You might expect a car with four motors and 3,319 lb-ft of torque to take a great deal of electronics and skill with the right foot to drive properly. If so, you got the electronics part right at least: Audi has created a virtual world for its e-tron electric car that will be featured in Playstation Home later this year.
The action takes place in Audi Space, the digital realm that Audi has built inside the Playstation Home online community. The car is featured in the Vertical Run driving game, featuring a track with enough dimensions to impress Speed Racer. The point of the game is to gather enough electrical energy to get the highest top speed, and if you're one of the best, you'll get one of the skyscraper apartments in Audi town.
It will probably be the closest anyone will get to driving an e-tron for years -- if ever -- so if you're an Audi-phile who's been looking for a reason to buy a PS3, here's your card. For the full scoop, check out the press release after the jump, and you can see the car again in the gallery of high-res photos below.
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Ingolstadt, Germany – Audi fans will be able to drive the e-tron concept car through PlayStation Home starting in late 2009. Audi is the first carmaker to develop its own virtual area there, known as the Audi Space. The Audi e-tron, a high-performance sports car with a purely electric engine, was introduced at the International Motor Show (IAA). Starting in December, it will be available in the Vertical Run driving game within the Audi Space.
Racing enthusiasts will soon be able to view the Audi drive concept of the future in PlayStation Home, a 3D social gaming service for the PlayStation 3 community. Four motors – one per wheel – power the e-tron when it drives along the three-dimensional racetrack in Vertical Run. The game will be available exclusively in the new Audi Space within PlayStation Home.
"Most young people gain their first driving experience from video games," explains Kai Mensing, who is responsible for video games and virtual worlds in Online Marketing at Audi. "With the Audi Space, we can bring this target group into contact with our brand in a highly emotion-packed and interactive environment, and demonstrate our 'Vorsprung durch Technik' with the virtual e-tron race."
The goal of Vertical Run is to beat the competition in a multiplayer challenge by collecting enough electrical energy and avoiding driving errors in the e-tron, in order to reach the highest possible speed. While all PlayStation Home users will be able to access Audi Space – with its centrally placed tower reminiscent of major cities like Shanghai and Chicago – the Audi apartments located above the city will only be available to the best drivers.
"It was important to us to create an environment with Audi Space that differed from a classic showroom at an Audi dealership," Mensing said. "To achieve that, we got together with the architects at Allmann Sattler Wappner and developed an interactive concept where the focus is on selected Audi models, making it possible to experience the brand in a selective, interactive way."
Users don't have to wait until the Vertical Run driving game goes online in Audi Space to find Audi content. Audi tv reports are already available in the cinema within PlayStation Home. In 2010, additional Audi content will be added to Audi Space. The U.K. software developer VEEMEE LLP is responsible for implementation of the virtual experience. To access Audi Space as of December, PlayStation®3 players can download PlayStation Home onto their consoles for free. . More information on PlayStation Home can be found at www.playstation.com.