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Audi's hybrid concept has a 700 bhp e-tron powertrain (Photo: Audi)

Ford Motor and Audi will show two concept cars at the international CES in Las Vegas this year, underscoring the growing importance to the car industry of the annual consumer electronics gathering.

Ford will unveil the C-Max Solar Energi Concept, which deploys solar panels on its roof to generate power. The car needs a day's worth of sunlight to deliver the same performance as the C-Max Energi plug-in hybrid.

The concept is part of Ford's effort to be at the forefront of new mobility technologies. "As an innovation leader, we want to further the public dialogue about the art of the possible in moving the world toward a cleaner future," said Mike Tinskey, the carmaker's global director of vehicle electrification and infrastructure.

Audi will unveil in Las Vegas a technology concept car with new lighting technology and a novel approach to the driver's controls and displays. The Sport Quattro Laserlight concept coupe's headlights will feature laser diodes, which are significantly smaller than LED diodes.

ford-solar-ces-2014-300x225. Ford says its solar-powered C-Max can reduce dependence on the electricity grid (Photo: Ford)

Inside the cabin, the concept will have a new multifunction sport steering wheel with a red start-stop button, a button to select the car's driving mode and a "view" button to control the virtual cockpit.

Information will be displayed on a large high-resolution display that features 3D graphics generated with the help of Nvidia's Tegra 3o processor

Said Audi's r&d boss, Ulrich Hackenberg: "We are showing the future of Audi here."

Audi CEO Rupert Stadler will deliver a keynote address at the CES on Monday evening. The show will officially start Tuesday, January 7.