Audi's Tesla Model S rival will enter production later this year.
It's been almost exactly two years since the Audi e-tron GT Concept debuted at the 2018 LA Auto Show. Audi still isn't ready to show off the production version of its much-anticipated Tesla Model S rival just yet, but the wait is nearly over. The German automaker has announced the e-tron GT will enter series production at the end of 2020 at the Bollinger Hofe facility in Neckarsulm, Germany, where the Audi R8 is also assembled.
Ahead of its production, Audi has released a new batch of teaser images previewing the production model wrapped in camouflage. As we've seen in spy shots, the production model's design looks remarkably close to the concept, sporting a sleek four-door bodystyle, wide fenders, and a sloping roofline. The only noticeable difference is the addition of traditional door handles. Performance specifications are still being kept under wraps, but Audi has confirmed what we were all hoping: a high-performance RS version will be available alongside the regular e-tron GT.
"We are taking things another step further; I am pleased to announce today that there will be also an RS version of the e-tron GT, which will be launched together with the e-tron GT," said global boss Markus Duesmann.
The concept utilizes a dual electric motor setup producing a combined output of 582 horsepower. This setup enables the e-tron GT to accelerate from 0-62 mph in 3.5 seconds and hit a top speed of 149 mph. Since the e-tron GT is based on the same platform as the Porsche Taycan, the hardcore RS version could potentially have around 700 hp on tap.
It should sound superb, too. Every e-tron GT will be fitted with a loudspeaker at the front producing a "progressive electronic sound" with 32 individual sound elements. An optional sound package adding a second large loudspeaker to the rear will also be available and the sound will be customizable using the Audi drive select.
In preparation for the electric Gran Turismo's arrival, the production facility has been "expanded, upgraded, and converted", with new "digital processes and smart technologies." In a first for Audi, production of the e-tron GT was designed virtually as tests for assembly line work procedures and logistics were carried out using virtual reality technology.
For the production version, large sections of the body will be constructed from high-strength steel and aluminum, which required Audi to install a new body shop. Production of the e-tron GT requires an even higher attention to detail when it comes to production quality, as the side wall frame has a large draw depth of 13.8 inches between its highest and lowest point. The expanded assembly line also now includes 36 instead of 16 cycles. More details will be revealed when the production Audi e-tron GT debuts later this year.