Originally developed exclusively for virtual races on PlayStation 4, Audi has committed to producing its e-tron Vision Gran Turismo as part of an agreement with Formula E. Starting with the race in Rome on Saturday, April 14, the car will be deployed as a race taxi.
Taking design elements and color from the legendary Audi 90 quattro IMSA GTO, the e-tron Vision Gran Turismo features the fully electric e-tron quattro all-wheel drive with variable power distribution. Three electric motors, each with output of 200 kW, propel the car.
Two electric motors drive the rear axle and the third one the front axle, using individual components from the Audi e-tron SUV concept. System output is 600 kW (825ps). With a curb weight of 1,450kg, the electric race car has a power-to-weight ratio of 1.78kg/hp and 50:50 weight distribution between the front and the rear axle. This all means the Audi e-tron Vision Gran Turismo will accelerate from 0-100 km/h in under 2.5 seconds.
“E-mobility is rapidly gaining importance – that is why in 2017 Audi was the first German manufacturer to enter Formula E with a factory-backed commitment,” said Peter Mertens, board member for technical development at Audi AG.
“In our development laboratory, we are continuously expanding our expertise in e-mobility and gathering valuable experience in extremely demanding conditions. With the Audi e-tron Vision Gran Turismo race taxi we are turning electric mobility into a tangible experience for our customers and guests as part of the Formula E races – in the middle of the world’s metropolises.”
The customers and guests of the brand with the four rings will be able to experience Formula E’s city circuits as passengers in the Audi e-tron Vision Gran Turismo starting at the race in Rome. Employees at Audi’s preproduction center developed and produced this one-of-a-kind car within the space of just 11 months.
The Audi e-tron Vision Gran Turismo represents the first concept car of this range to be deployed to real-world racetracks as a fully functional vehicle. “This is what we are particularly proud of,” added Audi’s chief designer Marc Lichte.
“Although the design of a virtual vehicle allows for much greater freedom and the creation of concepts that are only hard to implement in reality, we did not want to put a purely fictitious concept on wheels. Our aim was a fully functional car. The Audi e-tron Vision Gran Turismo shows that electric mobility at Audi is very emotive.”