2012 Audi A8L: LED Headlights
October 30, 2011
Our 2012 Audi A8L sports a pretty mean and complicated-looking set of headlights -- LED headlights.
Every 2012 Audi A8 comes with LED DRLs, the thin blue-white underline seen above. A closer look reveals 22 LED segments strung closely together so they appear as one.
Actual LED headlights are a stand-alone option on the A8, an option that'll set you back $1,600.
Amber LEDs are contained within the same 22 reflective elements as the DRLs, allowing them to serve double-duty as turn signals and 4-way flashers.
Ten larger LED segments blaze into action when the low beam headlights come on. I didn't have a chance to take them out into a pitch black desert night, but in general use around town they produce a clear even pattern of light. As you might guess from looking at them the upper cutoff isn't a sharp straight line; it's more diffuse with a hint of scalloping when you get up close to a garage door.
Things start to get menacing when the high beams come on. These lamps are LEDs, too, according to Audi press materials, and they're very bright.
These so-called "all-weather lights" point outward at a sharp angle to illuminate the shoulder and the verge. As with all other such fog or driving lights in these United States, they only work in low-beam mode; they wink off when you turn on the brights. They're controlled by a seperate button off to the side of the main rotary headlight switch.
Are the Audi's LED headlights worth it? On wow-factor alaone, I'd say yes. The light they throw down is certainly clear and bright, and the pattern doesn't seem to have any dim spots. A full coverage test on a very dark road will surely come in the months ahead. You can bet this won't be the last blog post that'll be written about them.
Dan Edmunds, Director of Vehicle Testing @ 2,105 miles