Audi has just announced its new production car, and it’s awesome. The Audi e-tron GT is a battery-powered, all-electric sports car with front and rear axle engines capable of generating 637 horsepower, in a top-performing $140,000 RS guise. This provides the potential of the sporty four-door to accelerate from zero in around three seconds to 60 m.p.h.
The expansion of its electric vehicle (EV) range, which currently consists of the pedestrian-looking e-tron SUV, is a top priority for Audi, which has staked out a place as a forward-looking luxury brand for years, quickly adopting new forms and techniques.
Designing an EV without the constraints of such hard points as an engine, transmission, exhaust system, or gas tank was liberating, says Marc Lichte, the brand’s global design director. “I’ve done with my team more than 100 cars. But e-tron GT is the highlight,” Lichte says. This is because it encompasses many of the elements that car designers often include in concept cars vehicles meant to foretell an evanescent automotive future. Lichte says, “We like to sketch cars like this: large wheels, short front and rear overhangs, low cabin, long wheelbase.”
“We wanted to come up with a very low car. But there is this huge battery pack in the floor. So the challenge was to find a technical solution to find space for the rear passengers,” said Lichte. “The solution was that the battery pack isn’t all one layer, like a chocolate bar. It has different layers.”
So it’s adjourned where the feet of the rear passengers will go, and it’s thicker under the seat. This enables the car to be two inches lower than the Audi A7 sports sedan, which is already sporty.
The design of the e-tron GT has already attracted celebrity admirers. When the concept was first presented by Lichte at the 2018 L.A. Auto Show, a friend of the brand joined him.