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Friday, March 11, 2016

Electric Audi One Concept Previews a Handsome Future for Auto Racing


Copyright © 2016 Bold Ride LLC.

Often times the greatest new designs are simply thoughtful reinterpretations of the past. In automotive terms, these can include icons like the Corvette, the Mustang, or the Volkswagen Beetle. There’s no sense reinventing the wheel if the wheel already works.
While this retro-futurism can be a fine line to walk, it’s an idea that designer Peter Semenov knows quite well, and one which he has executed brilliantly, here.
This is Semenov’s “Audi Eins” (or “Audi One”) design concept, which he penned as a thesis project for a transportation design class. It romances and evolves one of Audi’s most cherished and feared race cars—the Audi 90 IMSA GTO—and we think you’ll join us in saying it looks quite fantastic.


So is this merely an IMSA GTO for the future? Not quite. As part of Semenov’s design prompt, he wanted to showcase the evolution of electric motor racing by the year 2039 (the date at which the GTO turns 50). Rather than boasting a 700 horsepower turbocharged five-cylinder like its famed predecessor, his Audi One sports an all-electric powertrain. That said, electric all-wheel drive is still very much in the question; the original IMSA racer sliced and diced through its Mercury Cougar competition atop a highly advanced quattro setup.

It only takes a fleeting glance to get a sense of this car’s GTO origins too—the pavement-scraping low stance, the supremely wide body, the pumped up fenders, the white-and-red color scheme, and giant rear wing. Audi, please make this happen.


The second portion of Semenov’s design focuses on the futuristic racing venues and events that would bear witness to these cars. In one pane, Semenov reimagines a futuristic 12 Hours of Sebring, and in another a radically different road course, which feature elevated tracks, areas of heavily banked surfaces, and even a corkscrew vertical climb.

One thing is for sure—if the future looks half as good as this, motor racing in 2039 will be in a very good state.

Photo Credit: Peter Semenov