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LA show: Audi debuts e-tron GT concept sportscar

Audi e-tron GT concept to become production sportscar reality around 2021

Audi logo29 Nov 2018

AUDI has ripped the covers off the third model from its e-tron all-electric vehicle portfolio, with the e-tron GT concept to fly the performance flag for the brand when it is put into production around 2021.
 
Following in the footsteps of the e-tron SUV and e-tron Sportback crossover, the e-tron GT will be the first all-electric model developed by Audi Sport, signifying its performance intentions.
 
As befitting a performance model the e-tron GT concept’s electric motors pack a serious punch, outputting 434kW from two motors located on the front and rear axle with Audi’s quattro all-wheel drive system.
 
The e-tron GT’s output trumps that of the e-tron SUV (265kW, 300kW on Boost mode) and the e-tron Sportback concept (320kW, 370kW on Boost), and will allow the production four-door sportscar to sprint from standstill to 100km/h in around 3.5 seconds and to 200km/h in just over 12 seconds on the way to a limited top speed of 240km/h.
 
Using a 90kWh lithium-ion battery pack that takes up the entire underfloor between the axles, the e-tron GT concept has a range of over 400km, while its 800-volt charging system can recuperate 80 per cent of capacity in around 20 minutes.
 
The car can be charged either by a traditional cable or wirelessly through a charging pad, which allows an 11kW charging output that is enough to recharge the e-tron GT overnight.
 
Handling is aided by the car’s low centre of gravity thanks to the packaging of the batteries, while four-wheel steering helps agility at low speeds and stability at high speeds.
 
Unlike its high-riding siblings, the e-tron GT cuts a low-slung, striking figure with wide flanks, a sportback-style roofline and large 22-inch wheels.
 
Measuring 4960mm long, 1960mm wide and 1380mm high with a 2900mm wheelbase, the e-tron GT is comparable in size to other large sedans, including the Tesla Model S.
 
To help reduce weight, multiple materials were used in the construction of the e-tron GT including a carbon-fibre roof and aluminium components. To develop technologies for the construction of the e-tron GT, Audi called on VW Group stablemate Porsche for assistance.
 
Styling however is unmistakably Audi, with the signature singleframe grille flanked by large air vents designed to cool the battery assemblies and brakes, while matrix LED headlights with laser high beam help give the front end a striking look.
 
The rear end is dominated by an LED tail-light strip that runs across the entire width of the rear, ending in wedge-shaped segment that draw parallels to the production e-tron SUV.
 
A large rear diffuser and air vents in the wheelarches help reduce its drag coefficient, while even the alloy wheels are designed to channel air to and cool the brakes, which along with the vehicle’s coasting function, help to recuperate battery power.
 
The e-tron GT scores a new, futuristic exterior paint finish called kinetic dust, which Audi claims is “practical without being ‘technoid’ standoffish”.
 
Inside, the new model features a modern-looking interior with twin digital instrument cluster and infotainment screens able to be customised by the user, while a honeycomb-style steering wheel hints at the car’s Audi Sport roots. The operating system is controlled through the touchscreen, which offers tactile feedback when pressed.
 
Adding to its new-age credibility is an entirely vegan interior with synthetic leather used for various trim elements, seats upholstered in fabrics made from recycled fibres, microfibre on the headlining and window pillar trim, and deep-pile floor carpet constructed from yarn previously used on fishing nets.
 
Like many vehicles without a traditional engine and transmission, the e-tron GT features ample storage with up to 450 litres of capacity in the rear, and an extra 100L under the bonnet.
 
The e-tron GT is part of Audi’s broader strategy to release 12 vehicles with all-electric powertrains by 2025, with the aim of making up one-third of all new vehicle sales for the brand. 
 
Australian timing for the e-tron GT will be confirmed closer to the production version’s release, which Audi says will occur in “around two years”.

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