The Audi e-tron GT concept was the star at the recent Los Angeles Auto Show 2018. The show car is the latest indication of the brand’s drive toward electric mobility, demonstrating the kind of innovations, design ideas, and performance levels that will become a feature in upcoming new models.
The concept study, which is set for volume-production in two years, is a four-door coupé with a flat-floor architecture that provides for exciting proportions and a low centre of gravity.
The technology for this automobile was developed in close collaboration with Porsche, while the design and character are packed with unmistakable Audi DNA.
Designed to thrill
The concept model features all the proportions of a classic Gran Turismo: Flat, wide, and with a long wheelbase. A standout feature is the lightweight body made with a multi-material construction. For instance, the roof section is carbon along with aluminum components while supporting elements are made from high-strength steel.
The car has a gently sloping roofline that extends well into the rear echoing the Sportback layout that is the hallmark of the brand, but with a future-forward upgrade that hints at the next evolution of the Audi design language.
The arrow-shaped front gives prominence to the hallmark Audi Singleframe and matrix LED headlights with laser high beam. The emphatic wheel arches and shoulders also catch the eye. A long light strip stretches across the rear. Together with the flat floor, this car exudes a dynamic sporty presence.
The overall design’s low drag efficiency also reduces fuel consumption. As already seen with the brand’s Visions vehicles, a wave of light that extends horizontally welcomes the driver – this is a new visual signature that is set to find its way into volume production in the future. With two luggage compartments, the Audi e-tron GT concept offers a great many options for a Gran Turismo. The new exterior colour kinetic dust – a warm, dark hue akin to titanium – completes the look.
With 434 kW (590 hp) system power – which is fit for a sports car and underscores the potential of all-electric drive cars – the Gran Turismo will accelerate from 0 to 100 km/h in around 3.5 seconds before going on to 200 km/h in just over 12 seconds. Top speed is regulated at 240 km/h to maximize range.
One unrivalled feature is the option of fully utilizing the drive’s acceleration potential several times in succession. 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. This is superior to the current state of the art.
The torque is transferred to the wheels via the quattro permanent all-wheel drive, as you would expect for such a dynamic Audi. In this case, the quattro goes electric since there is no mechanical link between the front and rear axle. An electronic control system coordinates the drive between the axles as well as between left and right wheels. This means optimum traction and just the desired amount of slip.
The range of the concept car is over 400 kilometers, determined according to the new global standards. The required drive energy comes from a lithium-ion battery with an energy content of more than 90 kWh. Another breakthrough is the recuperation system, which increases the range by up to 30 percent on Audi electric vehicles
Leading the charge
The battery in the Audi e-tron GT concept can be charged in several ways: Using a cable which is connected behind the flap in the left front wing, or by means of contactless induction with Audi Wireless Charging. Here a charging pad with integral coil is installed permanently on the floor where the car is to be parked and connected to the power supply.
Wired charging is much quicker as the study car is fitted with an 800-volt system. This substantially reduces charging times compared with conventional systems that are currently in use. It takes around 20 minutes to recharge the battery to 80 percent of its capacity, once again providing a range of more than 320 kilometers. The e-tron GT concept can, however, also be recharged at charging points with lower voltages.
Sustainable and vegan
In the interior, the Audi e-tron GT concept provides a large dose of everyday usability, along with quality craftsmanship and finishes.
The designers have selected sustainable materials. Animal-based products are not used at all: the Audi e-tron GT concept comes with a vegan interior. Sophisticated, synthetic leather is used on the seats and other trim surfaces. Fabrics made from recycled fibres are used for the seat cushions and armrests. Even the deep-pile floor carpet is made from sustainable Econyl yarn, a recycled fibre made from used fishing nets.
The center console, the large touchscreen in the top section and the line from the door rail and cockpit frame the driver’s workplace to perfectly incorporate the driver ergonomically with the controls and the infotainment of the vehicle. The sport seats are inspired by motor racing to provide optimum lateral support even while cornering at speed.
The center console and the freestanding instrument cluster seem to float. Various layouts are available for the monitors to present the functions depending on the driver’s preference, including virtual instrument dials, easy-to-read navigation maps with information on the range, or various infotainment function menus.
The future is electric
The Audi e-tron GT set for production in two years will among 12 new all-electric cars that the brand will be launching by 2025. The first among them will be next year’s Audi e-tron SUV and Audi e-tron Sportback.
In addition, there will be a range of models with classic body layout such as Avant and Sportback. It will cover every relevant market segment from the compact to the full-size class of models.
Singapore will see the arrival of the first Audi e-model in the form of the e-tron SUV next year setting the stage or an all-electric future. Watch this space for more exciting updates.