The New A6: Lighting

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March 18, 2004

Adaptive headlights and daytime driving lights

Audi offers no less than two features beneath the clear glass cover on the A6’s headlights: dynamic cornering lights (adaptive light) and daytime driving lights in conjunction with xenon plus technology. The combination of these systems is an absolute world premiere, a USP offered only by Audi.

Like other Audi models, the new A6 also comes with light units in Audi’s typical “tube” look. Featuring anthracite-coloured trims, the tubes for the high and low beams appear to hover almost freely in the air, giving the front-end design of the car its very own touch of high-tech.

The headlights on the new A6 come in three different versions: standard halogen headlights in free-form technology, xenon plus headlights, and the xenon plus system with dynamic adaptive lights able to literally “look around” a bend. In the latter case the entire ellipsoid module comprising the low and high beams follows the course of the road and the bends ahead, significantly improving illumination of the driver’s direction of travel as well as the side areas and making it even easier to look ahead.

Applying several parameters such as road speed, the steering angle and yaw rate, the system control unit calculates the required change in headlight position and gives the drive motors the necessary commands.

Daytime driving lights for extra safety

The significant improvement of safety provided by permanent operation of the headlights also during the day used to mean extra energy and fuel consumption amounting to approximately 0.2 litres per 100 km. This is why, with the exception of a few countries, this technology has so far not been introduced Europe-wide. And this is a shame, considering that daytime operation of the headlights helps to enhance driving safety, particularly when the sun is at a low angle, when driving on the motorway or in town.

With the low and high beams in the xenon plus headlights being integrated in one and the same – the outer – unit, the inner reflector remains free for daytime operation of the headlights. A dimmed lamp serves as the source of light, while the other lights are switched off. The result is virtually no increase in fuel consumption whatsoever.

LED brake lights

Apart from the basic version with conventional bulbs, the brake lights on the new Audi A6 are also available as an option in conjunction with xenon plus with an LED light unit. Over and above its long service life of at least 10,000 hours and energy consumption reduced by up to 80 percent, this technology offers the advantage above all of a much faster response time: while conventional bulbs take about 200 milliseconds to develop their full brightness, LEDs build up their full intensity in less than one millisecond, enabling drivers following from behind to recognise the brake lights a lot more quickly.

Yet a further advantage of the LED lights unit is the significant design highlight at the rear end of the car, the slot-like arrangement of the lights creating a wide, low and sporting brake light signal.

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