Audi e-tron Vision Gran Turismo concept drives off the screen and onto the track

Several automakers have created Vision Gran Turismo concepts for various Gran Turismo video games, but these cars tend to be purely virtual. The Audi e-tron Vision Gran Turismo is a bit different. It’s a real working car that will give rides to spectators at Formula E races.

“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,” said Audi chief designer Mark Lichte. “Our aim was a fully functional car.”

Other automakers have built real-life versions of their Vision Gran Turismo concepts; Mercedes-AMG’s concept even had a cameo in the movie Justice League. But Audi will take things a step further, using the e-tron Vision Gran Turismo as a “race taxi” to take customers and other guests around Formula E tracks at high speeds. Driving duties will be handled by race drivers Rahel Frey and Dindo Capello, a 24 Hours of Le Mans winner.

Anyone who straps into the passenger seat of the e-tron Vision Gran Turismo will be in for quite a ride. The car is powered by three electric motors, including two that drive the rear axle, and one for the front axle. They produce a combined 815 horsepower. Audi expects the car to do 0 to 62 mph in less than 2.5 seconds — putting it in the company of the most elite performance cars.

The e-tron Vision Gran Turismo looks as fast as it goes. It wears a racing livery inspired by the Audi 90 quattro race cars that dominated IMSA GTO racing in 1989. These days, Audi’s racing efforts focus on Formula E and its all-electric single-seaters. While the automaker is among Formula E’s front runners, it hasn’t been able to repeat the dominant performances of those IMSA glory days, not to mention its many rally and 24 Hours of Le Mans wins.

The Audi e-tron Vision Gran Turismo concept makes its debut at Formula E’s Rome race April 14. It will appear at other European Formula E races and other assorted events. Don’t expect this all-electric supercar to go into production, though. Audi’s first mass-market electric car, which enters production later this year, will be a more sensible SUV.

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