Sleek elec­tric coupé to get 582bhp

Flag­ship of Audi’s new elec­tric E-tron range will be the 582bhp GT, an A7-sized coupé

Autocar - - CONTENTS - RACHEL BURGESS

The Audi E-tron GT con­cept is “very close” in design to the pro­duc­tion model ar­riv­ing in 2020, ac­cord­ing to the com­pany’s design boss, Marc Lichte.

The four-door sports sa­loon, re­vealed at the Los An­ge­les mo­tor show, will be the third of Audi’s stand-alone elec­tric mod­els, fol­low­ing the al­ready re­vealed E-tron and next year’s E-tron Sport­back. A com­pact elec­tric model is also due (see right). By 2025, Audi will have 12 elec­tric mod­els.

The sleek, A7-sized E-tron GT will be the flag­ship of Audi’s elec­tric line-up, fall­ing un­der the cus­tody of the brand’s Audi Sport per­for­mance arm.

It will of­fer 248 miles of range on the WLTP cy­cle and, most no­tably, will be ca­pa­ble of charg­ing at 350kw. This will dra­mat­i­cally re­duce charg­ing times, mean­ing that an 80% fast charge can be achieved in un­der 20 min­utes. Cur­rently, a sim­i­lar level of charge takes more than dou­ble that time.

For at-home charg­ing, as well as us­ing a tra­di­tional cable, Audi will of­fer a wire­less charg­ing op­tion via an in­duc­tion plate.

The GT’S two syn­chro­nous mo­tors – one at the front and one at the rear – pro­duce a col­lec­tive 582bhp power out­put. This is suf­fi­cient to ac­cel­er­ate from zero to 62mph in 3.5sec and at­tain a top speed of 149mph. Torque is trans­ferred to the wheels via the quat­tro per­ma­nent all-wheel drive with torque vec­tor­ing.

“The ac­cel­er­a­tion isn’t im­por­tant. It’s be­ing able to re­pro­duce that ac­cel­er­a­tion five, six, seven times,” said Audi Sport prod­uct mar­ket­ing boss Ste­fan Holis­chka, al­lud­ing to some elec­tric per­for­mance cars on the mar­ket that strug­gle to repli­cate ac­cel­er­a­tion times more than once due to bat­tery lim­i­ta­tions.

The GT’S 96kwh bat­tery takes up the en­tire un­der­floor area be­tween the two axles, giv­ing the GT a cen­tre of grav­ity com­pa­ra­ble with that of the Audi R8. There is also all-wheel steer­ing, all of which cre­ates “sports-car-like agility and pre­ci­sion”, said Audi.

“The 96kwh bat­tery is the per­fect com­bi­na­tion for per­for­mance, charg­ing time and range,” said Holis­chka.

The E-tron GT uses the same J1 plat­form as the up­com­ing Porsche Tay­can, which em­ploys a flat bat­tery, suit­able for a lowsit­ting per­for­mance car.

When asked about other sim­i­lar­i­ties be­tween the two cars, Holis­chka said: “The Tay­can will be a dif­fer­ent char­ac­ter. We’ve tried to dif­fer­en­ti­ate as much as pos­si­ble. The [Porsche and Audi] de­sign­ers were in

Its 582bhp out­put is suf­fi­cient to ac­cel­er­ate from zero to 62mph in 3.5sec and at­tain 149mph

close con­tact all the time.”

The body is made from a mix­ture of alu­minium, high­strength steel and car­bon­fi­bre.

Lichte said the E-tron GT has a num­ber of design el­e­ments to im­prove its aero­dy­nam­ics. It has a dy­namic spoiler that can be moved depending on whether a driver wants to fo­cus on per­for­mance or economy. There are two front air cur­tains for the Audi Sport model, as well as spe­cially de­signed wheels for bet­ter aero.

Talk­ing about the broader design, Lichte said: “In the past, we did ex­pres­sive design on the bon­net to ac­cen­tu­ate the en­gine. Now we high­light the sill where the bat­tery sits.”

In­side, the GT has a strongly 3D dash­board, which has a touch­screen in­te­grated, that when not be­ing used blends into the dash.

The steer­ing wheel is flat at the top and bot­tom. Whereas a flat-bot­tom wheel is used in ex­ist­ing RS mod­els, a wheel with a flat top and bot­tom will ap­pear in fu­ture elec­tric RS cars only.

The E-tron GT uses ve­gan ma­te­ri­als as an al­ter­na­tive to leather. There is syn­thetic leather on seats and fab­rics from re­cy­cled fi­bres on seat cush­ions. The floor mats are made from used fish­ing nets.

There are two stor­age com­part­ments, a 450-litre boot (equiv­a­lent to an Audi A4’s) and an­other 100 litres un­der the bon­net.

The car will be built at Böllinger Höfe, Ger­many, where the R8 is made. Pric­ing is likely to be close to £100,000.

It has a range of 248 miles and can charge at up to 350kw E-tron GT four-door coupé is lower than the A7 at 138cm tall

This shape of steer­ing wheel will ap­pear on all elec­tric RS mod­els

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