When Peugeot launches its new 308 at the Frankfurt auto show in September it will become the first automaker in Europe to offer full-LED headlamps as standard in the majority of the compact's trim lines. This is a big leap for the technology, which for years was only available on high-end models such as the Audi R8 and Mercedes-Benz CLS because of it costs about three times as much as comparable xenon lights.
Peugeot is not the only volume automaker look to gain a competitive advantage via the technology. Volkswagen Spanish subsidiary Seat offers full-LED headlamps as an option on high-end versions of the Leon compact in Europe while Ford plans to offer full-LED headlamps from Valeo in the next-generation Mondeo when it goes into production next year.
While volume automakers start to add LED headlamps, premium brands such as Audi are quickly extending their use of the technology into their lower segments.
Audi the early leader
Audi, which has been the early leader in seeking to differentiate its models through its lighting, is offering LED headlamps as an option on the A3. Andrew Herzig, a sector analyst at IHS Automotive, predicts that LED headlamps will be an option on every future Audi, either at launch or face-lift.