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After publishing our image of what looked to be a facelift R8 nose found in the Audi Encounter Technology Magazine (p.93 if you download it) , eagle eyed reader and forum member "R5T" posted an update and a clue as to how to interpret the photo. As it turns out, this appears to be a design buck made at some point to further the Matrix Beam Light Concept by designer Christoph Haussinger from the Technische Universitat Dresden.

Here's the original press release (Google translated to English, official photo above) from the project. Additional photos (below and in press release) were found on the internet and posted by R5T :

TU Dresden on the AMI: Headlight who already know what you are thinking the same

09.04.2010 10:14

The design student Christoph Häussinger has created as part of his thesis, a new vehicle lighting design. Its individual modules can light the spotlight thanks to an intelligent assistant system interactively respond to traffic situations. In the study AUDI "e-tron" his headlight design is already being implemented.

Shortly before Ingolstadt, on the highway. It is night, it's raining. Oncoming traffic, stop down quickly. Gone ... Beam again. And that voice on the radio again ... as the singer was her name .. gl ups, forget stopping. We are angry angeblinkt.

Scenes like these could belong to Christoph Häussinger headlights study of the past. The former student at the Centre for Design at the Technical University of Dresden has presented in his thesis, a "conception and design of an LED headlamp with matrix-beam technology" - and convinced his colleagues from Audi so. In the "e-tron," a study electric car that runs on the design of the R8 sports car is its light assistance system from 10 April at the "Automobile International" in Leipzig to admire.

What is it exactly with the matrix-beam method on itself? With this technology it is possible to constantly take the maximum light output without an oncoming traffic ahead or dazzle. Inside the headlight it will be different points of light aligned individually controlled by a processor, the data of the environment - road conditions or oncoming traffic cameras detected - evaluates. The driver no longer needs to manually stop down and can concentrate on safe driving. And even if it is the name of the singer on the radio do not immediately think of - "the light", the daytime running lights, high beam, low beam headlights and also is displayed in oncoming traffic immediately.

For the study, Häussinger has analyzed the history of lighting design, the Ingolstadt company closely and compared with that of competitors. The individual points of light in the modern Audi headlight design is in its own draft compiled into a sleek band of light, without the specific recognition factor is lost. The kicker: according to road speed and the ambient conditions change, the band's appearance and thus the character of the entire front end.

To what extent could irritate the interactive fading in and out of the new lighting system, the drivers at speeds and daylight situations may, further testing will show now. Häussinger design study has in each case in a new era of car headlights, are safe because the car manufacturer, and have the lighting designer as graduates now permanently employed.
In Europe, students also work on their thesis projects with companies and from the sounds of it, Haussinger worked with Audi on this. Read past press releases and concepts like the first e-tron Concept and Geneva's A3 concept used similar matrix beam prototype setups. This press release and the photos began to make rounds via PR channels nearly a year ago, a figure that surprised us given how closely we and thousands of other automotive sits and blogs cover the industry. That this would pop up and not draw more attention so long ago wasn't expected.

The images in this story are all CGI and were part of the project. The image from the Encounter Technology magazine are from Audi and a photograph of an actual buck. So what does all this mean? It's possible this is still the facelifted R8 design as that design would have been locked in over a year ago, but we'll hold off on making that statement. That CGIs of Haussinger's Matrix Light Beam Concept were released in 2010 makes us suspect otherwise... but you never know. Clearly Audi put the thing into real form at some point and further Googling of Haussinger suggests he worked for Audi (and may still work for Audi) from 2007 through the time he graduated. We're checking to see if he's still there.

Other intel we published in the story was unrelated to the photo. We threw together intel we'd been collecting on the R8 until we had more of a story or something like this picture to make it enough to piece together an intel report. Since this story published, we've been able to confirm that the Audi S6, S7 and S8 should all be at the Frankfurt IAA alongside the already confirmed urban concept cars. That would make a VERY crowded stage indeed if the R8 is there as well, though our intel suggesting S-tronic production begins soon is still a puzzler.

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04 R32, 19 Golf R
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I think I like the old design better. :(
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