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Old 09-19-2013, 06:35 PM   #1
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Default Aviator Blue or Brilliant Black + LED lights?

I just placed my order today for a 2014 TDI. At the last minute, before placing the order, I decided to go with brilliant black rather than aviator blue.

My logic: I like black but it needs LED lights. So I took away metallic paint and rear airbags and went with basic black, making the extra cost of the LEDs moot.

I can't really decide what's better... a black A6 with LED or a neat Aviator Blue.

I have yet to see a video or photo of how well LED lights illuminate the road. I know that the xenon lights are impressive already, but is giving up Aviator Blue for LED lights worth it?

The order is still in I.S. Order Bank, so I have some time to change my mind on this...
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Old 09-19-2013, 08:02 PM   #2
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I know that the xenon lights are impressive already, but is giving up Aviator Blue for LED lights worth it?
That is totally your call. There are always trade-offs. For some, the cost of some options are not worth it. Others think "I'm already spending $xx,xxx for a car, what is another few thousand to get what I really want?"

I had a blue 2010 A6 Prestige. Loved the color, which is why I got it, you didn't see too many of them. The car also had paddles.

I went in for my 45K oil change and got hooked on a 2013 A6 Prestige with Innovation package and LED lights. I really wanted another blue A6 but there wasn't anything within 2000 miles, so I "settled" for a Phantom Black Prestige that didn't have paddles (only come with the Sports package in the C7 model). I HAD to have the Innovation package with the HUD, because for me, the HUD and the LEDs will still feel "cutting edge" in 3 or 4 years from now.

The black has grown on me, I don't miss the paddles as much any more, and I am very happy with the deal I got buying the car off the lot last March.

Only you can decide what is more important and whether you will have any serious regrets on the decision.
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Old 09-19-2013, 08:21 PM   #3
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I'm coming from a 2008 MB E320 BlueTec with P2 package. It has phenomenal xenon lights which are adaptive. I do a lot of highway driving and I also loathe deer. I didn't know that deer actually existed on the side of the road all the time until I got adaptive xenons.

The LED's look cool and they are in more upcoming cars. But I'm worried about: 1) cooling fans, 2) light output cutoff, and 3) non-adaptive.

The MB xenons swivel and at intersections the fogs also turn on. The A4 Prestige does this also and I really liked the output.

However, I've been having hard time deciding on LED because nobody has taken a photo of the road at night to show how the LEDs illuminate. Not even Audi has a photo. The closest I found was Edmunds with the A8. But all LED lighting systems for Audis have different designs and different LED setups. So the Consumer Reports article on A8 LED lights probably doesn't match the results of the A6.

Keeping in mind all this, I don't actually see how these LEDs bend light. Xenons swivel. LEDs don't. So when I'm in a canyon at night, or on a sweeping interchange, do the LEDs illuminate into the turn without just activating the "weather" leds (aka fog lights)?

I've already decided on TDI prestige, driver assistance, cold weather, sunshades - I figure any more options and I should look at the base S6 or go to the 3.0TFSI instead and just load it up.

I'm all confused because I think I like the look of Aviator Blue with Xenons more. But I also like Brilliant Black with LED. A lot of the Aviator Blue photos look completely different and many people say that Aviator doesn't look the same in photos.

I got the LED info from:
http://www.robcheng.com/misc/2013_a6s6_led.pdf
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Old 09-19-2013, 08:35 PM   #4
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The LED's do not need to "Bend" the light because their field of illumination is wider, since all of those LEDs you see are aimed precisely to cover a large area. Swiveling is not necessary with LEDs. If you turn on the Brights, it almost turns night into day.
With the fog lights on, it's almost 180 degrees.

I've had both; the HIDs are great, and I do mostly night driving (business travel) and believe the LEDs outperform them.

This time of year should be possible to test drive in the evening to see them firsthand.
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Old 09-20-2013, 07:09 AM   #5
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In addition to the LED being a better performing light, I think they are really the signature look of the A6 and Audi's now. For me it wouldn't even be a decision but different things matter to different people.
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Old 09-20-2013, 07:11 AM   #6
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Originally Posted by JRomulus View Post
The LED's do not need to "Bend" the light because their field of illumination is wider, since all of those LEDs you see are aimed precisely to cover a large area. Swiveling is not necessary with LEDs. If you turn on the Brights, it almost turns night into day.
With the fog lights on, it's almost 180 degrees.

I've had both; the HIDs are great, and I do mostly night driving (business travel) and believe the LEDs outperform them.

This time of year should be possible to test drive in the evening to see them firsthand.
I think until someone test drives a car with the LED lights they just don't understand how wide the LED's throw the light. It is really different than any other light and far better than a moving headlight. Simpler is better.
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Old 09-20-2013, 08:12 AM   #7
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I think until someone test drives a car with the LED lights they just don't understand how wide the LED's throw the light. It is really different than any other light and far better than a moving headlight. Simpler is better.
At low speed, when you turn around the corner, an extra LED comes on to throw more light for the inside corner.

The high on the LED is like daylight
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Old 09-20-2013, 08:40 AM   #8
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Since you asked for opinions: Brilliant Black for me was a horrible expereince on an A5. The only time it looked good was the first hour of ownership. 5 minutes after hand washing dust is visible all over the car. Endless swirl mark so bad that I tried not to look at it in the sun. BB looks cheap and owning the car for only 3 months it started looking tired. I could only imagine what it would look like in 3 years. I hated it so much that I traded a new car in 4 months for Quartz Grey. If you really want black then Phantom is so much better. The real confirming bit of data is to look at BB/A6/A7 inventory in this country. You will find virtually none because dealers GMs know better.
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Old 09-20-2013, 08:56 AM   #9
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I've gone ahead and reverted the order back to Aviator Blue and non-LED. I'm fine with the Xenon performance and I agree with all the critics about Brilliant Black vs. Phantom Black.

I'm getting the TDI so it's a long-term purchase and Aviator Blue is a step in a new direction for me. I hope it's a color I can live with in exchange for LED lights.
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Old 09-20-2013, 09:01 AM   #10
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Since you asked for opinions: Brilliant Black for me was a horrible expereince on an A5. The only time it looked good was the first hour of ownership. 5 minutes after hand washing dust is visible all over the car. Endless swirl mark so bad that I tried not to look at it in the sun. BB looks cheap and owning the car for only 3 months it started looking tired. I could only imagine what it would look like in 3 years. I hated it so much that I traded a new car in 4 months for Quartz Grey. If you really want black then Phantom is so much better. The real confirming bit of data is to look at BB/A6/A7 inventory in this country. You will find virtually none because dealers GMs know better.
I'll throw in my opinion on color. I have had 3 Brilliant Black A4s and now I have a Phantom Black A6. All 4 cars always looked dirty. Look at the car as soon as you are done washing it, looks amazing, drive it at all and its dusty.

I didn't want Phantom Black, but it was the color of a car that was perfect in every other way so... To be honest unless you put the cars next to each other I don't think I can tell the difference. In fact a lot of people don't even realize I have a new car. Either way the black will always be dirty, the owner of the company I work for has a black 5-series and somehow he manages to keep it looking clean, he must have it washed every day.

As for the LEDs, they are the reason I ended up with a Prestige. I was about to sign on the dotted line for a P+ when a used Prestige with LEDs showed up. I didn't end up buying that car, but I couldn't get those lights out of my mind. A few weeks later I ended up with a Prestige with LEDs. For me it had nothing to do with lighting the road, they could have put out no light for all I cared. I had to have those lights, I passed up some amazing deals on vehicles without those lights...

There is a reason that Audi simply showed a single LED headlight on the front of the 2013 A6 brochure.

My judgement on the light they put out is that ti is OK, but anecdotally it does not seems as bright as my 2010 A4 xenons...
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Old 09-20-2013, 09:01 AM
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