The Audi e-tron GT concept car that made its debut last week at the 2018 LA Auto Show is nearly production-ready, according to Audi design boss Mark Lichte.
“This is a metal sheet body already, and you can imagine how close it is with a metal sheet body," Lichte said in a roundtable interview during the LA show.
That implies the sheet metal won't change, but Lichte said some details will. For instance, the 22-inch wheels will be smaller by 1 inch and the futuristic door handles will likely give way to something more common. The Audi e-tron's final design was finished six months ago but the production version won't be shown until late 2020, Lichte said.
Audi e-tron GT Concept, 2018 LA Auto Show
The e-tron GT is an electric super sports car that shares its J1 platform with the Porsche Taycan. Audi promises 590 horsepower, a 0-62 mph run of 3.5 seconds, and 250 miles of range on the European WLTP cycle from its 96-kwh battery pack.
"We started working on the e-tron (GT) two years ago...when I first saw the Taycan. And we thought about what if we use this platform and do an Audi version on top of it without sharing detail in the exterior or interior," Lichte said.
2020 Porsche Taycan spy shots - Image via S. Baldauf/SB-Medien
Lichte obviously saw the Mission-E concept car, which debuted at the 2015 Frankfurt motor show, but his work on the e-tron GT largely began after Porsche finished the Taycan's final design. That means Porsche completed most of both cars' engineering before designers at Audi started on their version.
The cars should drive somewhat differently as Audi engineers tuned the air-spring suspension.
Lichte also noted that the Porsche and Audi teams came together every few weeks to make sure the cars were completely different inside and out. In fact, they only share one common exterior component: the windshield.
Look for the Audi e-tron GT to hit the streets in early 2021.