Audi has revealed the electric powered e-tron GT concept, which is a four-door coupe at the LA Auto Show. The volume-production counterpart is set to follow in approximately two years. This is the next electric Audi to be launched, following in the footsteps of the Audi e-tron SUV and the Audi e‑tron Sportback slated for 2019. This time with a flat-floor architecture that provides low centre of gravity and a dynamic body structure, the Audi e-Tron GT gets the best of all worlds. Flat, wide and with a long wheelbase – those are the proportions of a classic Gran Turismo and the Audi e‑tron GT is no different. The concept is 4960 mm long, 1960 mm wide and 1380 mm high.
The lightweight body of the four-door coupe is manufactured using a multi-material construction. The roof section is made from carbon along with numerous aluminuim components and supporting elements made from high-strength steel. The technology for this automobile was developed in close collaboration with Porsche. The gently sloping roofline of the e-tron GT concept that extends well into the rear echoes the sportback layout. The cabin that tapers strongly toward the rear stands out compared to current Audi models. Wheel arches and shoulders are sculpted and, together with the flat floor, underlines the low centre of gravity.
The sill area between the wheel arches has been drawn way outwards, creating a distinctive contrast with the cabin. The sill draws the eye to the underfloor area where the battery and thus the energy centre of the Audi e-tron GT concept are located. The hallmark Audi Singleframe is located in the centre of the front section. Compared with the two e-tron SUVs its architecture is much more horizontal. The top half comes with a cover painted in body color. Its surface structure is reminiscent of the typical honeycomb pattern of the grille on the Audi RS models – a visual signal which characterizes the Audi e-tron GT concept as a future product of Audi Sport GmbH.
Together with the targeted airflow of the body, large air inlets in the front effectively cool the assemblies, battery and brakes. The hood with its airflow on the surface echoes the brand's two latest show cars, the Aicon and the PB18 e-tron. It is designed in such a way that the airflow hugs the body, thus reducing undesired swirl.
The arrow-shaped front section also emphasizes the matrix LED headlights with laser high beam, underscoring the dynamic presence of the Audi e-tron GT concept even while stationary. As already seen with the brand's current Visions vehicles, the light is also animated here and welcomes the driver with a short function sequence, the wave of light that extends horizontally: a new visual signature that is set to find its way into volume production in future.
A light strip runs across the entire width of the rear. This strip dissipates at the outer edges, in the actual lighting units, into individual wedge-shaped LED segments. This architecture links the e-tron GT with the volume-production SUV e-tron, making both instantly recognizable even in the dark as Audi electric automobiles.
The centre console and the freestanding instrument cluster seem to float. Light colours in the top section of the cockpit and the gradually darker gradation through to the floor area create the impression of clear width. Sport seats inspired by motor racing in both rows of seats provide optimum lateral support even while cornering at speed.
Both the screen of the central instrument and the touchscreen above the centre console come with a black-panel look finish. They underscore the large, calm design of the interior with its predominantly horizontal basic architecture. Various layouts are available for the monitors to present the functions depending on the driver's preference, including virtual instrument dials, easy-to-read navigation maps with information on the range, or various infotainment function menus. They are controlled via the touchscreen with tactile feedback.
Fabrics made from recycled fibres are used on the seat cushions as well as the armrests and on the centre console. Microfiber material adorns the headlining and the trim of the window pillars. Even the deep-pile floor carpet is made from sustainable Econyl yarn, a recycled fiber made from used fishing nets.
With two luggage compartments, the Audi e-tron GT concept offers a great many options for a Gran Turismo. Here it makes full use of its concept advantage as an electric automobile with compact drive units. The rear with its large tailgate offers up to 450 litres of luggage capacity. Under the hood there is an extra 100 litres of capacity.
The Audi e-Tron GT gets a 434 kilowatts (590 horsepower) system power – that is an impressive figure for the potential of the all-electric drive. Separate electric motors are fitted to the front and rear axles. In both cases these are permanently excited synchronous motors. They put down the torque onto the road via all four driven wheels – naturally the new Audi e-tron GT concept is also a genuine quattro. An electric quattro to be precise, since there is no mechanical link between the front and rear axle. The electronic control system coordinates the drive between the axles as well as between left and right wheels. That means optimum traction and just the desired amount of slip.
In future, the vehicle should accelerate from 0 to 100 kmph in around 3.5 seconds before going on to 200 kmph in just over 12 seconds. The top speed is regulated at 240 kmph to maximize the range. The range of the concept car will be over 400 kilometers determined according to the new WLTP standard. The required drive energy comes from a lithium-ion battery with an energy content of more than 90 kWh, which takes up the entire underfloor area between the front and rear axle with its flat design. The decisive advantage of this design is the car's extremely low center of gravity – comparable with that of the Audi R8.
The battery in the Audi e-tron GT concept can be charged in several ways: using a cable which is connected behind the flap in the left front wing, or by means of contactless induction with Audi Wireless Charging. Here a charging pad with integral coil is installed permanently on the floor where the car is to be parked, and connected to the power supply. The alternating magnetic field induces an alternating voltage in the secondary coil fitted in the floor of the car, across the air gap. With a charging output of 11 kW the Audi e-tron GT concept can be fully charged conveniently overnight.
Wired charging is much faster as the four-door coupe is fitted with an 800-volt system. This substantially reduces charging times compared with conventional systems that are currently in use. Thus it takes around 20 minutes to recharge the battery to 80 percent of its capacity, once again providing a range of more than 320 kilometers. The e-tron GT concept can, however, also be recharged at charging points with lower voltages, providing the driver with access to the entire charging network.