Can Audi beat Porsche at its own game with the Taycan-twinned e-Tron GT? By Curtis Moldrich

IN AN UNASSUMING studio in Ingolstadt, Audi’s head of design is showing CAR around the most exciting project he’s ever worked on. It’s not a supercar, or an impossible show car – it’s the e-Tron GT concept, an EV that previews Audi’s take on the Porsche Taycan. A production version will follow in 2020.

Marc Lichte is so pleased with the GT because it’s stayed very close to his original vision. ‘It’s like the first sketch,’ he says. Although Audi has labelled it a concept, it’s unlikely to change in any significant way before going into production. ‘That’s why I’m really proud of this car,’ says Lichte. ‘It’s the highlight in my career.’

The e-Tron GT continues the new design language debuted on the e-Tron SUV, on sale in 2019, and transposes it onto an A7-style body. At 4.96m long, 1.96m wide and 1.38m high, it’s lower and slightly wider than the SUV.

The e-Tron GT uses the Taycan’s J1 platform and keeps the same roofline as the Porsche, also due on sale in 2020, but this is unmistakably an Audi.

‘These proportions are perfect, this amount of shoulder, everything is super low, and this is like a four-door super sports car,’ the head of design says, gesturing at the bold creases along the side. ‘It’s been really a dream to design a car like this.’

The rear features a full-width light bar, with the same slats as the SUV, while the front has similarly bold air inlets.

Under the sheet metal, you’ll find the same internals as the Taycan, so expect 0-62mph in 3.5sec, a 249-mile range and a limited top speed of 149mph. Two electric motors will combine for a peak output of 574bhp, driving all four wheels.

It 800-volt charging capability means you can get a 199-mile range in just 20 minutes, though Audi will also be offering the GT with slower but more convenient 11kW wireless charging.

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IT STARTS AT THE FACE
‘Our competitors have almost no air intake, but it would be a mistake because it’s our signature. This is the face of all of our future EVs,’ says Lichte (below). ‘We dropped the shoulder between the wheels to emphasise the muscle.’

WHERE DOES IT FIT IN?
The e-Tron GT shares more with the Porsche Taycan than with Audi’s own e-Tron SUV. As Audi expands its electric offering – 12 EVs by 2025 – there will also be high-volume models using the new PPE platform.

AND INSIDE?
‘We’ve never done a show car interior as close to production as this one,’ Enzo Rothfuss, Audi’s head of interior design, tells us. ‘There will just be a few very little details that will be different.’ So we can look forward to a mix of maximum touchscreens and minimal buttons when the real thing
rolls up in 2020, priced around £100k.


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