When we began planning content for the final DLC for Project CARS 3, we asked our automotive partners what they had in their Electric Vehicle (EV) pipeline. That’s one of the more rewarding parts of my job because the EV space right now is where the action is, and the moment we saw the Audi AI:RACE, we knew this was the one we had to get in-game.
The ultimate in track-day toys, what makes this car even more exciting is that it’s a one-off concept — Audi’s vision for the sportscar of tomorrow.
And that was exactly the kind of content we wanted to bring to the Electric Pack.
The Audi AI:RACE is basically a two-seater “wing-car” with tons of downforce and LMP1 levels of performance. A press of a button, though, shifts the driver’s seat into a central position in the cockpit (“monoposto”-style) to transform it into a single-seater race car.
But as cool as that is, it got even better when Audi sent us the CADs and we realized that, hiding under that mix of aluminium, carbon, and multi-material composite body, is the all-winning Le Mans Audi R18 e-tron quattro suspension along with three electric engines—one up front (200hp), and two at the rear (470hp). With boost, it’s good for 765hp.
In English, that’s 0-100kmh in around two seconds!
The motorsport-derived performance doesn’t end there either: quattro all-wheel drive and battery packs positioned mid-engine for optimal driving dynamics make the Audi AI:RACE “emotion without emissions”.
And speaking of emotion, I’m the guy at the studio who gets to drive our simulated cars first, so you can imagine what a thrill it was to finally test drive it. Only one of these cars have been built and, as far as I know, Audi haven’t yet pushed it to its limits, so that, I thought, made me into an Audi test driver … right before I overshot the first turn by miles!
My excuse? This thing is inanely quick, and EVs can be a bit baffling at first because the torque is both immense and instantaneous. Sad truth though? I ran out of talent long before this Audi ran out of grip…
The design ideas on this car are also wild. Because it’s an EV, Audi were able to implement all sorts of innovative concepts like the steep dip of the hood that gives the driver incredible visibility — from the cockpit, you can see straight down onto the road through the openings in the ventilated hood, and that allows you to hit apexes with amazing precision. The dashboard, meanwhile, is essentially translucent glass onto which all the data is projected.
It’s all very sci-fi and a bit like sitting in a glass house, and because there’s no “engine,” you begin to hear all the other noises that would be masked by an internal combustion engine, so Lead Audio Designer Tim Shepherd and Sound Designer Owen Packer had to get creative with the sounds. You’ll notice the wind, road, and chassis noises are far more audible and help contribute to a unique aural experience and sense of speed.
Drivers may also hear the wind displacement sounds we popped in as part of our audio reflection system (on lampposts, bridges, etc.), as well as the two main layers to the Audi AI:RACE audio — the physical sound of the electric motor (which is not as dominant here as on other EV cars in-game) and a designed layer which ties in with the vehicle’s aesthetics, built from seams of synthesized sound. Both layers carry multiple harmonics which grow and blend, and with added modulation based on load, help convey the huge torque at your disposal.
When we asked Audi about what kind of liveries we could use, they sent us their own exclusive Audi-only colours for this car: there are seven, including tactical green (my favourite) and bare aluminium.
The car itself is just a stunning piece of engineering, with that fold-out rear wing, colossal rear diffuser that can be moved downward to increase downforce, and the frontend that sports the Audi hexagon on the Singleframe grille.
Love ’em or hate ’em, EVs are about to usher in a whole new era in sportscar design and performance. Get a taste for that future with the Audi AI:RACE.
Project CARS 3: Electric Pack
Project CARS 3
Author: Jan Frischkorn, Lead Vehicle Artist, Slightly Mad Studios
This post originally appeared on Xbox Wire