To love concept cars is to accept that the majority of the vision you’ve fallen in love with will be compromised – often significantly – if/when the design makes it to production. That said, Audi has a history of retaining a considerable percentage of their show car DNA, something that Audi head of design Marc Lichte has delivered again with the 2021 Audi e-tron GT, a vehicle first revealed back in 2018 at the Los Angeles Auto Show.
Lichte described the original expression of the Audi e-tron GT as “The most beautiful car I’ve ever drawn.” Now two years later, that confident exploration of form has arrived as an all-electric Gran Turismo with many of the details that made the original show car a buzzworthy design mostly unscathed from the editing process: the same chiseled low stance with a honeycomb grill agape in front, complemented with short overhangs and a long wheelbase, sliding elegantly down to a tapered rear evocative of Audi’s TT and R8 models.
Good design comes about when a product is aesthetic and functional at the same time, when it becomes part of a seamless overall experience. The basis for aesthetics lies in the proportions: short overhangs and a long wheelbase, along with a slender cabin on a strong body. All this is combined by the e-tron GT.
– Marc Lichte, Head of Audi Design
The electric sedan’s aggressive aerodynamic styling isn’t all bark and no bite. In fact, drivers might have to bite their lips when activating all 582 horsepower powered by an electric motor on each axle. The 2021 e-tron GT is good for a 0-60 in 3.5 seconds; a high performance 637 horsepower RS e-tron GT variant arriving at the end of 2021 promises to propel drivers even faster, with speeds under 3.5 seconds.
To improve performance and efficiency, Audi equipped the e-tron GT with a lightweight, high-strength, five-layer carbon fiber reinforced plastic roof – a first for an Audi.
Only time will tell if Audi’s halo model and its mix of power, performance and range will electrify buyers within a quickly crowding field of post-petrol models vying for drivers seeking the next greatest thing on four wheels. The Audi e-tron GT may be the perfect concoction, balancing all the attributes into the sum of something special. Or as the automakers call, a “sporty and technological spearhead of its electric offensive”.