IT’S not often you hear, or see, a Formula E driver being ‘incredulous’ about the performance of an electric-supercar prototype.
That was the case with Lucas di Grassi, the Brazilian racing star, at a recent CES online ‘demonstration’ of the Audi e-tron GT.
The car is regarded as the mothership of Audi’s electric future in that the supercar’s technologies will filter into its mainstream EVs. And it gets here next summer.
Lucas drove, and we watched online, at a special event from Germany. At times he was lost for words, such was the extreme level of the car’s propulsive impressions: “It’s crazy, incredible, such torque...” and so on.
That must have come as music to the ears of Audi executives. After all, the brand is pinning a big share of its future on this car being such a mould breaker.
I had the temerity to ask about the relevance of such a high-powered exotic Gran Turismo (GT) – before the action unfolded.
I should have bided my time and I wouldn’t have had to ask.
The answers came through quickly and quite strongly before di Grassi took off.
So much of what they are doing with this car will find its way into your next Audi electric vehicle – or certainly the one after that.
They are calling it “maybe the most important Audi ever; certainly the most attractive”.
Di Grassi wasn’t the only one pushing the hyperbole button – well, you can’t
The car’s 800v system can take a charge of up to 270Kw.
Two motors – one for each axle – make it all-wheel-drive.
The battery lies under the floor between the axles and, despite being 2.5ins lower than the A7, the GT’s occupants are said to have plenty of room in the cabin.
The big focus for di Grassi was how precisely the car drove (far better than an internal combustion engine, he said) – and how quickly it responded to changing inputs: from use of dampers, to adaptive suspension to steering... and so on.
And after all that technical stuff... in a leather-free cabin the seats are made of recycled fabric.
And the carpets are made from recycled nylon.