AUDI has hinted at the shape of things to come with a new e-tron Vision Gran Turismo electric supercar.
Officially, the 800bhp electric supercar will be used as a ‘race taxi’ at Formula E races. However, speculation is rife that the two-seat model, originally conceived as a virtual car for players of Sony’s Gran Turismo driving game, hints at a flagship electric sports car that Audi is working on in secrecy.
The German car maker is busy working on 20 electrified models that will be in its showrooms by 2025. The first pure-electric e-tron will be an SUV, to rival the Jaguar I-Pace. At the top of the tree, a car along the lines of the e-tron Vision Gran Turismo is likely to be offered to sports car owners who want to embrace electric cars.
The concept supercar has permanent all-wheel drive, with two electric motors driving the rear wheels and a third powering the front wheels. Torque vectoring allows the electric power to be distributed to maximise traction at all four wheels.
Its electric powertrain boasts a total of 600kW, or 793bhp. Weighing just 1,450kg — distributed 50:50 over the front and rear wheels — this means it boasts a power to weight ratio of more than 550bhp per tonne.
As with all electric cars, the torque on offer from zero revs is what will give the driver and any passenger a kick in the back. The e-tron Vision Gran Turismo is thought to have around 737 Ib ft.
It means the concept car is Ferrari-fast. Audi claims it can accelerate from 0-62mph in 2.5 seconds
Audi will use the car to give high-speed passenger rides at Formula E race events, held in cities including Berlin, Mexico City, New York, Paris and Rome.
Peter Mertens, head of Audi R&D, said “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,” adding “we are also expanding our gathering of valuable experience in extremely demanding conditions”.
The car will make its public debut at the upcoming Rome ePrix this weekend as a race taxi. For those who can’t attend, why not drive in virtual reality — on Gran Turismo Sport, using the Playstation 4.
Alternatively, head to your nearest Audi dealer and experience one of the last great petrol-engined sports cars, the R8.