Slick Electric Supercar Poised to Be New Face of the Audi Brand
Robert Downey Jr. was overkill. The Audi E-tron GT concept car unveiled at the Los Angeles Auto Show this week didn’t need star support—it was the star. Audi strikes that sweet spot between svelte but safe elegance and aggressive and memorable luxury.
Audi did use its Iron Man to validate the car’s iconic superhero/supercar status and slot it as the politically correct successor to the current top-of-the-line R8. The new four-door coupe electric standard-bearer looks ready to accept this accolade when it enters production (it’s expected to be in consumer hands by early 2021). When it arrives, it will be the third car in Audi’s electric transformation—following the just-launched Audi E-tron SUV and the E-tron Sportback due next year.
The E-tron GT design is exotic and attention-grabbing in contrast to the basic E-tron SUV’s more mundane, non-controversial styling. While you could lose the first E-tron in a lot full of Q5s and Q7s, the E-tron GT would stand out in any crowd.
Head of Audi AG design Marc Lichte presented the car as his signature achievement (a “once in a lifetime” opportunity), extolling its combination of functionality and aesthetics. As an example he pointed out that it sits two inches lower than the sleek A7, but offers better rear seat headroom thanks to electric vehicle packaging advantages.
The Audi E-tron GT ups the ante for electric halo cars on several fronts. The car features a two-motor system—Quattro permanent all-wheel drive, of course—that puts out a total of 590 horsepower. Expected performance is 0-62 mph in 3.5 seconds.
The 90 kWh battery is designed to not only deliver the above performance, but also 250 miles of range. Top speed is limited to 150 mph to conserve the battery. An Audi-developed cooling system purports to offer more reliability in high-performance driving. Energy recuperation comes in three areas—manual recuperation via paddle shifters, automatic recuperation while coasting and brake recuperation, increasing Audi EV range up to 30 percent. The battery also is designed for rapid recharging—capable of reaching an 80 percent charge in 20 minutes.
When it goes into production the Audi Sport GmbH subsidiary—Audi’s version of Mercedes’ renowned AMG—will be in charge of building the car.
Photos by Lex Adams
Related Stories You Might Enjoy–Other LA Auto Show News