BMW announced on Monday that its BMW i8 hybrid sports car will feature laser light headlamps as an optional feature when it begins to ship in autumn 2014. The BMW i8 will mark the first production car to feature such technology, said to bring daylight-like illumination to a dark road.
The basic BMW i8 features high-intensity LED headlamps, but if you're looking for a high beam range of up to 600 metres, BMW says the laser light headlamps are for you. They're said to be 30 per cent more energy efficient than the basic LED headlights, and to reduce bulk and weight by replacing the standard LEDs with laser diodes that are 10 times smaller.
"The light of a laser headlamp is extremely bright, similar to daylight, which is perceived by the human eye as pleasant," BMW said. "Several high-performance diodes emit a strongly bundled beam via special lenses on to a fluorescent phosphorus substance inside the headlamp. This substance transforms the beam into an exceptionally bright white light that is ten times more intensive than conventional light sources."
The BMW i8 won't be cheap, priced from $135,000 when it ships later this year. BMW hasn't revealed how much the laser light headlamp addition will cost. Even though it's expensive, the BMW i8 is one sleek ride.
BMW wasn't the first to show off laser light headlamps. During CES 2014 in January, Audi unveiled laser headlights on a concept hybrid Audi Sport quattro car with the ability to light the way for 300 yards - or three American football fields.