Audi Debuts e-tron Vision, A Formula E Electric Taxi
Audi will demonstrate the e-tron Vision Gran Turismo car that was originally developed for PlayStation 4 online racing at all of the European rounds of the 2017/18 Formula E season.
The car was conceived as part of the Vision Gran Turismo competition that was launched to celebrate the 15th anniversary of the Sony and Polyphony Digital PlayStation game.
Audi has now built a functional version of the car, which will be used for taxi laps at FE events for Audi’s guests and customers.
Triple Le Mans winner Rinaldo Capello will drive the car at the Rome E-Prix this weekend.
Taking the car from concept to reality is “what we are particularly proud of,” said Audi’s chief designer Marc Lichte.
“Although the design of a virtual vehicle allows much greater freedom and the creation of concepts which are only hard to implement in reality, we did not want to put a purely fictitious concept on wheels.
“Our aim was a fully functional car. The Audi e-tron Vision Gran Turismo shows that electric mobility at Audi is very emotive.
“This car incorporates numerous elements of our new design language such as the inverted single frame in the vehicle’s colour that will be typical for our new e-tron models.”
The e-tron Vision Gran Turismo has permanent all-wheel drive and three electric motors, each with output of 200kW.
The motors are split, with two driving the rear axle and one on the front axle. The car produces 600kW of power and weighs 1,450kg.
Audi claims it can accelerate “from [zero] to 100km/h in less than 2.5 seconds’, according to an official statement.
“E-Mobility is rapidly gaining importance,” said Peter Mertens, an Audi technical development board member.
“That is why in 2017 Audi was the first German manufacturer to enter Formula E with a factory-backed commitment.
“In our development laboratory [of] motorsport, we are continuously expanding our expertise in e-mobility and gathering valuable experience also in extremely demanding conditions.
“With the Audi e-tron Vision Gran Turismo race taxi we are turning electric mobility into a tangible experience for our customers and guests as part of the Formula E races – in the middle of the world’s metropolises.”
The e-tron Vision Gran Turismo’s livery remembers the Audi 90 quattro IMSA GTO car that the manufacturer launched in 1989.
Former DTM driver Rahel Frey will provide taxi duties for FE’s inaugural race in Zurich in June, which is the final European race of the current season.