Audi enjoys teasing future product at the company’s annual press conference, and the 2018 gathering was no exception. Buried between profit reports, factory highlights and other mundane issues comes more solid confirmation of the brand’s second all-electric e-tron offering. And, unlike the e-tron shown in Geneva, this one will skip the more obvious crossover configuration and instead go low-slung and sporty that should be more appealing to car enthusiasts.
Sharing the above image with attendees, Audi CEO Rupert Stadler stated, “You, ladies and gentlemen, will today gain an advance, exclusive and intimate insight into our product planning. I have brought you a design sketch of an electrifying “must-have.” It’s a car that thrills at first glance, a fully electric gran turismo that stands for a new kind of sportiness: the Audi e-tron GT. This highly emotive spearhead from Audi Sport is to be produced at our Böllinger Höfe plant near Neckarsulm as of 2020. It proves that electric drive can also deliver high performance. I am sure: This very sporty four-door will certainly have many fans and customers. We will lead our high-performance brand Audi Sport into the electric future with models like this.
The car is just the start of no less than 20 electrified models Audi plans to offer by 2025.
Audi shared that the e-tron GT will be built at the brand’s factory in Neckarsulm Germany. It will be based on the same electric car platform, internally known as “J1”, that is being utilized by Porsche develop its upcoming Mission E.
While not incredibly detailed, the drawing above suggests a four-door Sportback body configuration more sporting in appearance than the aforementioned Porsche Mission E. Even still, this is a design drawing, which tends to look more aggressive than more finalized real-world examples as we’re seeing in spy photos of Mission E.
Size is also hard to interpret from a drawing, though Greg Kable suggested the car would be called A9 e-tron when he broke the story two years ago on AutoCar’s blog. At the time, he also suggested the then upcoming electric crossover that’s since turned up at the Geneva Motor Show just weeks ago would be dubbed Q6 e-tron. Whether or not Audi continues on with its alphanumerics when these cars make final production is unclear, but the previous naming structure suggests the e-tron GT you see above could be at least the size of the current A7 (and Tesla Model S for those counting).
Since Stadler didn’t go too in-depth with details, it’s worth noting Kable’s now two-year old story since the British journalist tends to be on the money with such prognostications. At the time, sources told Kable that range would be about 500 km (311 miles). Level 4 autonomous driving was also projected, which would be one step beyond the about-to-be-introduced Level 3 capable Audi A8.
For those more concerned about driving experience, the Kable story also alluded to a very impressive configuration that seems to be echoed by Stadler now. The AutoCar report suggested the A9 e-tron (now e-tron GT) would use asynchronous motors for their higher power density at higher revs. This will be paired with an evolution of Audi’s venerable quattro all-wheel drive system, but here more of a drive management system that particularly vectors torque between individual rear wheels depending upon grip levels. Think Audi’s Sport Differential, but at a higher level of performance, flexibility and response.