Reducing aerodynamic drag and autonomy: the basic principle of electric mobility becomes an aesthetic principle in the new Audi Gran Turismo

Asking a designer what his best project is is always an off-limits question. One to which, however, Marc Lichte, Head of Design Audi, replied in 2018 indicating the Audi e-tron GT Concept: "it is the most beautiful car he has ever designed". Now the favorite daughter has made her debut in her final role.

But what is the concept of beauty that emerges from the Audi e-tron GT?

A style icon is born on the road

The secret, according to Lichte, lies in the proportions: short overhangs and long wheelbase, a sleek, slender cockpit and a muscular body.

Many people already call it an icon of car design but Lichte, who with his team has worked on the Audi e-tron GT for years, prefers to be cautious: "I deeply love the shapes of our electric Gran Turismo", he says, "but the title of" style icon "must be won not at the drawing board, but on the road, in a context where the lines are confronted with the surrounding reality, where the eye responds to multiple stimuli and the shapes of a car must "emerge" from the background. Design icons share one characteristic: clarity. Three lines are enough to unmistakably outline, for example, the silhouette of a Volkswagen Beetle or a Porsche 911. An icon identifies itself from the very first glance".

Creating an identity

The key word is therefore identity. And the question to ask, in front of a model with such an important stage presence, is how does that of the brand communicate, summarized in the payoff "Vorsprung durch Technik", that is, being at the forefront of technology and its "Living Progress" strategy.

“In the history of Audi, some models have completely fulfilled these ambitions,” says Lichte. “For example Audi A2, emblem of efficiency, Audi TT, example of design that becomes substance, or Audi R8, symbol of uncompromising performance. As for the Audi e-tron GT, the question is not whether or not it is a design icon, but how it expresses our identity. In other words, how you interpret the avant-garde of technology ".

Audi e-tron GT is above all a Gran Turismo. Originally, this name identified sports cars suitable for endurance races. The GTs, in fact, differed from purely sports cars in their greater comfort and a more welcoming interior. As an electric Gran Turismo, the Audi e-tron GT reinterprets these characteristics, not reducing performance to pure power, but raising efficiency as a determining factor in the definition of shapes.

Efficiency inspires design

Efficiency is therefore the factor that inspires the design. This, explains Lichte, means reducing aerodynamic drag and increasing range. In drawing the lines of the Audi e-tron GT, the design team has chosen this basic law of electric mobility as an aesthetic principle.

"Form follows function, traits arise from the search for efficiency and develop hand in hand," says Lichte. "The design of the Audi e-tron GT guarantees the optimization of flows and therefore excellent aerodynamics. The Audi e-tron GT lines lay the foundation for the aesthetics of future Audi electric models. "

Larger and more comfortable interiors

The efficiency of the project is also expressed through the interior design: thanks to the electric propulsion, the interiors gain lightness, functionality and an availability of space comparable to the cars of the higher segment. "Compact on the outside, spacious on the inside: we have dedicated a sculptural basic architecture to the Audi e-tron GT, which enhances the typical sportiness of a GT and focus on the driver, while at the same time placing the emphasis on sustainability" , explains Lichte. "Sustainability is born as an idea, as a horizon, and is expressed through design. In this way, the Audi e-tron GT materializes a principle that shapes our interpretation of exclusivity in the field of electric mobility.