The first eight customers from Germany received their i8s as part of an official ceremony at BMW’s headquarters in Munich, and all of the cars were equipped with the laser lights. It should be noted that BMW is only offering the laser headlights as an option, while Audi has made them standard on the R8 LMX. And both automakers are using the technology for the high-beams only at this point.
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Laser lights offer a number of advantages over the best lighting technology available on cars today, LED lighting. Not only is the light more like daylight, it can reach as far as 600 meters or double the range of LEDs, and the beam pattern can be controlled very precisely, instantly and safely—the headlights work together with BMW's camera-aided digital high-beam assistant, which dims the light if it detects an oncoming car or another car up front. Finally, laser lights consume around 30 percent less energy than LEDs and the diodes are ten times smaller.
A trickle of i8s have made their way into the U.S. this past spring, as 2014 models. The bulk of i8 deliveries, however, will commence later this year. Pricing starts at $136,650 including $950 in destination charges.