Audi revealed today its laser headlights to debut on the 2016 R8 supercar will also double as real lasers capable of destroying nearby targets such as pedestrians, cars, buildings or whatever else gets in your way.
The automaker says the secondary function of the new laser beam actually came about by accident. An engineer in Ingolstadt was testing a pre-production version of the new R8 when he flicked the high beams on and burned a hole direct through the car sitting in front of him at a stoplight.
“I was test driving the new car at night when I accidentally hit the high beam switch and noticed I had burned a hole in shape of the headlight beam into the trunk of the car in front of me,” said Klaus Freundschaftsbezeigungen, lead Audi lighting engineer. “I ended up having to buy the guy a new car, but it was a bittersweet moment, as I was happy to find out the lights had an exciting secondary feature.”
In addition to its self-defense function, the headlights have also proved to be helpful in situations where a fire is needed. Audi engineers have been using the headlights to light their cigarettes, and one employee even used it to a light a bonfire in his backyard.
“The laser beam headlights in the new R8 were a great addition to the car even before we found out they could light stuff on fire,” said Karl Angerhofer, director of Audi lighting competence. “Now I use them to cook bratwurst, and I even thwarted a car-jacking attempt by burning a guy’s legs off without leaving the safety of the car.”
Because of the dangerous nature of the R8’s laser lights, a police background check of the customer will be required before they take delivery to ensure it doesn’t end up in the wrong hands. They will be standard on the model when it goes on sale later this year.