Electric Audi e-tron GT debuts with Tesla Model S in its sights
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Audi are one of Germany's most active players in the race to electric vehicles, and that's been underscored and italicised with the reveal of the new all-electric e-tron GT at the Los Angeles Auto Show.
Now, before you get too invested in the GT, know that this is — strictly speaking — still a concept car. But, it's expected that these renders will function as a pretty accurate precursor to a production e-tron GT that'll land around 2020.
This is the first Audi EV developed by the marque's Audi Sport division, with help from some shared parts with Porsche's Taycan. It's no surprise then that claimed performance figures are rather impressive.
The e-tron GT utilises a 96kWh battery twin-motor set-up that develops approximately 433kW of power, which is sent to all four wheels. Audi says that this is good for a 0–100km/h figure of less than three seconds; placing the GT squarely in the company of the Tesla Model S. Specifically, the quickest version; the P100D.
Pace isn't the only similarity here between the GT and S. They also share a similar coupe-like silhouette. But while the Tesla keeps to the manufacturer's minimalist design language, the Audi shows more aggression — like a jazzed up A7 Sportback. Aggressive squared-off haunches box each wheel, while a requisite number of vents and diffuser fins guarantee that anyone sitting next to it at the lights will know it's no ordinary luxury sedan.
Handling has also been considered by Audi's crack engineering squad. The GT is said to offer torque vectoring to help with power distribution during sharp cornering. A retractable spoiler meanwhile will help provide downforce at higher speeds.
One of the main differences between this and a Model S, however, is the German model's ability to be pushed repeatedly without diminished performance. Audi says that this is down to the GT's electrical control software, which will also ensure that impressive straight-line performance can also be accessed when the car isn't fully charged.
Speaking of charging, range, and all the other 'boring' stuff that ultimately defines the modern-day EV, it's a mixed bag. Audi are yet to confirm range, but they have said that the e-tron GT can be charged from flat to 80 per cent in 15–20 minutes via a 350kW fast charger. There is also a single-pedal driving mode, which will help further the Audi's range via regenerative braking.
“It’s a dream to design a car like this.” said Marc Lichte, head of design at Audi. “This is truly a design where the sketch becomes a reality.”
“Noises like road and wind noise become much more obvious without an engine. For example, we’ve designed the side mirrors to channel the air along the door skins instead of the window glass, so wind noise is less.”
A 400L boot cavity and 100L 'frunk' storage compartment mean that the Audi's looks and performance are backed up with practicality, too. But it's hard to ignore this car's 'concept' status. Let's just wait and see how much of it makes it through to production ...
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