It’s getting hard to think of more laser puns.
At last year’s Consumer Electronics Show, Audi demonstrated laser headlight technology, and this year its R18 e-tron quattro endurance racer will become the first laser-equipped car to race at the 24 Hours of Le Mans.
For CES 2014, Audi will add laser headlights to the Sport quattro plug-in hybrid concept from last fall’s Frankfurt Motor Show.
The Audi Sport quattro laserlight concept will feature the company’s signature LEDs and the new laser tech. The former handles low-beam illumination, while the latter works as a high beam.
With a maximum illuminating range of 1,640 feet, Audi says the laser beams have twice the range of conventional LED high beams, and three times the brightness. The laser diode is also much smaller than a comparable LED, giving designers more flexibility when it comes to the shape of the lights.
In case you’ve forgotten, the Sport quattro concept is a greener interpretation of the classic Coupe quattro that won Audi so much World Rally Championship glory back in the 1980s.
Underneath the chiseled bodywork is a plug-in hybrid powertrain consisting of a 4.0-liter twin-turbocharged V8, an electric motor juiced by a lithium-ion battery pack, and an eight-speed automatic transmission. Total power output is 700 horsepower and 590 pound-feet of torque.
Audi estimates the Sport quattro concept will do 0 to 62 mph in 3.7 seconds, and reach a top speed of approximately 189 mph. It can also a 31-mile electric-only range.
Other than the sci-fi lighting, the only thing about the Sport quattro that’s changed since its debut in Frankfurt back in September is its new Plasma Red paint. You know what they say about things that aren’t broken.
The Sport quattro is an impressive machine, but it’s chances of seeing production aren’t very good. It’s laser headlights, on the other hand, may find their way onto production Audi models in the near future.