The Good Oil: Electric supercars are not a game (except when they are)
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If you’re not used to it, a high-performance Battery Electric Vehicle like the Audi RS e-tron GT feels surreal – a bit like a car from a video game, with pin-sharp responses and extreme performance delivered in near-silence.
In fact, Audi’s e-tron Vision Gran Turismo from 2018 was just that: a car from a video game. It was created in the virtual world for the Sony PlayStation 4, for the Sony/Polyphony Digital Vision competition that marked the 15th anniversary of the Gran Turismo driving simulator game: the game makers invited carmakers to submit concept car designs to be featured in a “festival” within the GT world. No pressure; car companies aren’t at all competitive.
So the e-tron Vision Gran Turismo was just one of many. And other brands certainly made full-scale versions of their digital creations. But Audi was the only one to actually build a car that could be put to work on track. It served as a “race taxi” in 2018 Formula E events, driven by DTM racer Rahel Frey and Le Mans winner Dindo Capello.
Much of the exterior design and livery was inspired by one of the most aggressive-looking Audi competition cars ever created: the 90 quattro IMSA GTO (see image gallery below) that raced in North America in 1989, featuring drivers like Hans-Joachim Stuck and Walter Rohrl.
The e-tron Vision Gran Turismo was pure-electric of course, with triple 200kW electric motors (two on the back) making “quattro” all-wheel drive. The concept had a kerb weight of 1450kg and 50/50 weight distribution, with 0-100km/h in 2.5 seconds. All using components destined for future e-tron production models.
Speaking of which: the new RS e-tron GT production car still has a little bit of catching up to do, with 0-100km/h in 3.3 seconds. But then, you can actually buy one of those.