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Rinspeed, the Swiss design house and maker responsible for no shortage of out-there offerings, has revealed plans to debut a new autonomous concept at January’s Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas.

This concept comes with a unique twist, however: rather than focusing purely on the daily commute, as with most other autonomous prototypes, the Rinspeed Etos (properly known as the ‘Ʃtos’) promises a hardcore sports vibe.

If you’re wondering why anyone would want an autonomous sports car… fair question. After all, hauling through the hills in a car that drives itself would be little different to taking a ride on a roller coaster.

Luckily, as with the anticipated approach to first-generation driverless vehicles, the Etos isn’t full-time autonomous. Rinspeed says that it will indeed offer the ability to surrender control to the computer, but the company recognises that any owner of a sports vehicle would want control most of the time. (If not all the time.)

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The idea to the Etos, then, is that while you can get your kicks when you want them, you can also switch into autonomous mode during the more monotonous or frustrating stages of your commute.

Heading out to the track for a spirited drive, but need to battle through gridlock first? Suddenly, the Etos makes a fairly compelling case for itself.

And, if it’s anything like Audi’s track-eating driverless RS 7 Sportback piloted-driving prototype, it might even be able to set some record lap times that you can pretend were yours…

Just don’t let the Etos concept’s accompanying drone – replete with its own landing deck on the back – get too close while attempting a dodgy lap: its video camera might spot you composing a facebook post about your still-in-the-works record time.

Watch for the Rinspeed Etos to debut in January.




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