Audi e-tron GT review
Spectacular looks and performance, plus contemporary EV tech, make the Audi e-tron GT one of the most desirable luxury saloons around
The all-electric Audi e-tron GT four-door coupe/saloon is similar to the Porsche Taycan in more than concept, because the pair share a floorpan and 40 per cent of their components. However, Audi’s take on a four-door high-performance EV is a little less hard-core than Porsche’s, trading the latter’s firm suspension and meaty steering for a softer ride and less demanding character. In other words, it rides and drives just the way fans of expensive Audis have come to expect.
With a roomy five seat cabin that’s beautifully trimmed and stacked with the latest technology, and with range and charging tech that make long distances a breeze, it would be churlish to suggest the e-tron GT is not worth the money. Thanks to spectacular acceleration, impressive ride and handling coupled with easy-driving manners and a beautifully appointed cabin, the e-tron GT is a thoroughly desirable high performance saloon.
About the Audi e-tron GT
If you wanted an all-electric luxury saloon a couple of years ago, the Tesla Model S was the only game in town. It took a few of years for the auto industry ‘establishment’ to catch up with Elon Musk’s disruptor company, but products like the Audi e-tron GT and its VW Group stablemate the Porsche Taycan reveal a depth of sophistication that some would argue only a dyed-in-the-wool auto-maker can muster.
Whether it’s top-notch design and engineering, production quality, distribution and dealer support, or simple usability and driving enjoyment, it’s hard to think of many areas where Tesla doesn’t look threatened by cars such as this and the new Mercedes S-Class EQS.
It’s also interesting to note the speed of the VW Group’s response to the new EV world order that Tesla has helped to usher in. The e-Tron GT was the first Audi to be productionised without the use of any physical prototypes, and the first cars left the production line just two years after the concept was revealed in 2018 in Los Angeles. In-between times, the car also made an appearance in the 2019 Marvel movie Avengers: Endgame, with Tony Stark (Iron Man) at the wheel. In terms of the finished result, this stunning Audi EV gives away little to its closest relative the Taycan in terms of style, performance, luxury, or indeed price. Both attract price tags that start on the wrong side of £80,000, while the highest-spec RS e-tron GT is only a few grand short of the price of a full-house Taycan Turbo S.
Like the Tesla Model S that is so far its most significant rival, the Audi e-tron GT is a big luxurious saloon car with phenomenal performance and impressive range derived from a chunky set of batteries built into the floorpan.
The Audi is built on the J1 platform developed jointly by Audi and Porsche, and although it’s not the firm’s first EV, it’s the first to be built in Germany. Audi’s R8 factory in Neckarsulm was given the honour of producing the e-tron GT, and unusually these two entirely different models are built on the same production line.
The e-tron GT features a motor on both front and rear axles which between them deliver 469bhp in ‘basic’ e-tron GT quattro spec, and 590bhp in the go-even-faster RS e-tron model - or 637bhp for a few seconds when you activate boost mode.
Acceleration off the line is eye-wateringly quick, with a 0-62mph sprint of just 3.3 seconds claimed for the RS model. Maximum quoted range is 298 miles on a full charge, and while both figures are beaten by the Tesla Model S, the Audi’s rapid charging capacity means you can theoretically put a 60-mile top-up into the 95kWh battery in just five minutes. That’s assuming you have access to 270kW charging, of course, which is presently unlikely although the VW Group is part of the manufacturer-backed Ionity Network that is rolling out 350kW capacity chargers across Europe and the UK. There are currently 15 active Ionity sites in the UK, and hopefully more to come.
There are just the two models in the launch line-up, but you can order the e-tron GT quattro in either standard or Vorsprung trim. The latter includes such luxuries as 18-way adjustable massaging seats, Matrix LED headlamps, a head-up display and semi-autonomous tech, as well as adaptive air suspension and four-wheel steering. The RS e-tron GT comes in standard, Carbon Black, or Carbon Vorsprung trims. Air suspension is standard across the RS line-up.
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In this review
- 1Verdict - currently readingSpectacular looks and performance, plus contemporary EV tech, make the Audi e-tron GT one of the most desirable luxury saloons around
- 2Engines, performance and driveBlistering performance is guaranteed from any luxury EV, but the e-tron GT is fantastic to drive
- 3Range, charging and running costsZero tailpipe emissions will save company drivers thousands, but the e-tron GT will be relatively expensive to charge and maintain
- 4Interior, design and technologyStunning exterior design is matched by a suitably high-tech interior, although it’s not as futuristic as you might have wished
- 5Practicality, comfort and boot spacePassengers are cosseted in fine style, but this isn’t the most practical of large saloon cars
- 6Reliability and safetyThere are no question marks over safety, but reliability has yet to be proven