Production of Audi's new electric GT sports car will begin in 2020. Could this be the R8's future replacement?
Audi has announced a new addition to its growing EV family. Joining the already-announced e-tron and e-tron Sportback SUVs is the Audi e-tron Gran Turismo, a new fully electric four-door sports car that takes aim at the Tesla Model S. Announced at Audi's annual press conference, production of the electric GT will begin in 2020 at the company's Bollinger Hofe site near Neckarsulm in Germany. Previewing the future direction of the company's performance division, Audi describes the e-tron GT as "highly dynamic" while using "pure electric drive."
"We interpret sportiness very progressively with our fully electric e-tron GT, and this is how we will take our high-performance brand Audi Sport into the future," said brand chairman Rupert Stadler. Previewed in a shadowy teaser sketch, the four-door coupe features a low stance, huge wheels, and aggressive air intakes that dominate the front. With its long hood and sloping roof, Audi has managed to retain classic GT proportions for the new e-tron, despite the electric powertrain protruding underneath. The interior is expected to incorporate the A8's dual-screen infotainment system and Audi's Virtual Cockpit Display. Effectively, we could be looking at the R8's future replacement as the company's new flagship sports car.
Autocar reports that Audi also confirmed that the e-tron EV will cost around 80,000 euros ($98,886) later this year. Following this week's announcement of VW's plans to launch an electric car virtually every month from 2019, Audi bosses said that the company will have 20 electrified models in its range by 2025. Stadler also said that Audi has been co-operating with Porsche to develop a new electric car platform, which has "reduced development costs by three digit million Euro amount". All core Audi models will be offered with "at least mild hybrid" engine options. By pushing electrification, Audi hopes its EV and PHEV models will make up one third of all sales by 2025.