rupert Stadler said he will introduce a production vehicle equipped with laser headlights, though he did not indicate which model will get lasers, or when.

Mr. Stadler announced his plans for lasers the evening of Jan. 6 at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas during a flashy premier of the Sport Quattro concept, which features LED low beams and laser high beams.

While he did not detail his production plans, Mr. Stadler did note the 2014 R18 e-tron Quattro race car will have laser headlights.

The chief advantage of laser high beams is their 500-meter range, which is twice the range of LEDs. On the downside, lasers are still costly and sensitive to heat.

Audi first revealed its interest in lasers at the 2011 Frankfurt auto show, when the company unveiled an A2 concept car with rear fog lights powered by laser diodes.

But rival BMW A.G. may beat Audi to the punch. BMW has announced plans to introduce laser high beams late this year as optional equipment in its i8 plug-in hybrid coupe, although they won’t be available in U.S. models.

This report appeared on the website of Automotive News, a Detroit-based sister publication of Tire Business.

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