Will the real first laser headlights please stand up? BMW claimed to have the world’s first production car laser headlights with the i8. Now Audi is claiming to have them with the R8 LMX. Which is really the first? Does it matter?

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Well, both are first in a way: the BMW i8 offered laser high-beams before the R8 LMX did, but the i8’s are optional; the Audi R8 LMX comes with them standard—but also only as high beams.

Now that that’s (more or less) settled, on to the real news: Previously thought to be called an R8 GT Sport, the R8 LMX is more powerful, quicker, and sold as a limited edition. It’s due to arrive in Europe later this summer, but Audi hasn’t yet stated when, or even if, it will make it to the U.S.

The 5.2-liter V-10 engine in the R8 LMX is upgraded slightly from the R8 V10 Plus’s 550-horsepower rating to achieve a total of 570 hp, as well as an 8 pound-foot upgrade to reach 398 lb-ft of torque. The result is quicker acceleration, hitting 62 mph in just 3.4 seconds.

Audi’s familiar S tronic seven-speed dual-clutch transmission handles shifts, quattro permanent all-wheel drive distributes power to all four wheels, and the car is shod in 19-inch wheels wrapped in 235/35 front and 305/30 rear tires.

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For the LMX, a few visual distinctions also come into play, with the Ara Blue crystal-effect paint, a fixed rear spoiler, a front spoiler lip, a rear wing and diffuser, all made of carbon fiber reinforced polymer (CFRP) in a matte finish. A sport exhaust system wears gloss black tips.

Inside, Nappa leather with a Sepang Blue diamond pattern adorns the bucket seats, with backrests covered in Ara Blue with Sepang Blue contrast stitching, which is also found throughout the cabin. A black Alcantara headliner, black Nappa leather door trim panels, and matte carbon trim elements finish off the R8 LMX’s unique look.

The 2016 Audi R8 is due to hit the streets in production form soon, but until then, see what to expect with these spy shots of the car in testing.


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