Audi e-tron GT, like Porsche’s Mission E and the Tesla Model S, will occupy the space in the market that wants for sleek and sporty electric cars, different from the funky and blocky ones that the Volkswagen ID family will offer.
Audi said that the GT will be the flagship for its e-Tron brand, and it’ll be built alongside other EVs at its Böllinger Höfe plant near its main manufacturing site at Neckersalum.
The announcement came alongside confirmation that Audi’s heavily trailed e-tron EV – the SUV seen in disguise in Geneva earlier this month – will cost around €80,000 (about £70,950) when it is launched later this year.
Audi e-Tron GT will have a Bentley sibling too. Audi and Porsche are also working on an additional EV platform, called Premium Platform Electric (PPE), but we won’t see cars that ride on that platform until 2021.
The e-tron rides on an adaptation of Audi’s MLB architecture for gasoline cars, called MLB-Evo, while the Porsche Mission E rides on a dedicated platform called P1.
Future larger, higher-performance battery-electric models from VW Group’s higher-end brands will ride on a shared architecture known as PPE.
Originally conceived as a virtual race car for the 15th anniversary of the Gran Turismo video game on Sony’s PlayStation 4, Audi has turned the e-Tron Vision Gran Turismo into reality as part of a marketing campaign built around its new e-Tron electric-vehicle sub-brand and participation in the Formula E racing series for EVs.
The decision to build the one-off prototype, constructed at Audi’s pre-production workshop here, makes the e-Tron Vision Gran Turismo the first simulated race car developed for PlayStation’s Gran Turismo video game to be made fully functional, according to Audi.
It also hints at possible plans by Audi to bolster its presence in the luxury coupe ranks with a new performance-based e-Tron model that Ingolstadt insiders suggest could complement the R8 with pure-electric drive.
“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,” says Peter Mertens, head of Audi R&D. “We are also expanding our gathering of valuable experience in extremely demanding conditions.”
Audi promised that it’d offer over 20 electrified cars by 2025, so expect a lot of news like this to come.