This has to be Audi’s longest tease of any car in their model line-up because not many of us are surprised about the look, the application of all the features included and the name ‘E-Tron’. Back in 2015, the production version of the all-electric R8 E-Tron was revealed to the public with news of a four-door version in works. Fast forward to 2018 and the E-Tron GT concept came about in introducing the future look of Audi models and it was featured in the movie Avengers: Endgame for a brief moment.
The unveiled E-Tron GT looks exactly like the concept version with some minimal changes and for that you have to commend Audi for always bringing their concepts to life. A performance RS version has been released the same time and Audi states that it serves as the spearhead of electrification at Audi and Audi Sports. Basically, what they are saying is they are taking the fight to the Porsche Taycan and Tesla Model S without considering to challenge the other Germans in their home turf. Mercedes Benz and BMW can sit this one out for now until they reveal their very own fighters.
From the get-go it was said that the E-Tron GT’s design language will influence the design of future Audi models. The key design features include the 19 to 21-inch aero design wheels that make up the futuristic look alongside the smooth, sculptured side profile and sloping roofline. There are 20 to 21-inch aero blade wheels available as an option. All the body panels are flush like the single-frame grille in body colour, bonnet, roof, retractable rear spoiler and body creases for aerodynamic purposes. As a result, the drag coefficient is 0.24 which is on par for increasing range and performance.
We have to mention that there are active aerodynamic features with switchable air inlets for brakes and radiators cooling. The rear diffuser is also there as assistance to enhance the performance of the car.
Back to the lights is where you’ll notice a distinctive outline and those are LED lights with dynamic turn signals which come as standard on the E-Tron GT while the Matrix LED lights are optional but standard on the RS E-Tron GT. The rear taillights are connected by a light bar that stretches across the rear of the car. Of course, the lights do the dancing theme whenever you unlock or lock the car, a gimmick but still cool.
Overall, it was planned to have sporty proportions that focused on the wheels, the wheelbase, shape and wide track. With all that combination you end up with a beautifully built car that will definitely turn heads.
Powertrain and Suspension
Audi did not hesitate at all to install a 93.4 kWh lithium-ion battery with 800-volts architecture which means that it can charge to 80% in 23 minutes. We are getting to that point whereby electric-cars will be able to charge from zero to 100% in sub ten minutes which should be reasonable enough to compensate for the loss of being able to refuel within minutes on petrol cars when the time comes for them to be absolute.
The E-Tron GT has two electric motors, with each on an axle making it four-wheel drive. There is a rear mounted two-speed automatic with a short-ratio first gear for a quick acceleration off the line and the long-ratio second gear to improve efficiency.
The RS E-Tron GT being the performance version is well far off ahead in terms of power as it comes at 590 hp (440 kW) & 830 Nm of torque plus an addition of 35 kW of boost which lasts for 2.5 seconds when using launch control. The same principle applies to the E-Tron GT whereby it gets +40 kW with launch control but most of the time it is producing 469 hp (350 kW) and 630 Nm of torque. The RS E-Tron GT sprints from 0-100 km/h in 3.3 seconds with a top speed of 250 km/h while the E-Tron GT does 0-100 km/h in 4.1 seconds with a top speed of 245 km/h.
Electric cars are rapid with acceleration thanks to the instant torque the electric motors produce, so it is no surprise to see such figures. The fastest version of the Taycan, the Turbo S, does its 0-100 km/h sprint in just 2.8 seconds whilst the Tesla Model S Plaid is rumoured to do it in 2 seconds, that’s absolutely insane and it shows how much fun they can be.
But there is a worry about how far you can get with an electric car considering their range is not particularly sufficient but car manufacturers are working on improving that aspect. For now, the E-Tron GT manages a range of 383 km on a single charge and the RS E-Tron GT has a range of 373 km on a single charge according to EPA standards. That’s not bad for going to work and home and you can actually increase the range if you drive efficiently or by simply using the recuperation system by releasing the right-handle paddle to switch to coasting mode.
The models can be optioned with the adaptive air suspension which can be lowered at will to decrease underbody air-flow. All-wheel steering is available as an option on both models. The rear-differential locking, controlled damping and the Audi drive select dynamic handling system are available as standard.
The driver’s seat position has been lowered for a sportier driving, in front of the driver is a flat-bottom steering wheel available on the RS version and Audi’s latest 12.3-inch virtual cockpit plus screen. And to our surprise, there is no lower touchscreen for the air condition controls but physical buttons, thank you Audi. The interior is supposedly vegan-inspired as recycled material is used for the dash and seats but they look rather plush and exquisite.
The 10.1-inch MMI Infotainment system comes as standard with natural voice control and online connection, head-up display is optional. The MMI Navigation plus system comes with WiFi hotspot, intelligent navigation with E-tron specific functions and Audi connect services. The Bang & Olufsen premium sound system is an option on the E-tron GT but standard on the RS E-Tron GT.
Notable driver-assist features include adaptive cruise assist, remote park assist plus, night vision assist, surround view cameras and predictive efficiency assist which enables the adaptive cruise assist to accelerate and decelerate in such a way it consumes little energy as possible.
There is no word yet whether the E-Tron GT will make its way to the SA market but they should consider bringing it because the Taycan is already in SA. It is available for pre-sales with a starting price of €99 800 (R1 771 700) for the E-Tron GT and €138 200 for (R2 453 540) the RS E-Tron GT.
Source: Audi E-Tron GT Press Release