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2022 Audi e-tron GT: Tesla Model S and Porsche Taycan electric sports sedan rival still two years away from Australia

This is the Audi e-tron GT Concept launched at the 2018 LA Auto Show, but we understand the production car's look will change.

Audi has confirmed that the e-tron GT all-electric sports sedan will be released globally later in the second half of next year, meaning that Australian sales – including that of the GT RS mooted back in January – are unlikely to commence before sometime in 2022.

While the finished production model has yet to be unveiled, Audi has begun information seminars to drip feed facts about the Porsche Taycan-twinned electric vehicle (EV) leading up to the car’s launch.

To be produced alongside the R8 mid-engined supercar at Audi’s Böllinger Höfe facility in Heilbronn, near the old NSU plant in Neckarsulm, the e-tron GT is described as a “future brand-shaper”, with the EV a “symbol of a new era for Audi, (representing) Audi’s continued evolution as a premium brand. It’s the embodiment of Audi’s emotional design".

“It marks the start of new era of Vorsprung,” according to the company.

While no images or other information was released about the final production version, reports suggest that the four-seat, four-door e-tron GT will basically be a rebodied Taycan, offering up to 430kW of power for a 0-100km/h sprint time of 3.5 seconds on the way to a 240km/h limited top speed, as well as a 93.4kWh battery bringing at least 400km of range and 11kW wireless charging capability.

The e-sound emitting from the car will be completely different from the Taycan – “we didn’t know what they were doing, they didn’t know what we were doing – but we worked with the same systems,” according to one Audi specialist, while there will be an optional Sound Package for a more enhanced audible experience.

The RS version will also have “different but similar” sounds.

Meanwhile, the GT’s composite body will pass through the production line twice – once for the inner-side components inside and then a second run for the outer components – while the multi-material body of mostly aluminium construction will be mainly automated but finished by hand.

The human contribution will include some welding after the first part of production ceases – such as screwing on doors, mudguards and other body add-on items. Fun fact: Audi says local carpenters have been employed because of their tactility skills and sharp eyes, to help ensure a perfect fit is achieved every time.

Finally, the e-tron GT has been brought into production faster than any Audi ever has before, the company claims, though it’s obvious the Porsche connection probably helped here.

Virtual assembly processes have helped speed up production times, with each car taking about 3.5 days to complete – roughly one day for body production, then paint and assembly require another 2.5 days.

The powertrain “marriage” to the body requires extraordinary skill, and proved to be the most challenging part of the entire e-tron GT production process.

“This is the most complicated bit by far – there are many pre-assembly line components that must be moved to the main line and these need to be put together with 74 screws,” an Audi specialist revealed.

The e-tron GT’s final prototype shakedown testing is currently underway, so no doubt more information will be revealed in the not too distant future.

Stay tuned.