Rinspeed tease new BMW i8 plug-in autonomous concept: Etos

Trust Rinspeed to out-do even themselves with their 2016 car concept…


Followers of the annual Geneva Motor Show have grown to expect the weird and wonderful delights that Swiss studio Rinspeed unveil, but 2016 will be their most bizarre unveiling yet. Fans won’t have to wait until March to see the new concept either, as the BMW i8-based Etos (Σtos) will debut in January at the Consumer Electronics Show (CES).

The Rinspeed Etos sports car was created around autonomous technology, with founder Frank M. Rinderknecht and his company equipping every piece of future tech you can think of. And yes, we know what you’re thinking; isn’t the pleasure of driving a sports car the fact that you actually drive it? Well, in this case we’ll pretend that a self-driving sports car is a necessary item for your garage.


Fans of the greener vehicles will be pleased to know the Etos concept is a plug-in hybrid; a combination of a gasoline engine and an electric motor. The all-wheel drive model boasts 357bhp, 420lb-ft of torque, a max speed of 250km/h and does 0-100km/h in 4.4 seconds. All this power is achieved through the 1.5-litre Otto gasoline engine, 96 kW electric motor and a 7kWh lithium-polymer battery.

The exterior of the car is certainly eye-catching, with its shocking yellow paint and 20-inch Borbet GTX aluminium alloys. The 2-seater sports car also features eight exterior cameras to provide 180-degree coverage and eliminate the possibility of blindspots. With a glass roof made from strong but lightweight Gorilla glass, the BMW i8-based Etos is both “sustainable and a fast racer”.


The interior is just as futuristic, with a retracting steering wheel, two 21.5-inch ultra-HD curved widescreen displays and their “unrivalled” infotainment system. Rinspeed claim the infotainment experience is just like your own “personal assistant” that provides entertainment and safety, and learns your personal preferences. It can be controlled by touch, voice command, gestures, controller or push-buttons. Sounds pretty great so far, doesn’t it? But wait, we haven’t even got to the wackiest part…

On the road with my personal autopilot and drone – future here I come!”  A drone? In a car? Yes, we are just as intrigued as you. The Rinspeed Etos features a remote-control drone (it looks a bit like a toy helicopter) on the rear of the car, which can be used for collecting packages along the driving route or taking selfies of the happy passengers. The drone sits on a Gorilla glass pad that features 12,000 individually controlled LEDs. Yes, it’s a wildly unnecessary feature, but it’s also a seriously cool one.


The public will meet the new concept at the CES in Las Vegas next month. Although the Rinspeed Etos is very likely to never see the commercial market, it is still undoubtedly an attention-capturer. We look forward to seeing more of the BMW i8 inspired concept in a few weeks time.

What are your thoughts on self-driving sports cars?



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