New Sasol GTC cars set for thrills

The iconic Grand Prix Circuit will present a new challenge to the GTC drivers as they tackle the country’s fastest racetrack on June 16.

Suzuki’s new Swift hatch and sedan in SA

Suzuki kicks off its new model assault with an all new Swift hatchback and standalone sedan called the Dzire.

Audi's laser lights to dazzle Le Mans

2014-01-21 09:18

LIGHTING UP LEMANS: Audi's R18 e-tron quattro race car will be equipped with a combination of LED and laser lights for the 2014 Le Mans 24 Hours in June. Image: AUDI

INGOLSTADT, Germany - In January 2014, Wheels24 reported that Audi presented its Sport Quattro laserlight concept at the 2014 Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas.

The headlights of the new model combine MatrixBeam LED and laser light technologies. Two low-profile trapezoidal elements are visible within the headlights – the outer one generates low-beam light using MatrixBeam diodes and an aperture mask, the inner element laser light for high-beam.

IMAGE GALLERY: 2014 Laser lights for R18 e-tron quattro

According to Audi, the headlights Illuminate the road for nearly 500m, about twice the lighting range and three times the luminosity of high-beam diodes.


Audi's R18 e-tron quattro race car will be equipped with a combination of LED and laser lights for the 2014 Le Mans 24 Hours in June.

Audi member of the board of management for technical development, Ulrich Hackenberg, said: “Audi is the trendsetter in lighting technology. The A8 has recently been available with matrix LED headlights – the most advanced lighting technology for production cars. We’re going to offer it in further models.

“Our latest development is laser light – even sharper, more powerful and more efficient. We’re equipping the new Le Mans race car with it and will be the first automobile manufacturer to introduce laser light in production cars.”
Optimal illumination of the track plays a crucial role in the Le Mans 24 Hours and other endurance races, which are partially held in darkness.


Head of LMP at Audi Sport Chris Reinke said:  “We’ve always attached great importance to making our drivers feel safe and comfortable in the cockpit of an Audi race car.

“Good night vision is an essential element of this. The matrix beam LED headlights already provided our drivers with a major advantage at Le Mans – combined with laser light, it’ll increase even further. This new technology has great potential for the future.”

“Laser light provides a much more homogenous and precise spread in front of the car. For us, this technology marks a milestone – it’s a reflection of the pioneering spirit of Audi Sport that, yet again, we’re assuming a pioneering role and, together with our colleagues in production development, deploying this new technology at such an early stage in racing. This collaboration is remarkable.”

Two-times Le Mans winner and former World Endurance Champion, Marcel Fassler, experienced the the new headlights during tests held in darkness.

Fassler said: “I’ve never had such good light on a race car as on the new R18. It’s clearly even better than last year. I wouldn’t call this just one step forward, but three.

“The laser light is brighter, more concentrated and more precise. For example, you can see the apex of a corner much better with it. At night, this could be a crucial advantage for us.”


Audi has previously set standards in lighting technology at Le Mans on several occasions. The Audi R10 TDI in 2006 was the first race car equipped with LED daytime running light. On the R15 TDI, LEDs additionally functioned as the high beam. In 2011, with the R18 TDI, Audi used LED headlights for the first time and in 2013 matrix LED technology followed.

Head of Audi motorsport, Wolfgang Ullrich, said: “The use of laser light at Le Mans is yet another example that underscores Audi’s leading role in the development of new technologies and the importance of motorsport for the company.

“Le Mans again serves as a tough test bed for a new technology that will soon be launched in production at Audi and in which the four rings are again a crucial step ahead of the competition. The close cooperation between Audi Sport and production development is exemplary and unique.”

Read more on:    audi  |  germany  |  technology  |  motorsport  |  racing

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.