Audi brings Gran Turismo to life

The Weekly Advertiser Horsham - - Motoring -

Audi has re­vealed a real-world ver­sion of its pure-elec­tric etron Vi­sion Gran Turismo race­car made fa­mous by Plays­ta­tion 4 gam­ing fran­chise Gran Turismo, with the one-off con­cept to serve as a ‘race taxi’ at Euro­pean For­mula E mo­tor­sport events this year.

The e-tron Vi­sion Gran Turismo was con­ceived in vir­tual form fol­low­ing Gran Turismo’s 20th an­niver­sary last year, while its phys­i­cal guise was de­signed and pro­duced in just 11 months by the car-maker’s pre­pro­duc­tion cen­tre.

As a fully func­tional ve­hi­cle, the e-tron Vi­sion Gran Turismo fea­tures three elec­tric mo­tors – two driv­ing the rear axle and one pro­pel­ling the front wheels – that pro­duce 200kw each for a to­tal sys­tem power out­put of 600kw.

Given its pow­er­train set-up, the etron Vi­sion Gran Turismo in­cludes a per­ma­nent all-wheel-drive sys­tem with vari­able power dis­tri­bu­tion, which en­ables a sprint from stand­still to 100kmh in less than 2.5 sec­onds.

This per­for­mance is aided by a kerb weight of just 1450 kilo­grams, while han­dling is op­ti­mised thanks to per­fect 50:50 weight dis­tri­bu­tion be­tween the front and rear axles.

Crit­i­cally, in­di­vid­ual com­po­nents from fu­ture Audi e-tron mod­els – in­clud­ing the e-tron quat­tro, e-tron Sport­back and e-tron GT – have been em­ployed by the e-tron Vi­sion Gran Turismo.

Ac­cord­ing to Audi chief de­signer Marc Lichte, the com­pany did not want to de­liver a sur­face-level e-tron Vi­sion Gran Turismo con­cept, so it in­stead pur­sued a le­git­i­mate race­car. “Al­though the de­sign of a vir­tual ve­hi­cle al­lows much greater free­dom and the cre­ation of con­cepts which are only hard to im­ple­ment in re­al­ity, we did not want to put a purely fic­ti­tious con­cept on wheels. Our aim was a fully func­tional car,” he said.

“The Audi e-tron Vi­sion Gran Turismo shows that elec­tric mo­bil­ity at Audi is very emo­tive.

“This car in­cor­po­rates nu­mer­ous el­e­ments of our new de­sign lan­guage, such as the in­verted sin­gle frame in the ve­hi­cle’s colour, that will be typ­i­cal for our new e-tron mod­els.”

Start­ing with the For­mula E race in Rome, Italy on April 14, the brand will of­fer cus­tomers and guests ‘race taxi’ pas­sen­ger-seat rides around the city cir­cuits in the e-tron Vi­sion Gran Turismo.

Ei­ther Swiss DTM driver Ra­hel Frey or Ital­ian Le Mans win­ner Dindo Capello will be at the wheel of the e-tron Vi­sion Gran Turismo dur­ing the hot laps, which are also set to take place at nu­mer­ous non-for­mula E events in 2018.

Audi was the first Ger­man man­u­fac­turer to en­ter the For­mula E com­pe­ti­tion with a fac­tory-backed com­mit­ment, al­low­ing it to fur­ther de­velop its e-tron line-up via the race-to-road method.

RACE TO ROAD: Audi set to im­prove its forth­com­ing e-tron mod­els by en­ter­ing the pure-elec­tric For­mula E com­pe­ti­tion in 2017.

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