Ready player one? Gamers who've loved the Audi e-tron Vision Gran Turismo in the PlayStation game can now feast their eyes on the real thing. Audi has built a track-ready version of the e-tron to use as a race taxi in the all-electric Formula E series.
Want a ride? Starting at the first Formula E race in Rome on April 14, the e-tron Vision will begin shuttling lucky passengers to the races as part of Audi's commitment to the series.
"E-Mobility is rapidly gaining importance," said Peter Mertens, Member of the Board of Management, Technical Development, Audi AG. "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."
Audi's pre-production center developed and produced the e-tron Vision Gran Turismo from the virtual example designed for the Gran Turismo video game. The process took just eleven months. The Audi example, while not the first full-scale model of the concepts shown in the game, is the first one to be fully functional and deployed to real-world race tracks.
The Audi e-tron Vision Gran Turismo is modeled heavily off of the Audi 90 quattro IMSA GTO which entered the North American IMSA-GTO racing series in 1989. The more modern e-tron, however, uses all-electric all-wheel drive with variable power distribution to each wheel from three electric motors. Each motor outputs 200 kW (268 horsepower), with two motors on the rear axle and one on the front axle. Total system output is 600 kW (815 hp).
The power-to-weight ratio of the Audi e-tron Vision Gran Turismo is 1.78 kilograms per horsepower in a 50:50 weight distribution design. Acceleration from 0-100 km/h (0-62 mph) is under 2.5 seconds, Audi says. No range expectation is given, but the car is capable of making at least one lap of a Formula E circuit.
Audi plans to deploy the e-tron Vision Gran Turismo to all European Formula E races in 2018 as well as other events as yet to be announced. Drivers will include Rahel Frey (Switzerland) and Dindo Capello (Italy). Capello is a three-time 24 Hours of Le Mans winner, twice driving for the Audi team.
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