The sun was shining when we received the keys to a very special vehicle in the far north at the end of February: the brand new Audi E-Tron GT. It’s not just any Audi, but the first fully electric Gran Turismo from the Ingolstadt-based company. Strictly speaking, apart from the Porsche Taycan, it is the electric car from a German premium manufacturer that is only suitable for long journeys and is not an SUV.
Although The Audi E-Tron GT, as a four-door coupé, is not a classic sports car, the exterior design leaves no doubt that the developers have not only focused on dynamics and comfort, but above all on performance. This impression is confirmed at the latest when looking at the performance data: The electric all-wheel drive in the Audi E-Tron GT Quattro delivers 350 kilowatts (kW) (476 hp) and 620 Newton meters (Nm). The top model RS E-Tron GT even has 440 kW (598 PS) and 830 Nm. The 4.99 meter long and 1.96 meter wide vehicles sprint to 100 kilometers per hour (km / h) in a remarkable 4.1 and 3.3 seconds respectively.
But enough theory. We grab an RS E-Tron GT in the color “Tactical Green”, which was specially developed for the model, and drive off.
Audi RS E-Tron GT: Sporty electric car with high driving comfort
The Audi E-Tron GT glides silently through downtown Hamburg. The high-tech chassis with three-chamber air suspension, all-wheel steering and regulated rear axle differential lock reliably swallows any unevenness in “Comfort” mode and thus ensures a pleasantly smooth driving experience. The steering and accelerator are coordinated in such a way that you don’t even notice the power of the performance electric car at first sight.
That changes abruptly as we leave the city and on the winding country roads in switch to “Dynamic” mode. The steering and chassis become tighter, and the E-Tron sports sound can be heard from the speakers. You have to experience this digital, futuristic sound yourself to understand that it sometimes makes a decisive contribution to the sporty driving experience in the E-Tron GT. The same applies to the electric drive. In the so-called boost mode, the output of the RS model is briefly increased to 475 kW (646 hp), which accelerates the sports coupé from 0 to 100 km / h in 3.3 seconds. The acceleration feels tremendous, not least because, in contrast to the combustion engine, there are no gear changes to disrupt the sprint and full torque is available from the first second.
It is precisely this mixture of comfort and performance that distinguishes the Audi E-Tron GT and makes it the perfect everyday companion – whether on a leisurely Sunday excursion with the family, a business trip or on the racetrack. If you don’t opt for the tactical green paintwork and the 21-inch rims, the E-Tron GT is also quite dignified and inconspicuous.
Audi E-Tron GT: range and charging capacity
Audi itself describes the E-Tron GT as a “sporty touring car”, which brings us to the topic of range. The Ingolstadt-based company has decided to offer their first fully electric Gran Turismo, regardless of the model variant, only with a battery that has a net capacity of 84 kWh (93 kWh gross). Audi specifies the WLTP range at 487 kilometers, in practice this should level off at around 400 kilometers. At least that’s how much our vehicle showed before the test drive. However, this was too short for detailed insights into the topics of range and consumption. As soon as we can drive the E-Tron GT for a longer period of time, we will deliver the corresponding values.
From the point of view of electric mobility, much more impressive than acceleration and range is the charging power of the Audi E-Tron GT anyway: thanks to 800-volt technology, the Gran Turismo’s battery can be charged with a full 270 kW. This results in a charging speed of 100 kilometers in five minutes. A charge from 5 to 80 percent SoC (State of Charge) therefore takes 22.5 minutes under ideal conditions. Only the Porsche Taycan can keep up here.
Such charging capacities are possible, among other things, on the fast chargers from Ionity, on which the drivers of the Audi E-Tron GT can charge for 0.31 euros per kWh. For a trip from Stuttgart to Berlin (630 kilometers), owners of the sports coupé only have to plan two short charging stops of 15 to 20 minutes each.
To make electric driving as efficient as possible, Audi relies on intelligent control of coasting and recuperation for the E-Tron GT. The brake recuperation even reaches values of up to 265 kW. The one-pedal driving familiar from many electric cars is meanwhile not possible. The recuperation can only be adjusted minimally via the paddles on the steering wheel, but never so strongly that we have the feeling that the car is braking as soon as we take off the accelerator.
Audi E-Tron GT: The fascination of electric mobility
The Audi E-Tron GT is clearly in the premium segment with base prices of 99,800 euros (Quattro) and 138,200 euros (RS) . Nevertheless, Audi should have no problems finding buyers for its sports coupé. Because the E-Tron GT is in many ways what many have missed so far: a technically appealing electric car that on the one hand offers a lot of comfort and space on long journeys as a four-door Gran Turismo, but on the other hand impresses with its sporty performance.
Added to this is the range of around 400 kilometers and the enormous charging power of 270 kW. Together with the E-Tron charging service (200,000 charging points all over Europe), electromobility is now also attractive for those who previously would have opted for an RS6 or S7.