Audi has outfitted the new R8 V10 sports car with all-LED headlamps, which consume about a quarter of the energy of halogen bulbs. According to an Audi press release posted on autobloggreen.com, the company expects LED’s to be eight times more efficient than halogen bulbs by 2018.
Autobloggreen.com notes that LED headlamps were available as a $5,600 option on the original R8. The R8 V10, to be sold in Germany beginning in the spring of 2009, will cost nearly $200,000.
Still, the technology that Audi has developed to show off on its most high-end vehicle, will eventually trickle down to other vehicles and other manufacturers, and every conceivable increase in efficiency should be welcomed as we move toward electric vehicles.
Audi estimates that a vehicle running with soon-to-be-mandated (in Europe) daytime running lights consumes a constant 200 watts (this includes low beams, tail lights, and a license plate light. In contrast, Audi claims that only 15 watts is required to power their daytime headlamps.
Audi’s figures leave something to be desired, unfortunately. The energy figures above are not a direct comparison, since Audi has only specified the energy consumption of the daytime running lights, and not the high beams and tail lights. Regardless, it is a positive step to see LED technology making its way to vehicles.
The new Audi R8 V10 will be the first car in the world to feature LED lamps for the running lights, low and high beams, and indicators. As a percentage of energy consumption, it is safe to say that the LED lamps on the R8 will have little impact. On a more efficient electric vehicle with less available power, however, the LED lamps could provide a much more valuable energy savings.