2014 BMW i8: First Production Car To Offer Laser Headlamps Photo:
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Trevor Collett | Feb, 13 2014 | 3 Comments

BMW will add a laser headlamp option to its i8 EV, which the German carmaker says is a world-first for a production vehicle.

The laser light technology, which was first presented at the 2011 Frankfurt Motor Show, will be available to i8 customers in overseas markets from the Australian Spring.

The i8’s standard headlamps will be high-intensity LED units, but owners who choose to upgrade to the laser lights can expect a high-beam range of up to 600 metres.

This effectively doubles the range currently achieved by the ‘standard’ headlamps, while improving the efficiency of the already power-frugal LED units by 30 percent.

The diodes used with the laser headlamp system are smaller and lighter than conventional LEDs; able to offer similar light output using reflective surfaces ten times smaller.

The height of the reflector for the i8 can be reduced from nine centimetres to just three, and BMW says the appearance of the light is “pleasant” to the human eye.

BMW’s camera-operated High-Beam Assist is unaffected by the laser light system.

The German carmaker says more models will be offered with the laser light system “during the years ahead”.

No word yet from BMW on what the upgraded system will cost, or which model will be next to get the laser headlamp treatment.

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