2018 Audi e-tron
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Audi e-tron Gran Turismo sparks into real life for E-Series

  • PlayStation virtual turns into racing reality
  • All-electric concept car to be Formula E race taxi
  • ‘E-mobility is rapidly gaining importance’ – Audi
ISN'T IT BEAUTIFUL? This is the Audi e-tron Vision Gran Turismo concept car - from PlayStation game to the real thing. Image: Audi / Newspress
ISN’T IT BEAUTIFUL? This is the Audi e-tron Vision Gran Turismo concept car – from PlayStation game to the real thing. Image: Audi / Newspress

INGOLSTADT, Germany – Audi, with its fully electric e-tron Vision Gran Turismo concept car, says it is turning electric mobility into a tangible experience in a unique way. How’s That…?

Well the car, originally created for virtual racing on PlayStation 4, has become reality for the 2018 Formula E battery-car racing series and from April 14 2018 will be deployed at the Rome street track as a ”’race taxi”.

Peter Mertens, Audi’s management board member for technical stuff, told The Corner in a media communication: “E-Mobility is rapidly gaining importance – which is why in 2017 Audi was the first German automaker to enter Formula E with a factory-backed commitment.

GUESTS GET TICKETS TO RIDE

”Our motorsport development laboratory is expanding our expertise in e-mobility and gathering valuable experience in extremely demanding conditions. With the Audi e-tron Vision Gran Turismo we are turning electric mobility into a tangible experience for our customers and guests at Formula E races.”

ISN'T IT BEAUTIFUL? This is the Audi e-tron Vision Gran Turismo concept car - from PlayStation game to the real thing. Image: Audi / Newspress
ISN’T IT BEAUTIFUL? This is the Audi e-tron Vision Gran Turismo concept car – from PlayStation game to the real thing. Image: Audi / Newspress

Hence, Audi customers and brand guests will be able to experience the series’ city circuits as passengers in the futuristic car, starting with the Roman event .

The one-of-a-kind car took 11 months to assemble at Audi’s pre-production centre based on the car in the Gran Turismo PlayStation game which, Audi says, ”has acquired cult status with gamers around the globe”.

READ MORE Audi features on Carman’s Corner

The automaker says it has been working with Sony and Polyphony Digital – creators of “Gran Turismo” – for nearly 20 years. The e-tron Gran Turismo was created for a ‘Vision Gran Turismo’ competition on the game’s 15th anniversary.

Many other automakers did the same; some were assembled as full-size cars for display at trade shows around the world but the Audi says its car is the first to be deployed to real race-tracks as a functioning car.

DESIGN ELEMENTS FROM IMSA AUDIS

Marc Lichte, Audi’s chief designer, explained: “We’re particularly proud of that – we didn’t want to put a purely fictitious concept on wheels. Our aim was a fully functional car complete with numerous elements of our new design – such as the inverted single frame in the vehicle’s colour that will be typical of our new e-tron models.”

ISN'T IT BEAUTIFUL? This is the Audi e-tron Vision Gran Turismo concept car - from PlayStation game to the real thing. Image: Audi / Newspress
ISN’T IT BEAUTIFUL? This is the Audi e-tron Vision Gran Turismo concept car – from PlayStation game to the real thing. Image: Audi / Newspress

Audi says it deliberately took design elements and colour from the Audi 90 quattro IMSA GTO which in 1989 ”thrilled motorsport fans in the North American IMSA-GTO racing series” with drivers such as Hans-Joachim Stuck, Walter Röhrl, Hurley Haywood and Scott Goodyear.

”The car was far ahead of its time back then with its combination of light design, quattro drive, and a powerful five-cylinder turbo engine.”

600kW AND 0-100 LESS THAN 2.5SEC

The Audi e-tron Vision Gran Turismo has permanent all-electric, all-wheel drive,  with variable power distribution, and three electric motors – each capable of 200kW. Two spin the rear axle, the third the front, using individual components from the future Audi e-tron.

The system’s output is 600kW for the car’s kerb weight of 1450kg and that, Audi says, means a power-to-weight ratio of 1.78kg/hp with 50:50 weight distribution the front / rear axle.

How fast? Well, Audi testing claims 0-100km/h in less than 2.5 seconds and the lucky guy who gets to drive it at Formula E races and other international events will be former German Touring Cars ace Rahel Frey (from Switzerland) or Le Mans winner Dindo Capello (from Italy).

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