Audi reveals autonomous R8 e-tron

Audi R8 e-tron

Audi has unveiled a brand new self-driving R8 e-tron at the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Shanghai.

The new electric sports car model, which is the second R8 to wear the e-tron badge, is based on the brand new generation of Audi's flagship supercar and showcases its autonomous driving technology, which has been in development for a number of years.

Despite being powered solely by batteries, the R8 e-tron offers supercar levels of power, with its 455bhp able to propel it from 0-62mph in 3.9 seconds and on to a top speed of 155mph. The battery pack can be fully recharged in as little as two hours, dependent on the type of electricity outlet used.

Rather than being an out-and-out production model, the new e-tron is a showcase for Audi's future vehicle technologies, the most important of which is its Piloted Driving project.

Audi R8 e-tron

Audi R8 e-tron

"The Audi R8 e-tron Piloted Driving represents the technology trends of our industry," said Audi CEO, Rupert Stadler. The technology will first be seen on the manufacturer's new flagship limousine, the A8, which is due in 2017.

Packed with an array of scanners, cameras and laser sensors, the car is able to create a picture of the environment in which it is operating and successfully negotiate through it. The self-driving kit also makes more efficient use of the battery pack, extending the car's theoretical range.

Click play below to see Audi's Piloted Driving technology in action, as one of its A7 models drives 550 miles across the US.