Audi has finally unveiled its flagship EV, the e-tron GT and RS e-tron GT. This sleek sexy four-door coupe is Audi’s answer to the Tesla Model S and, ahem, the Porsche Taycan.
First previewed by the e-tron GT Concept back in 2018, very little has changed in the transition from the movie screen and motor show hall (remember those?) to the showroom. That broad grille, piercing LED lights, billowing haunches and sloping roofline are all original to the show car. It looks every bit the company car fit for an Avenger.
What’s new for the production version, as above, is the addition of an RS-badged variant. That flagship model has a maximum output of 598PS (440kW) from its two electric motors, while the base car puts out 476PS (44kW) from near-on identical hardware. Launch modes deliver a respective 646PS (475kW) and 530PS (390kW) temporarily for a maximum of 2.5 seconds. The 0-62mph sprint takes 3.3 seconds in the RS, and 4.1 seconds in the standard car, while top speeds are a respective 155mph and 152mph. The battery is mounted low down for what Audi claims is a better centre of gravity than the R8 supercar, while weight distribution is close to a perfect 50/50 front and rear.
That battery, in both versions, is 93kWh, with a net 85kWh capacity. The estimated WLTP range for the standard car sits at 302 miles while the RS is thought to be good for 293 miles. It’s no secret that the e-tron GT shares more than a little bit of its underpinning with the Porsche Taycan, including its 800V power system. This allows for the quoted performance to be reliable and repeatable, as well as for charging times to be quicker. Drivers in a pinch for juice and time can add 62 miles of range with DC 270kW fast charging in just over five minutes. As standard for the 11kW AC charging, the car will fill up ‘overnight’.
On the inside, the e-tron GT has what appears to be one of the nicest and best-judged cabins seen in an Audi for some time. For all of Audi’s touting it as ‘the future of grand touring’, the GT features a refreshing regression, with buttons for climate controls that, in an A6, A7 or A8, are controlled via a secondary touchscreen.
Virtual cockpit, excellent as it is, remains, with a 12.3-inch screen, with a 10.1-inch MMI screen in the middle. New and exclusive for the e-tron is a function within the route planner that incorporates charging stops into your journeys in as efficient a way as possible, with the car able to condition the battery prior to a planned fill-up.
Low as the e-tron GT is – 17mm lower in terms of roofline than an A7 Sportback – Audi is also claiming good rear headroom. This is in part thanks to cut-outs in the battery for what it calls a ‘foot garage’.
If a Tesla Model S is out of the question and you’ve no particular allegiance to either Porsche or Audi, the deciding factor really will be price. UK pricing is yet to be confirmed but the ‘base’ model will go on sale in Germany for the equivalent of £88,110 at current exchange rates. The RS e-tron GT meanwhile is over £30,000 more, at £121,330. Based on this, the RS is £5,000 more expensive than a Taycan Turbo, while the base e-tron GT comes in at £1,000 more than a 93kWh Taycan 4S. Which would you go for and which version?