Whoa, whoa, whoa, stop the press, it looks like BMW isn’t going to beat Audi to the laser light party after all. While the first i8s will find their way to their owners starting next month, production of the optional laser-powered headlights isn’t due to begin until autumn, whereas this Audi R8 LMX will be delivered to customers in the summer with the newfangled illumination technology as standard equipment.
But while Audi makes a song and dance about this achievement in the press release, there is more to the limited-run (99 units) special than the fancy headlights. Essentially an uprated R8 V10 with the carbon fibre canards and rear spoiler from the discontinued lightweight R8 GT, the LMX features the same 5.2 litre direct-injected V10 but tuned to produce 570 PS, 10 PS more than the GT and 20 more than the V10 plus.
Armed with the extra oomph, the LMX will rocket to 100 km/h in 3.4 seconds – 0.2 seconds quicker than the GT despite being some 100 kg heavier, and 0.1 seconds faster than the V10 plus – on its way to a top speed of 320 km/h. A seven-speed S tronic dual-clutch transmission is fitted as standard.
Apart from the extra aerodynamic addenda, the LMX can also be differentiated from lesser V10s through the Ara Blue paint job (which Audi claims is inspired by the blue lasers used in the headlights; matte Daytona Grey and metallic Mythos Black finishes are also available), a smattering of carbon fibre exterior parts, titanium grey front and rear grilles, gloss black tailpipes and a new 19-inch wheel design.
Inside, the LMX is upholstered in Fine Nappa leather, while the backrest covers of the bucket seats are painted in the same Ara Blue as on the exterior. Sepang Blue (yes, that Sepang) is featured on the diamond stitching on the seats, Alcantara headlining and door trim panels, as well as the stitching on the handbrake handle, centre console, steering wheel and instrument cowl.
Meanwhile, matte carbon fibre trim adorns the centre console, handbrake lever, door inlays and the dashboard trim that sweeps around the steering wheel and instrument binnacle. Illuminated aluminium door sill inlays bear the limited edition’s running number, while the floor mats feature black piping and yet more Sepang Blue stitching.