For Audi, design means more than just styling – it is the sensuously tangible expression of the characteristic values. Audi lighting gives Vorsprung durch Technik an aesthetic form and underscores the progressiveness, sportiness and sophistication of the brand.
Exterior lighting as a signature
In each Audi model, the headlights and rear lights comprise an integral, characteristic element of the sculpture. The make the Vorsprung durch Technik particularly apparent – by day and by night. The daytime running lights are a powerful signature, complemented by the rear lights and – in the most recent models – the dynamic turn signals. Even at a great distance an Audi is recognizable as an Audi. As the car gets closer it quickly becomes apparent which model it is. No other brand works with such a large number of signatures.
The concept of lighting signatures began with the introduction of LED daytime running lights in 2004, one of the brand’s first lighting innovations. In what at the time was the top model, the A8 W12*, five LEDs inside the headlight formed a graphic resembling the five on a die. Two years later the new A6 Avant* was given an eye-catching signature for the rear lights: 27 separate light-emitting diodes formed a flat trapezoid. They changed the streetscape permanently – as did the A4/A5 family*, which followed somewhat later with distinctive LED signatures at the front and rear.
The next step in this development at Audi were the homogenous daytime running lights introduced in the new Audi A6* in 2011. LEDs behind thick-wall optics formed an elegant wave in the headlights oriented on the outer contour. The tail lights in the form of a flat U-bend were also continuous.
Audi is making another statement with the new third-generation TT*: The tail lights, which are continuously active once the ignition is switched on, follow the design of the daytime running lights for the first time. Both are grille-shaped structures with emphasized verticals, a motif derived from the R18 e-tron quattro Le Mans race car. In the new Q7*, Audi has further refined this look to a double arrow.
Besides the design aspect, the daytime running lights and the tail lights are also very important for safety, and the same is true of the turn signals. The dynamic turn signals, which send unequivocal signals to the surroundings, quickly moved into additional models following their 2012 debut in the Audi R8*. As an animated element, it represents a new highlight. Furthermore, other road users recognize the situation as much as one second sooner.
The lighting signature strengthens the presence of Audi models in the streetscape. It gives the cars a self-confident and focused look – with different nuances. Compact models such as the A1* have a more youthful signature, whereas that of the flagship A8* emphasizes the car’s supreme control.
Matrix LED technology
The Matrix LED headlights available for several model series underscore the Audi’s groundbreaking expertise in automotive lighting technology. They illuminate the street extremely well in any situation without blinding other road users. The high beam comprises small light-emitting diodes – twelve per headlight in the Audi TT and 25 in the Audi A8 – with groups of five LEDs shining through a common reflector.
When the light switch is set to Automatic and the high beams are on, navigation data are used to switch the system on outside of urban areas at speeds of just 30 km/h (18.6 mph) and above. As soon as the camera with which it works detects other vehicles, the controller immediately switches off individual LEDs or dims them in 64 stages, creating several million possible light patterns. Oncoming and preceding vehicles are excluded from the light pattern, while all other areas between and adjacent to them continue to be fully illuminated. As soon as the oncoming traffic has passed, the high beam once again shines homogenously and at full power.
The LEDs in the Matrix LED headlights also assume the function of cornering lights, selectively brightening or dimming to shift the focal point of the light along the curve. They do this shortly before the wheel is turned based on predictive route data provided by the MMI navigation plus. Audi is the first manufacturer to completely replace the otherwise mechanical elements with software.
The equipment and data specified in this document refer to the model range offered in Germany. Subject to change without notice; errors and omissions excepted.