Earlier this year, Audi released the revamped 2016 R8 R8 e-tron, and at the 2015 CES Asia show, it released a self-driving version of the electric supercar dubbed the R8 e-tron Piloted Driving Concept.

One of the biggest concerns among gearheads when it comes to self-driving cars is that the fun of driving will be taken away. Well, when it comes to this insane concept supercar, there is plenty of fun to go around, thanks to its sub-four-second 0-to-60 time and agility. What’s more, its range rivals the likes of the Tesla Model S, and it looks cooler.

Unfortunately, this is just a concept car for now, but at the rate Audi is putting out these piloted concept models (read our reviews of the RS7 piloted driving concept here and the Prologue piloted driving concept here), it seems like this tech is on the verge of making it to showrooms.

Continue reading to learn more about this high-tech concept that debuted at the 2016 CES Asia show.

  • 2015 Audi R8 E-Tron Piloted Driving Concept
  • Year:
    2015
  • Make:
  • Model:
  • Horsepower @ RPM:
    456
  • Torque @ RPM:
    678
  • 0-60 time:
    3.9 sec.
  • Top Speed:
    155 mph
  • car segment:
  • car fuel:
  • body style:

Exterior

2015 Audi R8 E-Tron Piloted Driving Concept High Resolution Exterior
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2015 Audi R8 E-Tron Piloted Driving Concept High Resolution Exterior Wallpaper quality
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2015 Audi R8 E-Tron Piloted Driving Concept High Resolution Exterior
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From a distance, the R8 e-tron piloted driving concept looks like any old R8. But side by side comparison with a production version of the R8 will reveal that there are a few minor differences between the two.

The first changes are mild nips and tucks to the body and updated wheels that combine to help push the aerodynamic drag down to 0.28 Cd. In addition to these minor updates are e-tron exclusive headlights and fog lights. The e-tron badge just above the rear diffuser is also a partial giveaway as to what this car really is.

Interior

2015 Audi R8 E-Tron Piloted Driving Concept Interior
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Audi didn’t get into the interior of the R8 e-tron piloted driving concept, but look for the basic digs of the standard R8 with a bit of e-tron twist. Also part of the cabin will be the systems required for autonomous driving, which is what the piloted concept program is all about.

Drivetrain

2015 Audi R8 E-Tron Piloted Driving Concept Exterior
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Power comes not from a thunderous V-10, but rather from a virtually silent pair of electric motors that produce 170 kW (228 horsepower) and 460 Nm (339 pound-feet) of torque each for a grand total of 456 horsepower and 678 pound-feet of torque. Unsurprisingly, this is the exact same output as the standard 2016 R8 e-tron.

What makes this R8 e-tron so special are its laser scanner, video cameras, ultrasonic sensors, and radar sensors that allow it to drive itself.

Power travels exclusively to the rear wheels and accelerates this rolling technology rocket to 100 km/h (62 mph) in 3.9 seconds. Top speed checks in at 250 km/h (155 mph), but there is a reduced top speed of 210 km/h (130 mph) if the R8 is fitted with different tires – Audi didn’t specify what tires these are.

Range anxiety is a thing of the past, as the R8 e-tron piloted driving concept can travel up to 450 km (279.6 miles) between charges, thanks to its 92 kWh, T-shaped battery pack. The onboard Combined Charging System reduces charging time to as little as under two hours.

What makes this R8 e-tron so special are its laser scanner, video cameras, ultrasonic sensors, and radar sensors that allow it to drive itself. These tech gizmos send their signals to a central computer that processes them and creates a picture of the vehicle’s environment so it can drive you around safely.

Drivetrain Specifications

Type two electric motors
Output 340 kW (456 HP)
Torque 678 LB-FT
0 to 100 KM/H (62 MPH) 3.9 seconds
Top Speed 130 MPH or 155 MPH depending on tires)
Electric range 279.6 Miles

Conclusion

2015 Audi R8 E-Tron Piloted Driving Concept High Resolution Exterior
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Unfortunately, these piloted driving concepts remain only technology studies for now, but this shows Audi’s seriousness about automated driving. What I think is really cool is that it put this system in a supercar like the R8 e-tron. This will allow drivers who love to drive the opportunity to pilot their own rig, but it also allows them to switch into auto mode and let the car do the heavy lifting when needed. This truly is the best of all the recent automotive technology.

  • Leave it
    • Just a concept, for now
    • A production model would likely be insanely expensive
    • Why only rear-wheel drive?

Press Release

340 kW of power, 0 to 100 km/h (62.1 mph) in 3.9 seconds and a driving range of 450 km(279.6 mi) – Audi has extensively developed its all-electrically powered high-performance R8 e-tron sports car further. The technology study is one of the highlights of CES Asia, and it brings together future technologies – which relate to lightweight design, high-performance drive systems and functions for piloted driving.

2015 Audi R8 E-Tron Piloted Driving Concept High Resolution Exterior
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The Audi R8 e-tron piloted driving concept car is based on the multimaterial Space Frame of the new production R8. A rear car body module made of carbon fiber reinforced polymer (CFRP) integrates the luggage compartment, which extends the frame structure. The walls of the luggage compartment shell are corrugated, so that they can absorb extreme amounts of energy with little material weight in case of a rear-end collision. Thanks to specific modifications made to the outer shell and wheels, the Audi R8 e-tron piloted driving attains a low Cd value of 0.28. Its front end and sideblades feature e-tron specific lighting solutions.

The T-shaped battery is structurally integrated into the center tunnel and behind the occupant cell – its low center of gravity further boosts the already excellent driving dynamics of the R8 e-tron piloted driving. The high-voltage battery is based on a new lithium-ion technology that has, for the first time, been specifically designed for the drive system of an all-electric vehicle. Compared to the first technology platform, the battery’s energy capacity has grown from 49 kWh to approximately 92 kWh. Optimized space utilization and improved battery cell technology enabled this progress without requiring package modifications. Audi produces the high-voltage battery itself.

2015 Audi R8 E-Tron Piloted Driving Concept High Resolution Exterior Wallpaper quality
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The R8 e-tron piloted driving achieves an electric range of 450 kilometers (279.6 mi) instead of a previous 215 kilometers (133.6 mi), its energy density was increased from 84 Wh/kg to 154 Wh/kg and several other modifications were made. The high-performance sports car has the Combined Charging System (CCS) on board, which allows charging with direct and alternating current. With this system, the customer can charge the large battery in significantly less than two hours.

The two electric motors each output 170 kW of power and 460 Nm (339.3 lb-ft) of torque to the rear axle. The R8 e-tron piloted driving rockets from 0 to 100 km/h (0 to 62.1 mph) in 3.9 seconds on its way to an electronically-governed top speed of 210 km/h (130.5 mph) or 250 km/h (155.3 mph), depending on the car’s tires. Intelligent energy management and an electromechanical brake system enable high energy recuperation rates. Targeted torque vectoring – needs-based distribution of power transmission between the rear wheels – ensures maximum stability and dynamism.

The R8 e-tron piloted driving technical study is equipped with all of the functions of piloted driving. Data is acquired from the interplay of an array of sensors: a new type of laser scanner, several video cameras, ultrasonic sensors and radar sensors at the front and rear. Based on signals from these sources, the central driver assistance control unit (zFAS), a compact central computer, computes a comprehensive picture of the vehicle’s environment.

2015 Audi R8 E-Tron Piloted Driving Concept Exterior
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Audi can build the R8 e-tron in handcrafted quality to meet special customer requests. The company uses its high-performance electric sports car primarily as a high-tech mobile laboratory.

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Press release
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