The Audi eTron GT is a beautiful car with wonderful performance. It turns heads everywhere it goes but sadly it has one major drawback – it is electric.
If I had a euro for every minute I spent in the stunning four door coupe at not very glamorous public charge points getting enough electricity to keep me mobile I’d have at least €180! Why didn’t I charge it overnight at home? Well, I had a busy and awkward travel week and did over 900 wonderful kilometres in and around rural Ireland staying in hotels mostly. My glorious red GT test car has a base price of €108,345 but with a few extras weighed around €120,000 (the RS versions starts at €148,345) and it is certainly worth the asking price but what is not factored in to the equation is the cost in terms of the owner’s time if they have to stray from charging at home overnight. The wasteful minutes at the side of filling stations, shopping centre carparks or more obscure public charge point locations topping up with kilowatts is galling. It is a first world problem and the predicament reminds me of the comedy line “Do they not know how important I think I am!”
Rant over let’s look at why the GT is so good. When it launched it caused whiplash among the motoring press it was that striking. Flared wheel arches (yum!) and a sculpted body coupled with a low slung stance to give the GT an almost menacing on-road presence. EV charge point sockets (AC only on one side and CCS on the other) are located on both side of the front fenders. Audi’s trademark rings sit below the lip of the bonnet/frunk. The GT’s light signature is impress with Matrix LED headlights offering lighthouse-like performance. The rear light strip also puts on a show when the car is unlocked. A panoramic glass sunroof lets lots of light in – so I kept it closed mostly (I’m a bit of a grump with sunroofs as they let in distracting light, causing needles reflections, plus they often add to cabin noise when the screen is retracted.)
The eTron GT has a 83.7kWh (net) battery coupled to a 800 volt charging system. The GT can charge from 5% to 80% in twenty two and a half minutes at speeds of up to 270kW at a ‘very’ high speed charger.
The sister car to Porsche’s Tacan the Audi is a little more subtle but still blisteringly quick when provoked. The GT can cruise beautifully too. The frameless doors, active aero (and pop up rear spoiler), sporty shaped faux suede steering wheel and other controls all scream premium and from behind the wheel you will have a smile of contentment that will need to be surgically removed – although a low battery indication will do a similar job.
Power from its two electric drive motors is impressive with 470hp and 630nm of torque on tap (RS pushes out 640hp). With a full battery Audi quotes a range of up to 501km… we didn’t get close but well over 400km (summer) is doable. 0-100km/h takes a neck snapping 4.1 seconds (RS 3.3s) – you’ll be on your tyre dealers Christmas list for life! The brakes take a bit of getting used to and sometimes need a good heave to scrub off speed affectively.
Inside the German built car the cabin is very driver centric, with familiar flush surfacing and discrete digital screens providing all the info you need but far less than you’d get in say in the latest crop of BMW ‘i’ electric models.
The Audi eTron GT is a stunning, fantastic car that with a bit of scheduling adjustments will enrich your life… you’d never guess that I like it a lot would you!!!