- The 2021 RS 6 Avant I tested recently did cool light tricks when you locked or unlocked it.
- Inside, it even had futuristic, Tron-like cabin illumination.
- The best part was that the seat belt buckles lit up so you never had to find them by touch alone.
- Visit the Business section of Insider for more stories.
There’s always been something about Audis and LEDs.
Audi was among the first – if not the first – automakers to adopt light-emitting diode, or LED, daytime running lights. They debuted in 2004 on the Audi A8 W12 sedan as five LEDs in each headlight.
The look quickly trickled through the rest of Audi’s lineup after that. Soon, everything from the cheaper A4s up had the scintillating detail – a sparkly, checkmark-shaped strip of LEDs flanking the signature four rings. Nothing like it had ever been seen before and, for a while, you could pick out an Audi heading toward you from afar just based on that pattern of LEDs.
In 2009, the Audi R8 V10 became the first car fitted exclusively with LEDs. Its headlights, turn signals, and daytime running lights all used the technology, which Audi claimed reduced CO2 emissions and was more efficient than the widely used halogen light bulbs.
It’s now 2021 and nearly everything on the road uses LEDs of some kind, but Audi’s still found a way to distinguish itself. Recently, I tested out a 2021 RS 6 Avant – read the review here! – and stumbled across a neat little light show it puts on when you lock or unlock it. For your viewing pleasure and convenience, I have GIFed the experience below.
When you unlock the car, the front daytime running lights light up in sequence, almost like a welcome greeting. When you lock the car, the rear lights fade out in sequence, like a curtain closing after a show.
As far as I can tell, this choice was purely an aesthetic one. It certainly doesn’t make the car drive any faster or better. It just gave me, the driver, some small delight in seeing it. There doesn’t seem to be any other reason to include such a feature.
(And before you email me to yell at me that this is old news and I should get with the program: The internet isn’t all about you. Not everyone knows this about Audis.)
But that’s not all! I invite you to check out two more things.
First, the RS 6 Avant’s door sills light up in the dark and the car projects “Audi Sport” onto the ground, lest you forget what sort of vehicle you have.
Second, and more practically, the RS 6 Avant’s interior lighting includes seat-belt buckle illumination!
The wagon seats five, so five buckles are encased in a ring of light for you to locate more easily. Anyone who has felt around in the dark for their buckle no longer has to if they’re riding in one of these.
The rest of the cabin lighting gives off a very futuristic, Tron-like aesthetic. If you looked at the interior during the day, you’d see that the light fits perfectly with the minimalist design.
But those seat-belt buckle indicator lights. That’s some real MVP stuff right there.