What is it?
It’s the very smart looking flagship of Audi’s e-tron range. A fully electric Gran Turismo which is available in two models, in both cases with all-wheel drive.
With the launch of the e-tron GT quattro and the RS e-tron GT, the Audi said it was “blazing a trail into the emotional, extremely exciting future of electric mobility”. Maybe this is the sort of thing we will have in the future as our weekend fun wheels.
>The GT features two powerful electric motors – one on the front axle, the other on the rear axle which are responsible for the electric all-wheel drive. In the Audi e-tron GT quattro, they together deliver 350 kW (476 PS) and 630 Nm of torque; in the RS e-tron GT, those figures climb to 440 kW (598 PS) and 830 Nm of torque.
With its 84 kWh capacity (net), the lithium-ion battery allows the models to achieve ranges of up to 300 miles, while its 800-volt technology ensures that the battery can be recharged extremely quickly – so good for long distance trips.
The fun statistics tell us the e-tron GT can sprint from 0 to 62mph in 3.3 seconds and reach a top speed of 155mph. The chassis includes features such as adaptive three-chamber air suspension and an electronic differential lock on the rear axle. A coating of tungsten carbide on the brake pads further enhances the performance of the brake system, while the e-tron sport sound creates a fitting acoustic backdrop – although someone said it sounds more like a spaceship.
More than 80% of the models in Audi’s range are currently available with an all-electric or electrified drive system, including plug-in hybrid drives (PHEV) and mild hybrid systems (MHEV). Looking ahead, the company intends to have more than 20 all-electric models and an expanded PHEV lineup on the road by 2025.
The e-tron GT is actually a close relative to the Porsche Taycan being based on the same VW Group platform and containing much of the same technology
What do we think?
Well it looks good, rides smoothly, performs well and sounds a bit space age. The e-tron GT certainly fits the bill as a Gran Tourismo.
Steering is fast and precise and that acceleration is neck jarring – the RS version will almost certainly compare with the best from Porsche or Tesla. What it does give you is the utmost confidence when overtaking or pulling out into traffic.
The ride is smooth and supple while the car grips the road like a vice, again giving you a lot of confidence through the corners. But let’s not get over confident. There is brake regeneration to help slow things down, and this can be boosted although you’ll have to scroll through the screen menus to turn it on.
Regarding that sound, Audi looked at replacing the engine noise with an “e-tron sport sound” which is optional on the quattro but standard on RS. This uses amps in the boot to feed speakers inside and outside the car. Using data on throttle input and speed this pumps the sci-fi sound into and around the car.
Audi has always been good at interiors, less so in recent years, but it is back to its best in the e-tron, combining the latest high-tech screenary with physical buttons. There is a 12.3-inch virtual cockpit behind the wheel, which can be switched between three different layouts, a simple to use forward-reverse-neutral-park selector and lots of lovely materials around the cabin. Rearward vision isn’t brilliant but there is a rear-facing and 360 degree camera system.
There’s good space in the back for adults plus a decent-sized boot of 405-litres with another 81-litres in the ‘frunk’, as it now appears to be called, where an engine used to be.
All round, it’s a handsome looking beast and with a range of up to 300 miles – plus fast charging – there’s no reason to get too anxious, even on long journeys.