The almost-ready Porsche Taycan isn’t the only good-looking sporty electric car coming from the Volkswagen/Audi Group next year. Over at Audi, they have the wickedly styled– and wickedly fast!– Audi e-tron GT that’s set to begin production as well. To that end, Volkswagen has officially broken ground on a number of upgrades to the Audi Sport GmbH production facilities in the Böllinger Höfe, with the completion date slated for the fall of 2019.
“Since the Böllinger Höfe was already created in the design phase as a small-series production facility with innovative and flexible production processes, that gives us the ideal conditions to produce the e-tron GT alongside the Audi R8,” Audi’s Production Manager, Wolfgang Schanz, explained in an interview. “Here a unique combination of craftsmanship and smart factory is coming to life.”
In addition to the existing, state-of-the-art structure that builds the R8 and other limited-run Audis, the upgrade will add a separate, highly automated body shop facility that will be specific to the e-tron GT. A completely new mezzanine level fitted with a complex with conveyor system will occupy more than 40,000 sq ft of space for the joint production of the R8 and e-tron GT. All of the newly added conveyor systems are being integrated with assembly systems that include not just driverless vehicles to transport from one station to another, but an electric tram system as well.
The new Audio e-tron GT is expected to share a number of electric technologies with the Taycan when it does arrive, but it will be calibrated to deliver a very different experience more in line with Audi’s
marketing heritage. Straight line speed will be key, with 0-60MPH sprints taking place in about 3.5 seconds and 0-120MPH coming “in a little over 12 seconds,” according to Audi’s spokespeople.
You can check out a whole bunch of Audi’s press photos of the upcoming e-tron GT four-door coupe, below, and read the official press release describing the plant upgrades below that. Once you’re done, we’d love to hear what you think of the upcoming car in the comments section at the bottom of the page.
Modification work: Preparations underway at Audi Böllinger Höfe for the Audi e-tron GT
The electric powered Audi e-tron GT will be manufactured alongside the Audi R8 supercar at Audi Sport GmbH’s production facilities in the Böllinger Höfe from late 2020. At present, the required construction work is underway at the R8 production facilities to integrate the electric sports car. Additional logistics halls are being added and state-of-the-art equipment set up in the body shop and assembly areas. The modification work will largely take place during ongoing production, with the completion date slated for the fall.
Through fall 2019, two new lightweight construction halls will provide around another 10,000 square meters (107,639.1 sq ft) for logistics in the Böllinger Höfe. The new halls on the west side will lie directly adjacent to the existing assembly and body shop facilities. “Since the Böllinger Höfe was already created in the design phase as a small-series production facility with innovative and flexible production processes, that gives us the ideal conditions to produce the e-tron GT alongside the Audi R8,” says Production Manager Wolfgang Schanz. “Here a unique combination of craftsmanship and smart factory is coming to life.”
The Audi e-tron GT and the Audi R8 will be produced separately in the body shop. While the body shop for the R8 stands out with its largely handcrafted finish, a separate, highly automated body shop facility is being created for the e-tron GT. A complete mezzanine level with conveyor system now occupies some 4,000 square meters (43,055.6 sq ft). The assembly line is being extended by 20 cycles, making 36 in total, for the joint production of the R8 and e-tron GT. As part of this upgrade, new conveyor systems are being integrated, since assembly in future will no longer rely solely on driverless transport vehicles (DTV), but will also include an electrified monorail system (EMS).
In future, the basement in the Böllinger Höfe will also be used for production, with painted bodies of the R8 and e-tron GT stored here temporarily. As part of this development, the existing areas have been extended by 800 square meters (8,611.1 sq ft). From this area, driverless transport vehicles autonomously bring the R8 and e-tron GT bodies using an elevator from the basement straight to the assembly line on the ground floor.
In preparation for the modifications, part of the R8 body shop has been moved to a production hall in the Böckingen district of Heilbronn at the end of last year to make room for the body shop equipment for the e-tron GT. Since January, around 40 of the 150 employees have been manufacturing the substructure components for the R8 supercar at this new location.
Source | Images: Audi, via Motorpasion.