Audi e-tron GT concept
Audi e-tron, the third: The brand with the four rings is presenting one of the stars of the 2018 Auto Show in the movie capital Los Angeles. With the electric powered Audi e-tron GT concept a four-door coupé is making its debut as a show car. The volume-production counterpart is set to follow in around two years.
The next electric Audi is being launched, following in the footsteps of the Audi e-tron SUV and the Audi e-tron Sportback slated for 2019. This time with a flat-floor architecture that provides for exciting proportions and a low center of gravity. 434 kW (590 hp) ensure performance fit for a sports car. The torque is transferred to the wheels via the quattro permanent all-wheel drive with torque vectoring, as you would expect for such a dynamic Audi. The performance subsidiary Audi Sport GmbH is responsible for subsequently transforming the car into a volume-production model.
Inspiration drawn from the wind tunnel: design and body
Flat, wide and with a long wheelbase – those are the proportions of a classic Gran Turismo. And the Audi e-tron GT concept reflects these with its 4.96-meter (16.3 ft) length, 1.96-meter (6.4 ft) width and 1.38‑meter (4.5 ft) height. The lightweight body of the four-door coupé is manufactured using a multi-material construction. The technology for this automobile was developed in close collaboration with Porsche. Design and character are packed full of unmistakable Audi DNA.
The gently sloping roofline of the e-tron GT concept that extends well into the rear echoes the Sportback layout that is the hallmark of the brand. The cabin that tapers strongly toward the rear stands out compared with current Audi models. Wheel arches and shoulders are sculpted emphatically and, together with the flat floor that is unusual for an electric vehicle, visually underlines the low center of gravity and the dynamic potential of the Audi e-tron GT concept.
The hallmark Audi Singleframe is located in the center of the front section. The top half comes with a cover painted in body color. Its surface structure is reminiscent of the typical honeycomb pattern of the grille on the Audi RS models – a visual signal which characterizes the Audi e-tron GT concept as a future product of Audi Sport GmbH.
The arrow-shaped front section also emphasizes the matrix LED headlights with laser high beam, underscoring the dynamic presence of the Audi e-tron GT concept even while stationary. As already seen with the brand’s current Visions vehicles, the light is also animated here and welcomes the driver with a short function sequence, the wave of light that extends horizontally: a new visual signature that is set to find its way into volume production in future.
Performance and range: the drive
434 kilowatts (590 hp) system power – that is an impressive figure for the potential of the all-electric drive. Separate electric motors are fitted to the front and rear axles. In both cases these are permanently excited synchronous motors. They put down the torque onto the road via all four driven wheels – naturally the new Audi e-tron GT concept is also a genuine quattro. An electric quattro to be precise, since there is no mechanical link between the front and rear axle. The electronic control system coordinates the drive between the axles as well as between left and right wheels. That means optimum traction and just the desired amount of slip.
In future, the vehicle should accelerate from 0 to 100 km/h (0-62.1 mph) in around 3.5 seconds before going on to 200 km/h (124.3 mph) in just over 12 seconds. The top speed is regulated at 240 km/h (149.1 mph) to maximize the range. One feature that not all the competition can match is the option of fully utilizing the drive’s acceleration potential several times in succession. While elsewhere the drive is switched to overdrive for thermal considerations, the Audi e-tron GT concept can provide the driver with the full potential of both motors and the battery thanks to its sophisticated cooling strategy.
The range of the concept car will be over 400 kilometers (248.5 mi), determined according to the new WLTP standard. The required drive energy comes from a lithium-ion battery with an energy content of more than 90 kWh, which takes up the entire underfloor area between the front and rear axle with its flat design. The decisive advantage of this design is the car’s extremely low center of gravity – comparable with that of the Audi R8 – which in turn decisively benefits dynamic handling. All-wheel steering translates this into a perfect synthesis of sports car-like agility and precision, augmented by superb directional stability.
Sustainable contemporary feel: the interior
Four doors, four seats with 2.90 meters (9.5 ft) wheelbase – in the interior the Audi e-tron GT concept provides a large dose of everyday usability, coupled with a superb quality feel. The functional center of the interior is located at the front left, visibly focused on the driver’s seat.
Both the screen of the central instrument and the touchscreen above the center console come with a black-panel look finish. They underscore the large, calm design of the interior with its predominantly horizontal basic architecture.
With the concept car the designers have deliberately gone for the consistent use of sustainable materials – a clear statement of contemporary automotive design. Animal-based products are not used at all: the Audi e-tron GT concept comes with a vegan interior.