The third in a line of fully electric vehicles to be released by 2025, the Audi e-tron GT is a taste of what is to come from Audi
Audi just released its third all-electric vehicle at the 2018 Los Angeles Auto Show. Designed to take on the Tesla Model S, the Audi e-tron GT concept is the third fully electric car to be launched.
The Audi e-tron GT is a four door coupe featuring a flat-floor architecture that provide a low center of gravity for better performance. With a fully electric powertrain, the Audi GT produces 434 kW or 590 horsepower to provide sports car-like performance.
As with most Audi vehicles, the e-tron GT is outfitted with permanent all-wheel drive with torque vectoring. The production version of the vehicle is expected to be produced by Audi Sport GmbH.
Cutting edge design
Designed with performance and efficiency in mind, the e-tron GT is manufactured with lightweight materials such as aluminum and carbon fiber. For example, the roof of the GT is made of carbon fiber with numerous aluminum components with high strength steel. Much of this technology was developed in close collaboration with Porsche.
The use of cutting-edge materials extends to the cabin of the e-tron GT as well where the focus in on sustainability. In place of animal-based leather, a synthetic leather is used for the seats and assorted trim pieces. Fabrics made from recycled fibers are used in the seat cushions, the arm rests and the center console as well. Even the headliner and floor carpeting are made of econyl yarn, a recycled fiber made from used fishing nets.
Much of the design of the e-tron GT was done in the wind tunnel in order to achieve the most aerodynamic shape possible. The front of the vehicle incorporates several air inlets to provide cooling to many of the vehicle’s drivetrain components. Additionally, the hood and front scoop incorporates several design elements from previous Audi concept cars that are designed to keep the airflow close to the body, reducing undesired aerodynamic swirl.
The 434 kilowatt power system or 590 equivalent horsepower is all electric. Separate motors are fitted to the front and rear axles with torque getting to the ground through all four wheels through a quattro all-wheel drive system, specifically an electric quattro all-wheel drive system.
In all applications of the quattro all-wheel drive system to date, a mechanical driveline connects the front and rear axles. In the Audi e-tron GT, this is achieved through an electronic control system between axles as well as the right and left wheels.
The all-electric drivetrain is expected to propel the production version of the e-tron GT from 0 to 62 miles per hour in around 3.5 seconds. Zero to 124.3 miles per hour should require just over 12 seconds accelerating through to 149.1 miles per hour. Top speed is capped in order to maximize the range of the vehicle.
The range of the concept Audi e-tron GT is 248.5 miles according to European range standards. Power comes from a lithium-ion battery with an energy content of more than 90kWh. The battery takes up the entire floor space between the front and rear axles that incorporates a unique flat design, a benefit of which is a very low center of gravity. Designed with performance in mind, the center of gravity of the e-tron GT is comparable to the Audi R8.
There are several ways that the battery powering the e-tron GT can be recharged. One ways is using a cable from a stationary recharging station. The second way is by means of contactless induction with Audi Wireless Charging. A charge pad is permanently installed on the floor where the car is parked and the vehicle is charged when the car is parked above the charging pad, across the air gap.
When using an 800 volt system, charging takes place much faster. With this system, the battery is 80% recharged in around 20 minutes. This is good for a range of 200 miles. In contrast, the Tesla Model S 75D is 70% charged in 30 minutes time.
Regenerative braking is an energy recovery mechanism that slows a vehicle or object by converting its kinetic energy into a form that can be used immediately or stored until needed. In other words, the electric motor is using the vehicle’s momentum to recover energy that would otherwise be lost to the brakes as heat. Regenerative braking increases the range by up to 30 percent in Audi electric vehicles. In the e-tron GT, this system consists of two electric motors and the brake system. The system recuperates energy from braking in 90% of all decelerations. Brakes are involved only when the driver decelerates by more than 0.3 g using the break pedal.
The Audi e-tron GT is the third fully electric vehicle behind the Audi e-tron and Audi e-tron Sportback. Audi will introduce 12 models of fully electric vehicles by 2025 in its most important markets. Their strategy consists of offering an electric vehicle model across every market segment ranging from compact to full-size.
If the production version of the Audi e-tron GT looks anything close to the concept, Audi will have a winner on its hands. More importantly, the Tesla Model S will have one heck of a competitor closing in on its market share.