Audi's new R8 supercar is here but the US government won't let you have its coolest feature

Audi R8 laser high beam headlightsAudi2016 Audi R8

Since its launch in 2008, the Audi R8 has reached iconic status.

Now, the car is about to get a second-generation model featuring the angular headlights and hexagonal front grille first seen in the company’s next-generation TT sports car.

Even more interesting is what will inhabit those stylish headlights — lasers. That’s right, Audi will make its laser headlights available on the supercar. Like the current generation R8 LMX that debuted last year, the 2016 model will also have laser high beams as an available option.

That is if you don’t live in the good ole’ U.S. of A.

Audi’s laser headlights use a series of blue lasers to create a beam of light that’s equivalent to a traditional high-beam. To prevent the lasers from blinding everyone in its path, the laser light beam is malleable and can detect oncoming traffic.

Unfortunately, the laser’s amorphous lighting abilities violate current US regulations on headlights.

America’s antiquated Cold War-era regulations require that automotive headlights feature a high beam, a low beam, and absolutely nothing else. This means Audi’s laser lights — as well as other modern headlight tech from Toyota and BMW — simply don’t fit into the rigid regulations.

They are simply banned. A true pity.

Audi R8 LMXAudiLast year’s Audi R8 LMX with laser lights.

As for the rest of the new R8, Audi will have the unenviable task of reinvigorating its most recognisable product.

Lamorghini Huracan LP 610-4 geneva motor show 2014REUTERS/Arnd WiegmannThe new R8’s sibling, the Lamborghini Huracan

The boldly styled supercar has been a success with both critics and consumers. With prominent appearances in major blockbusters such as “Iron Man” and “Fifty Shades of Grey,” the R8 has also become quite the media darling.

So far, all of the information that’s emerged sounds fantastic. The 2016 R8 will be built on a platform shared with the Lamborghini Huracan. Horsepower for the Audi will come from more powerful versions of the silky smooth V8 and V10 engines found in the current generation of the supercar.

The 2016 Audi R8 will make its formal debut at the 2015 Geneva Motor Show that will run from March 5-15.

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