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Any friendliness hanging over from the festive season is apparently well and truly over in Germany, with BMW taking a cheeky swipe at rival Audi and its ‘new’ laser-based light technology.

The updated Audi Sport quattro concept debuted at this week’s Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas with ‘laserlight’ technology, which the car maker claims leaves “all previous systems in the dark”. The concept’s headlights feature laser diodes, which are significantly smaller than LED diodes, and claim to illuminate the road for nearly 500 metres – approximately twice the lighting range and with three times the luminosity of LED high beams.

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Audi says the system is a demonstration of its “leadership role in automotive lighting technology”, and has promised its integration in the 2014 R18 e-tron quattro racecar as well as future production cars.

Not content to give its compatriot a free kick, BMW took to social network sites Instagram and Twitter with an image of its i8 sports car along with the caption: “Sorry we didn’t present our #laserlight concept at the #CES2014. We’re too busy with series production.”

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As the post alludes, BMW first presented laser light technology in its i8 concept at the 2011 Frankfurt motor show, while the BMW i8 production car will be available with optional laser headlights from launch in March.

BMW Australia’s Scott Croaker says the local division currently plans to offer laser lights as an option on the i8 from its launch in the second half of this year, barring any homologation issues.

Who said the Germans don’t have a sense of humour?