Car companies have longed worked with the people from Sony and Polyphony Digital to develop specific race cars for the Gran Turismo video game series. These specific cars are usually called “Vision Gran Turismo” cars and Audi is the latest to develop one. This new Audi e-tron Vision Gran Turismo is an all-electric race car that’s been designed digitally for the new Gran Turismo Sport game for Playstation 4.
It won’t just be a digital race car, though. There’s a real version that will be used as a race taxi in the upcoming Formula E season, kicking off in Rome on April 14.
“E-Mobility is rapidly gaining importance,” says Peter Mertens, Member of the Board of Management, Technical Development, AUDI AG. “That is why in 2017 Audi was the first German manufacturer to enter Formula E with a factory-backed commitment. In our development laboratory 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.”
Owners of Gran Turismo Sport can now get this Audi e-tron Vision Gran Turismo and race it on the same Forumla E Rome Circuit as the actual car will be debuting on. Which is pretty cool and very exciting for fans of both Audi and motorsport.
Audi also wanted to create a fully functioning car, rather than most normal Vision GT cars. Most Vision GT concepts are just that — concepts. They are just digital ideas of what a car could be. But Audi wanted to develop something real, something tangible. “This is what we are particularly proud of,” says 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-tronVision 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 color that will be typical for our new e-tron models.”
And Audi borrowed many design elements from the iconic Audi 90 Quattro IMSA GTO, a car that dominated the North American IMSA-GTO racing series with drivers like Hans-Joachim Stuck, Walter Röhrl in 1989. Though, mechanically, the two cars couldn’t be more different. The Audi 90 Quattro IMSA GTO used a 2.5 liter turbocharged five-cylinder engine, a five-speed manual gearbox and Quattro all-wheel drive. The Audi e-tron Vision Gran Turismo will be all-wheel drive as well but it will be significantly different. That’s because the e-tron Vision GT is all-electric.
Two electric motors drive the rear axle and a third one drives the front axle, all of which are based on actual tech used on the upcoming Audi e-tron Quattro. And those motors will be able to create real-time torque-vectoring all-wheel drive. According to Audi, total system output is a whopping 815 hp and the entire car only weighs 1,450 kg (3,196 lbs). That power-to-weight ratio allows it to get from 0-60 mph in a rapid 2.5 seconds.
The futuristic race taxi will be deployed at all European Formula E races and numerous other events in 2018. At the wheel will be former DTM driver Rahel Frey from Switzerland or Le Mans winner Dindo Capello from Italy. And it can also be seen in Gran Turismo Sport on Playstation 4.