Audi e-tron GT – first drive review


We’ve taken the brand new zero emissions Audi e-tron GT for a spin and are still grinning. We wanted to see for ourselves if all the hype about the striking four door electric grand coupe is true… so please read on.

No matter what powers the new four door coupe the GT looks instantly impressive and desirable in the flesh. It is wider and shorter than an A7 and features beautifully flared wheel arches. The GT looks purposeful and squat with a great on road stance. It comes with air suspension as standard, and can adapt its suspension settings and ride height to the requirements of the drive mode selected e.g. in efficiency mode it lowers itself to be more aerodynamic on the motorway. The body has lots of aerodynamic elements that help deliver its very slipy silhouette (cd 0.24).

Let’s get the all important range question out of the way first, yes the GT can travel a very acceptable distance from a full charge. While it doesn’t break the 500km mark it gets close with official figures as high as 479km (ideal conditions). This means the GT should not leave you short on even a long driving day. The RS e-tron GT has a 455km range.

Inside the cabin there is seating for four adults. The underfloor battery layout was designed to allow for a deep rear passenger footwell to ensure there is sufficient headroom for those occasional guests. Up front the sports seats are supportive and the dash layout is a familiar friend with really no new tech to be learned for any migrating Audi driver. The Audi MMI and virtual cockpit deliver all you’d expect and its layout is busy with Audi avoiding the very simple Tesla approach to dash layout. Ireland’s GTs come with a full size panoramic glass roof but a carbon fibre option is available if you need to shed some weight. The boot holds 405 litres and there is a trunk under the bonnet that holds a further 81 litres (the charging cable bag can stow nicely there too).

The GT is built on the same platform as the Porsche Taycan EV but just like the exterior Audi has tuned its suspension to deliver a distinctly Audi experience. The usual driving modes are selectable at the press of a button. The customisable ‘Individual’ setting is always appreciated. In my case I set everything to its sporty setting bar my preference for ‘comfort’ steering. The Audi has a sound generator that delivers a burble inside the cabin and outside too and the noise made depends on the drive mode. The GT makes a really nice little rumble as you drive and when you hit the fast pedal the burble increases as it would in a car with an engine.

Two versions can be bought and both, despite their substantial weight, have sufficient power. The ‘e-tron GT quattro’ produces 470hp while the ‘RS e-tron GT’ (also quattro) produces 590hp and both have an over boost function that pushes their output even higher for 2.5 seconds. The dogs in the street know electric cars can accelerate quickly but the very best EVs are ridiculously rapid. Using ‘Boost Mode’ the e-tron GT is up there with the best of them and can go from 0-100km/h in just 4.1 seconds – but get this – the RS can do it in just 3.3 seconds!

The GT comes with a 86kWh (net) battery in both models that is compiled of 33 cell modules. The battery is coolant cooled and Audi says the battery’s ‘feel-good temperature is between 30 and 35 degrees Celsius’. The e-tron GT and RS have an 11kW AC onboard charger, with a 22kW coming in the near future. The car’s DC peak capacity is a whopping 270kW. An 800-volt charging ability is standard – in other words it can charge up at the quickest public chargers faster than ordinary EVs. Just 5 minutes plugged-in to a rapid charger can deliver up to 100km of range. To put it another way you can charge from 5%-80% in 22.5 minutes on an ‘Ionity’ charger or similar charger.

The GT is a very wide car at 1.96 metres and you will notice this on Ireland’s rural roads as much as when you’re trying to park in a multi-storey car park. The power deliver is linear and in both senses literally electric! The quattro system puts a rear wheel bias when powering on and this delivers that much loved shove in the back sensation under hard acceleration.

The car is very quick but found the brakes needed a very firm push to scrub off speed. We look forward to a full week testing the GT in the near future but for now we can safely say it is a terrific effort and stunning to boot!
Pricing starts from €102,397 and rise to €140,367 for the RS.


About Author

Michael Sheridan

Michael Sheridan is a senior and highly respected motoring journalist based in Ireland. He is a frequently heard voice on motoring, transport and mobility matters and has multiple credits on national television, national print media, national and local radio and other outlets. Michael Sheridan has been a Car of the Year Judge for more 20 years (& more recently a Van of the Year judge). Michael has produced and directed many international and national motoring TV programmes and documentaries both on cars and motorcycles - including four films on the iconic Route 66. Michael Sheridan is a former Chairperson of the Association of Professional Motoring Press (APMP).

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