How Audi is making e-tron even cooler

The Audi RS e-tron GT ice race edition is a unique celebration of 40 years of Audi Sport’s history

The Audi RS e-tron GT ice race edition is a unique celebration of 40 years of Audi Sport’s history

The limited-run all-electric Audi RS e-tron GT ice race edition celebrate 40 years of Audi Sport, and hints at more customisation for future performance models

When it comes to birthday presents, they don’t come much cooler than the Audi RS e-tron GT ice race edition.

Available in a limited run of 99 cars for Europe, it’s a unique celebration of the first 40 years of Audi Sport’s history. After all, the Audi RS e-tron GT shares many of the same bold design cues as the pioneering Audi Sport quattro from the 1980s: a high-performance special that revolutionised road driving and World Rally competition – particularly on slippery winter roads – with its pioneering quattro all-wheel-drive.

Crucially, though, the Audi RS e-tron GT ice race edition also offers a taste of what’s to come for performance Audi models of the future: certainly through its potent all-electric powertrain, but also when it comes to Audi exclusive customisation.

Learn more about the Audi RS e-tron GT

Racing on ice (electrified)

The concept for the Audi RS e-tron GT ice race edition was inspired by the GP Ice Race: a winter celebration of all things automotive that has been resurrected by Ferdi Porsche in the heart of the Austrian Alps.

First held in 1952 on the frozen lake of Zell Am See, the event was originally based around the Scandinavian sport (yes, it’s a sport!) of skijoring – essentially, skiers being pulled along by horses (in days gone by) and (more recently) by horsepower. Gradually, the event became more focused on competitive multi-car ice racing, until it came to an unexpected end in the wake of the 1974 oil crisis.

“At one point, my dad had a car that he competed with, using spiked bicycle tires to get around the track,” Ferdi recalls. “I’m talking centimetres-long spikes instead of the smaller spiked tyres we use today. I never really knew the event existed, though, as it had been gone for so long. People forgot about it. It just disappeared.

“When we talked about bringing the GP Ice Race back, it was a fun idea: how we can bring young people back to motorsport? There’s a whole new generation of enthusiasts. Everyone was super excited, but no-one was sure it was still do-able. When we opened the doors in 2019, it was overwhelming: 10,000 people showed up. And the mix was exactly what we wanted: old cars and heritage, but also new cars for the next generation.

“It feels more like a festival instead of a race. Automotive culture lives off people coming together and sharing experiences and sharing stories: the older ones bringing in the knowledge and the younger ones bringing in the enthusiasm. Bringing all that together is what makes automotive culture so cool.”

Bringing the ice race spirit to life

Audi has been a strong supporter of the GP Ice Race since its return: running a mix of road and race cars that celebrate its quattro all-wheel drive heritage and its all-electric future: ranging from the Audi quattro A2 Group B car that sealed Audi’s reputation on the World Rally stage, to the Formula E single-seater that pioneered all-electric racing and the Audi RS Q e-tron that electrified the Dakar Rally.

“There’s a lot of heritage in Audi’s history books to play with,” Ferdi points out. “And, at the same time, there’s so much progress nowadays – taking the heritage as a reference point to create something for the future.”

And that’s where the inspiration for the Audi RS e-tron GT ice race edition came from. Building on the base car’s Florett silver metallic paint, the patterns of the semi-transparent silver and white foil wrap hint at snow crystals and frozen ice lakes, while the bold purple accent lines reference ski goggles and sunglasses.

“We wanted the vehicle to pay homage to the spirit of past racing legends, while looking to the future,” says Audi Colour and Trim designer Christopher Kroener. “The colour-play evokes the icy glitter and shimmer of snow, while conveying the feeling of speed and dynamism experienced at the GP Ice Race.”

The theme continues inside, with silver and black leather seats with contrast purple stitching. A new steering wheel, finished in a combination of leather and Alcantara, has a bold diamond silver mark at the top, just like in a race car. Finally, the high-definition MMI display offers a bespoke ice race-themed mountain background with accompanying purple ambient lighting. Simply stunning.

Audi exclusive: never limited; uniquely special

This limited-run Audi RS e-tron GT ice race edition also offers a first taste of the new opportunities offered by Audi exclusive – letting you customise your Audi, your way.

Offering many more colours above Audi’s already rich regular palette, as well as a wealth of upholstery trim options and design packs, Audi exclusive’s multitude of personalisation options let you add an elevated touch of individual design flair to selected range-topping Audi S and RS models

“At Audi exclusive, we can combine innovative performance and stunning design,” says Bernhard Neufeld, Head of Audi exclusive. “We offer exclusive exterior colours and materials. Of course, the Audi RS e-tron GT ice race edition needed some flamboyance to it: a livery with a very special personality that elevates the design, while boldly shaping the brand’s identity. But adding your personal touch to an outstanding product with Audi exclusive: this is what makes you feel unique.”

Learn more about the Audi RS e-tron GT

Source: Autocar

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