Audi Gran Turismo concept car to serve as FE taxi at European races

Audi will demonstrate the e-tron Vision Gran Turismo car that was originally developed for PlayStation 4 online racing at all the European rounds of the 2017/18 Formula E season

Audi Gran Turismo concept car to serve as FE taxi at European races

The car was conceived as part of the Vision Gran Turismo competition that was launched to celebrate the 15th anniversary of the game developed by Polyphony Digital alongside Sony.

Audi has now built a functional version of the car, which will be used for taxi laps at FE events for Audi's guests and customers.

Triple Le Mans winner Rinaldo Capello will drive the car at the Rome round this weekend.

Audi's chief designer Marc Lichte said taking the car from concept to reality was "what we are particularly proud of".

"Although the design of a virtual vehicle allows much greater freedom and the creation of concepts which are only hard to implement in reality, we did not want to put a purely fictitious concept on wheels," he added.

"Our aim was a fully functional car.

"The Audi e-tron Vision Gran Turismo shows that electric mobility at Audi is very emotive.

"This car incorporates numerous elements of our new design language such as the inverted single frame in the vehicle's colour that will be typical for our new e-tron models."

The e-tron Vision Gran Turismo has permanent all-wheel drive and three electric motors, each with an output of 200kW.

The motors are split, with two driving the rear axle and one on the front. The car weighs 1450kg, and Audi claims it can accelerate from 0-100km/h in less than 2.5 seconds.

"E-mobility is rapidly gaining importance," said Peter Mertens, Audi's moard member for technical development.

"That is why in 2017 Audi was the first German manufacturer to enter Formula E with a factory-backed commitment.

"In our development laboratory [of] motorsport, we are continuously expanding our expertise in e-mobility and gathering valuable experience also in extremely demanding conditions.

"With the Audi e-tron Vision Gran Turismo race taxi we are turning electric mobility into a tangible experience for our customers and guests as part of the Formula E races - in the middle of the world's metropolises."

The e-tron Vision Gran Turismo's livery matches the colours of the Audi 90 quattro IMSA GTO car that the manufacturer launched in 1989.

Former DTM driver Rahel Frey will provide taxi duties for FE's inaugural race in Zurich in June, which is the final European race of the current season.

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Author Alex Kalinauckas
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