Audi e-tron Vision Gran Turismo spearheads brand's EV ambitions

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In its virtual form the e-tron Vision Gran Turismo was originally conceived to celebrate the "Gran Turismo" game's 15th anniversary in 2013, but now it's been turned into a reality by Audi to be part of a marketing campaign built around its new e-tron electric auto sub-brand.

Developed from scratch in just 11 months, this all-electric E-Tron Vision Gran Turismo will make its first public appearance in Rome on April 14, where it will be used as a demonstrator auto, with lucky Audi customers and guests getting rides ahead of the Italian city's upcoming Formula E race. Weighing around 3,197 pounds, the permanent all-wheel-drive race auto is said to have a 50:50 weight distribution between the two axles and a 0-62 miles per hour time of under 2.5 seconds.

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Audi's decision to build the electric powered supercar makes the e-tron Vision Gran Turismo the first simulated race auto developed for Playstation's Gran Turismo to be made fully functional. It's a fully functioning coupe created to be a marketing spearhead for its e-tron electric vehicle brand and Formula E involvement, but which started off its life as an imaginary model in the "Gran Turismo" video game on Sony's PlayStation 4.

Design-wise, the e-tron Vision Gran Turismo appears like a more futuristic version of a R8 GT3 race auto, and sports a wide bodykit, plenty of flics and canards, a big rear wing and racing wheels.

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Remarkably, Audi's engineers were able to bring the e-tron Vision GT from digital-only concept to drivable physical vehicle in only 11 months. Starting with the Formula E race in Rome on Saturday, April 14, however, the concept will be deployed as a race taxi. Our aim was a fully functional auto. "This auto 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". The motors are taken directly from the upcoming Audi e-tron, an all-electric SUV that the automaker hopes to have in dealerships by the end of the year. Three electric motors, each with output of 200 kW, propel the concept auto. The total output of the power plant amounts to 816 horsepower. The vehicle will appear at all European Formula E 2018 races as well as other unnamed events. The mass of the 760-strong hybrid is only 825 pounds, and from zero to 100 kilometers per hour it is able to accelerate in 2.5 seconds. Piloting the race auto will be former DTM driver Rahel Frey from Switzerland or Le Mans victor Dindo Capello from Italy.

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