VIDEO: Marc Lichte on the Audi e-tron GT's design – paultan.org

VIDEO: Marc Lichte on the Audi e-tron GT's design – paultan.org

03/01/2021

The new Audi e-tron GT is in many ways a statement piece. Its design was foreshadowed many years ago by the Audi Prologue, the first design concept penned by Marc Lichte when he joined Audi back in 2014.

Not taking into account their body shape, the similarities are telling – both cars are low slung, have wide tracks, a long wheelbase and short overhangs. The wheel arches are also made more muscular to amplify the automaker’s fabled quattro all-wheel drive technology. For Lichte, the e-tron GT is the perfect package. It has the proportions of a car that he has dreamed of all his life.

“Good design is characterised by the fact that it is first of all highly emotional. That is the most important thing. In addition, good design is the perfect symbiosis, on the one hand of an extremely high level of aesthetics and, on the other, functionality. If these are perfectly in harmony, then that’s good design to me,” the designer said.

In the video, he explained that the first challenge in designing the e-tron GT was trying to combine high levels of aesthetics with good functionality. Then, it was combining performance with efficiency, and efficiency was what dictated the overall styling of the new electric car.

There was also the technological challenge of making the e-tron GT sit as low as the Prologue. This was a tough one to pull off because the sheer size of the battery would eat into the passenger floor space. Not only did the Audi design team overcome this, the engineers even made the e-tron GT flatter than the Prologue.

“The special thing about the design of the e-tron GT is how the car is shaped. [The] quattro is one of the original genes in our DNA, and will be in the future. And we make that visible in the car in a dramatic way,” Lichte said. Look at the rear haunches – it took Lichte and his team nearly three months to sculpt them.

If you’ve been following the development of the e-tron GT, you’ll realise that the production car looks a lot like the concept. Audi has never done a one-to-one design like this, Lichte said. “The best thing will be, when the last cover falls, that there are no surprises. The surprise is that we have implemented the show car one-to-one in series production. Audi has never done that in this form before. One to one.”

“This really is a car that is highly aesthetic, super emotional, and still combines functionality. And for me, in all honesty, it’s really the highlight of my career,” he added.

To briefly recap, the e-tron GT and RS e-tron GT are powered by a twin-motor (permanently excited synchronous motors) propulsion system. The total system output for the standard quattro variant is 476 PS (350 kW) and 630 Nm, but power shoots up to 530 PS and 640 Nm in a short 2.5-second window during Launch Control. Here, the 0-100 km/h sprint is done in 4.1 seconds, and it tops out at 245 km/h.

Meanwhile, total system output for the RS e-tron GT is 598 (440 kW) and 830 Nm of torque, or 646 PS (475 kW) in boost mode. It does the century dash in 3.3 seconds, and top speed is rated at 250 km/h. Power gets sent to the rear wheels via a two-speed transmission – the first close-ratio gear provides peak accelerative performance, but drivers can choose to set off in the long-ratio second gear for the daily drive.

GALLERY: 2021 Audi RS e-tron GT

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