GREEN SPECIAL: RS meets BEV in new Audi e-tron GT
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The iconic Audi Sport “RS” brand will truly catapult into the future with the arrival of the e-tron GT next year. In its first pure-electric performance car, Audi says it aims to bring the high-performance world of RS together with the character of a true gran turismo/grand touring car.
Audi has already established its Battery Electric Vehicle (BEV) credentials with models like the e-tron SUV and e-tron Sportback. But the e-tron GT takes the BEV-brand dramatically forward, with a four-door sports car designed to provide supercar performance with the comfort, everyday usability and green credentials that fit with the e-tron brand.
Much of the groundwork has already been done by sister brand Porsche, with its Taycan.
“The e-tron and the Taycan are using the same platform, this is correct,” says Dennis Schmitz, technical project manager for e-tron. “But this car is completely a true Audi. You see the quattro blisters… the complete design on the exterior and interior is true Audi philosophy.
“How it drive, how it brakes, how the suspension works – it feels like an Audi.
“The challenge for this car was to find the right balance between the real RS car – because it’s electric, but a real RS – and the all-day usage.
“What’s also very challenging for an electric car is that you have to have high range, for you have to work on the aerodynamics and the weight, but still keep in mind that you want this outstanding performance.
The e-tron GT is still officially in the prototype phase, but you can see something very close to the finished product in these photographs. Audi’s published power and performance figures are 440kW system output and 0-100km/h in less than 3.5 seconds.
The suspension is adaptive, allowing for comfort through to high-performance settings. Features like the active spoiler also allow a balance between maximum range (down for a smoother body shape) and the best downforce (raised) for high-speed driving.
Inevitably higher-powered, more sophisticated versions will follow, likely with a triple-motor system in place of the standard car’s dual-motor setup. Audi has already confirmed similar powertrain technology for the e-tron Sportback S.
Production of the e-tron GT will start early next year. Audi New Zealand expects to offer presales in February 2021, with the first deliveries mid-year. Pricing and specification is still to be confirmed.