Audi has just announced that it will bring the e-tron Vision Gran Turismo concept car to life. The electric supercar will debut at a Formula E event in Rome on April 14.
The car is part of the Vision GT project started by the founder of the Gran Turismo video game franchise Kazunori Yamauchi. The e-tron Vision GT first appeared in Gran Turismo Sport and could be purchased to drive for 1,000,000 in-game credits. In the game, it was a full-fledged 800 horsepower 4WD racer.
However, the real-life version will not be racing in Formula E events. Instead, it will serve as a “race taxi,” shuttling Audi guests and VIPs around at Formula E races throughout the year.
“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,” said Peter Mertens, Member of the Board of Management, Technical Development, Audi AG.
This is not the first time a Gran Turismo concept vehicle has appeared outside the confines of the game. Infiniti’s Vision GT and others have seen real-world versions created and shown at car shows. However, this is the first time a carmaker has turned one of the concepts into a fully functional vehicle to be used to transport passengers.
Remarkably, Audi’s engineers were able to bring the e-tron Vision GT from digital-only concept to drivable physical car in only 11 months. Despite the fact that they had no intentions of racing the vehicle, it still sports 815hp with a curb weight of 1,450kg (3197lbs). The 50:50 drivetrain can launch the car from 0-100kph (62mph) in a blazing 2.5 seconds.
Audi’s e-tron Vision GT will be driven by former DTM driver Rahel Frey of Switzerland or Le Mans winner Dindo Capello of Italy. The car will appear at all European Formula E 2018 races as well as other unnamed events.