Just look at this thing. It's fantastic.Audi never seems to disappoint when it comes to concept cars at auto shows. Remember the R8 concept? It was pretty close to the production model and the R8 is one of the best looking cars of the last 15 years. Well it looks like Audi has done it again with the E-Tron GT Concept.
I'll expand on the looks of this car in a minute, but let's dive into the details and technology first as they are actually much more impressive. First, this is an all-electric car with a claimed 248-mile range. Audi says this four-door coupe (ugh, please stop using that term) has 582 horsepower. That's sent via synchronous motors at the front and back wheels though an electric version of it's Quattro permanent all-wheel drive. With energy recuperation via manual or automatic coasting recovery mode and brake regeneration, the E-Tron GT will have, according to Audi, up to 30% padding on it's overall 248 mile range; or up to an extra 74 miles if you take advantage of that extending feature.
How do you charge it? The key is actually from Amazon. Here's more in the release:
Engineered for both AC and DC charging via the widespread SAE Combined Charging System (CCS), the Audi e-tron – in an industry first to-date – debuts a DC fast charging capability of up to 150 kW available at select high-speed public charging stations, which can deliver up-to an 80 percent charge in approximately 30 minutes. Audi and Amazon will deliver a first-ever in-home electric vehicle setup through Amazon Home Services for the e-tron, which offers an available installation of a 240 volt charging system in the customer’s home garage or other location, including 1,000 kWh of charge powered by Electrify America.
Yes, that Amazon. And last but not least, the full production version will come to us in 2020 with sizing similar to the current A7 model. Now, even though all that sounds great, what I'm actually more interested in is how this will relate to the rest of the Audi model lineup from here on out. Here me out.
In vehicle design, specifically based on the entire manufacturer, you have a halo car and the technology, design, and styling trickles down into other models. The Mercedes S-class is a perfect example of this. When the S-class gets a new styling cue, you will see it in the E-class, C-class, all the way through the rest of the sedan lineup. Currently, the C-class is essentially a sized down S-class. Tail lights, interior pieces, and more look relatively the same. The Porsche 918 is another good example of this. The 4-dot headlights from the 918 are now available in the 911 and the 718 Cayman models as an option. They're even popping up in Panameras.
And, even though the E-Tron GT Concept isn't a halo car, I truly believe it'll influence all of Audi's lineup in the next 3-4 years. Design, powertrain, everything. And that is a tremendously good thing. Why? Because this thing looks perfect.
Outside, the car is sculpted with creases, planes, and soft angles everywhere. The interior is a wrap-around envelope of futuristic geometric shapes, but it doesn't seem harsh like the current stable of Lamborghinis that are nothing but hexagons with jagged edges. It's complex, but approachable. And that actually comes across in the design language.
Even the interior, which traditionally Audi has no problem pulling off successfully, isn't a completely mirrored, piano-black smartphone-like fingerprint-attracting representation of what EV's should be. It's still an actual car, with tactile buttons, textured surfaces, and something overall that looks inviting and forward-thinking rather than an uncomfortable futuristic pod we've seen from other manufacturers.
If this is the future of Audi's design, then sign me up. I'm sold. I'll take seven.
What are your thoughts on this concept? Love it? Hate it? I want to hear it.