Audi unveils autonomous R8 e-tron technical concept

Audi has upstaged all other manufacturers at the CES event in Shanghai by unveiling the new R8 e-tron piloted driving technical concept. It’s an all-electric supercar with self-driving capabilities.

2015 Audi R8 e-tron autonomous concept

Audi’s latest generation R8 styling makes appearance, as well as a 340kW/920Nm punch from two electric motors. The concept also features a torque vectoring system which helps it rocket from 0-100km/h in just 3.9 seconds, and onto a limited top speed of 250km/h.

The concept is based on the existing multi-material Space Frame, which underpins the R8, and the subtly reworked bodywork has reduced its drag coefficient to just 0.28. The end result is an impressive range of more than 450km, and a charge time of just over two hours.

Despite all the impressive figures on batteries, top speeds and exotic materials, Audi is keen to point out that this concept is jam-packed with an array of autonomous driving technology.

The R8 concept features radar sensors, ultrasonic sensors, cameras and laser scanners which form the basis of the Piloted Driving concept’s autonomous credentials. It’s all controlled via a central driver assistance control unit (zFAS).

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The concept is not Audi’s first foray into the world of electric hybrid powertrains; the manufacturer has unveiled numerous ‘e-tron’ concepts and has the A3 e-tron available to buy in Europe.

Alexi is a contributing news journalist and junior road tester at Performance Drive. He has a passion and appreciation for the engineering in cars, as well as new technologies that lessen the impact on the environment. His dream cars are an M3 to drive to work, and a LaFerrari for the weekend.