Unlike other Vision GT cars, Audi's concept is actually real.
The Vision Gran Turismo program has spawned a variety of weird and wonderful concept cars from major manufacturers including Bugatti, Mercedes-AMG and McLaren. Five years after the project was launched by Polyphony Digital, the developer of the popular Gran Turismo video game series, Audi is the latest manufacturer to join the party. However, unlike other Vision GT cars that were made exclusively for the Gran Turismo games, Audi's entry exists in the real world as an actual, functioning car.
Dubbed the e-Tron Vision Gran Turismo, Audi's electric racecar will debut at this week's Formula E race in Rome as a prototype, where it will be used as a race taxi, ferrying passengers around race tracks throughout the championship. Meanwhile, PlayStation 4 owners can drive the Audi e-Tron Vision GT in Gran Turismo Sport right now as part of the game's latest update. "This is what we are particularly proud of," said Audi's chief designer Marc Lichte. "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.
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 color that will be typical for our new e-tron models." If the e-Tron Vision GT looks familiar, that's because the design and paint scheme is inspired by the legendary 1989 Audi 90 quattro IMSA GTO that competed in the North American IMSA-GTO racing series driven by driven by legends such as Hans-Joachim Stuck, Hurley Haywood, Scott Goodyear, and Walter Röhrl. It featured a systematic lightweight design, quattro four-wheel drive, and a powerful five-cylinder turbo engine. The Audi e-Tron Vision GT also has permanent all-wheel drive.
However, it is powered by three electric motors, each with an output of 268 hp. Two drive the rear axle, while the third drives the front axle using components from the upcoming Audi e-tron. This setup provides a combined output of 815 hp, while a curb weight of 3,196 pounds gives the electric racecar a power to weight ratio of 3.92 pounds per horsepower with a 50:50 weight distribution between the front and rear axle. As a result, the Audi e-tron Vision GT accelerates from 0-62 mph in less than 2.5 seconds. The futuristic race taxi will be deployed at all European Formula E races and numerous other events in 2018. At the wheel will be former DTM driver Rahel Frey from Switzerland or Le Mans winner Dindo Capello from Italy.