Audi’s e-tron GT is flagship of EV range (Update)
Audi has launched the top of the line of its e-tron EV range. The e-tron GT and the even more sporty RS version are two versions of an Audi Gran Turismo sedan. Underneath, it has a lot in common with the Porsche Taycan, but there are quite some differences too.
The e-tron GT shares the J1 platform from Porsche, making it the first electric car from Audi with a flat-floor architecture. The 800-volt battery has a gross energy content of 93,4 kWh, which comes down to 85 kWh net. As with the Taycan, the DC charging power is up to 270 kW.
Audi also relies on permanently excited synchronous motors. The electric motor on the rear axle is fitted with the two-speed transmission familiar from the Taycan. Audi deviates from the e-sports car from Zuffenhausen when it comes to the electric motors’ performance spec – the focus is not on the last kW of top performance, but on the overall character of the car.
More a Gran Turismo
The Porsche Taycan always wanted to be a sports car suitable for traveling, whereas Audi wants to position the e-tron GT as a Gran Turismo with a real sporty spirit.
The e-tron GT Quattro has 350 kW on tap, with the ‘Launch Control’, 390 kW should be possible for a short time. In comparison, the Taycan 4S with the large battery comes to 360 and 420 kW, respectively.
The more sporty RS e-tron GT is rated at 440 kW, with 475 kW possible with Launch Control. In comparison: both the Taycan Turbo and Turbo S come to 460 kW, in ‘Overboost’, Porsche specifies up to 500 and 560 kW, respectively for the Turbo and the Turbo S.
The top speed for the e-tron GT is 245 kph; for the RS, it is 250. Acceleration times up to 100 kph are 4,1 and 3,3 seconds, respectively. Maybe not as fast as the Porsches, but no sluggards indeed. The WLTP consumption is 21,9 (GT) or 22,5 kWh (RS GT).
It’s also on the energy consumption side that Audi wants to make a difference. The GT with a range claim of 487 kilometers (in WLTP testing) drives further than the comparable Taycan 4S (463 kilometers).
The reasons? Firstly, the Taycan has a slightly lower usable energy content of 83,7 kWh. Secondly, Audi emphasized aerodynamics during development. The drag value is an excellent 0,24, thanks to the closed underbody of the battery, the diffuser, the multi-stage extendable rear spoiler, and the actively switchable air intakes for brakes and radiator.
Another difference lies in the energy recuperation. Porsche has chosen for a ‘sailing mode’ most of the time when not accelerating, and only a mild recuperation mode can be activated with a button.
In the e-tron GT, the driver can regulate the recuperation level with the paddles behind the steering wheel. The amount of recuperation (also while braking) can, therefore, go up to 265 kW.
But good long-distance performance for an EV comes with short charging times, and Audi has luckily copied those of Porsche. With DC charging, up to 270 kW can be charged per hour, or 100 km of range every five minutes.
The DC charging port is located on the passenger side; like in the Taycan, an additional AC port is installed on the driver’s side. The AC maximum charging power is 11 kW for now, but shortly Audi also wants to offer an option to 22 kW.
Slightly more conventional interior
At 4,99 m, the e-tron GT is slightly longer than the Taycan (4,96 meters) but retains the fundamentally sporty proportions: large wheels, wide track, flat silhouette, long wheelbase. The nose hints at the single-frame radiator grille, but there are no openings.
At the rear, the taillights differentiate themselves clearly from those of the Porsche. With 405 l capacity, the trunk in the GT is bigger than the one in the Taycan (366 l, like in the RS), while the front compartment (or frunk) also has a slightly bigger volume (85 l).
The most significant difference to the Taycan can be found in the interior. That of the Audi is more conventional, as known on other recent cars of the brand. The e-tron is standardly fitted with a heat pump, and the interior can be preconditioned. When one chooses the ‘comfort packing climate control’ as an option, the seats, the exterior mirrors, and the rear window are also included in the adjustments.
Electric cars may be attractive for their operating silence; the e-tron GT makes more noise artificially than required for safety. An even more pronounced, sporty hum can be ordered (standard on the RS version).
Audi offers numerous options for both the interior and exterior, as well as for the technology. Customers can choose between three different headlights: regular LED, LED-Matrix, and LED-Matrix with laser light.
The braking system can also differ: apart from the conventional steel discs, there are tungsten carbide-coated ones (standard on RS) and carbon-fiber ceramic discs. The standard roof made of heat-insulating glass can be replaced by a lighter carbon-fiber roof if desired.
There is also a choice of three versions for the front seats – sport seats, sport seats plus with 14-way adjustment, and sport seats plus with 18-way adjustment. The air suspension is optional on the e-tron GT but standard on the RS e-tron GT.
Made in Germany, unless…
As the e-tron GT sits on a totally different platform, the car is not assembled in Brussels’ Belgian Audi factory (where the e-tron SUV and e-tron Sportback are produced). Still, it is built at the Böllinger Höfe plant in Neckarsulm, Germany. The production facility (where the R8 is built) has been refurbished for this new task.
In Germany, the introductory price of an e-tron GT is €99 800. An RS version will cost you €138 200. This is respectively €102 900 and €143 200, some 7 500 euros less than the corresponding Taycan versions in Belgium.
The German automotive news site Kfz-Betrieb has published more information on the planned number of units of the e-tron GT. “Audi does not want to produce 10 000 units per year in the Böllinger Höfe in Neckarsulm. However, the company emphasized that it would be in a position to increase production if there was sufficient demand.”
The manufacturer apparently thinks that the US will be their largest market. “Around 50% of all models are to go to the States. A quarter is planned for Europe,” says the article on the site. According to a letter from the manufacturer to Audi dealers, which was made available to Kfz-Betrieb, there will be a special edition at the launch, limited to 100 units worldwide and 25 for the German market.
Audi has also released the pricing for the e-tron GT for the American market. The 2022 Audi e-tron GT is expected to go on sale in the US this summer, starting at $99 900 for the e-tron GT quattro Premium Plus. The e-tron GT Quattro Prestige will have a price tag of $107 100, and the top model RS e-tron GT will cost at least $139 900.