Audi’s e-Tron family hits hyperdrive in 2022 with the GTR, an electric replacement for the R8. By Georg Kacher.
POWERTRAIN Three electric motors, 95kWh solid state battery, 650bhp, all-wheel drive
CHASSIS Aluminium monocoque
PORSCHE PLUS EXTRA PRACTICALITY
Audi’s foreseeable future does not include a single sports car that’s pure Ingolstadt. Get used to it – the EV age will see more, not less, sharing of ideas and hardware. In any case, the R8 has always had a healthy dose of Lamborghini in its DNA. In the case of the e-Tron GTR, the key donor is Porsche: the Taycan’s J1 platform will be tweaked for Audi dynamics and extra passenger-friendly practicality.
STREAMLINED AUDI LINE-UP
To help make every part of Audi profitable in the face of the slim margins on electric cars, CEO Bram Schot is in the midst of a product cull. Some cars and many engine variants will be killed off. On the provisional casualty list are the stillborn five-door A3 sport coupe, the three-door A1/S1, the A5 coupe and convertible, the TT twins, the R8 and the proposed A8-based A9 coupe (concept pictured below).
PB18 CONCEPT MADE REAL
Audi’s California design team under Gael Buzyn have already designed a body that could very plausibly become the e-Tron GTR: the two-door, two-seat PB18 shooting brake-style concept (above) was one of the hits of last year’s Pebble Beach show in the USA. Expect the aggressive front end to stay, along with a layout that puts EV hardware behind the driver rather than under the floor, allowing it to stay low.
AUDI’S PATH TO 650BHP
After this year’s e-Tron SUV and Sportback, 2020 will bring a production version of the e-Tron GT concept (above). Expect 575bhp from two electric motors, with 0-62mph in 3.5sec. But 2022’s still-secret GTR is expected to have more than 650bhp from a solid-state battery, offering a 0-62mph time closer to two seconds, wireless charging and a range of 300 miles.
Hans-Joachim Rothenpieler R&D chief / Illustration: Avarvarii
‘Audi Sport must have e-mobility, and our icons for the brand must become electric. We are in discussions regarding the sporty cars and the RS vehicles – they will need a change towards e-mobility. The e-Tron GT will come towards the end of 2020 – that’s the first step. Electrically, you can control things more, and have more of an emotional influence on driving behaviour.’