Audi e-tron GT: Specifications
Release date: Available now
Price: Starting at $102,400; £82,950 as tested (around $109,000)
Power : 523 hp
Battery range: 298 / 215 real world
Charging speed: 21 minutes (10-80%, 270kW)
Top speed: 152
Intelligent: Audi Connect Navigation and Infotainment, MMI Navigation Plus with MMI Touch, Driver Assist with Audi Pre-sense front, lane departure warning, Parking System plus, reversing camera, electrically adjustable heated front seats.
I recently spent a week with the Audi e-tron GT and have to say it’s a fantastic grand tourer, much like the comparable Porsche Taycan, which is built on the same platform. The big difference here is that both are fully electric, unlike a gas-guzzling GT the old-fashioned way.
The e-Tron GT offers plenty of luxury, a sublime ride over long distances and a hefty price tag to go along with it. But with all of this also comes the fun and challenge of operating an EV. So good and not so good in equal parts. Having already tried the Audi e-tron Sportback some time ago, which is more upright and sits firmly in SUV territory, I was really keen to spend some time behind the wheel of the e-tron GT.
It’s lower, sportier and a better car for getting through the hard corners. Although this one is still a bulky thing. In fact, navigating the Audi e-tron GT around narrow lanes and tiny villages in both Cornwall and Permbrokeshire requires some serious nerves of steel. Parking is another thing too.
A week later, however, the delightfully shiny 20-inch ‘5-twin-spoke’ alloy wheels had fortunately not been eroded or the paint scuffed…
Audi e-tron GT: Price and availability
The Audi e-tron GT is available now and is a great car if you want to enter the world of high-end EV grand touring. Prices start at $102,400 in the US and $79,900 in the UK. My test car cost £82,950, which equates to around $109,000.
Despite a few extras, it was still a relatively basic edition, and some models came equipped with all the high-tech bells and whistles. Audi’s luxury interior options are easily capable of driving the price up much more. An even sportier RS e-tron GT version of the car, meanwhile, starts at $142,400.
Audi e-tron GT: Design and style
My car arrived resplendent in the optional Ascari Blue Metallic, a £950/$595 option which looks fabulous. That’s a change from the many silver Audis that dot UK housing estates anyway. The car also comes with the optional e-tron Sport Sound, another pricey extra, but it adds an extra thrill factor if you’re ready to get in with the idea that something sounds really good. Although it’s not quite the same as the sound of a real engine.
It’s a long car, no less than 5 meters, low and wide, with a roofline that shortens towards the trunk and sacrifices interior height a bit as a result. At just under 1.4 meters tall, that low stance is also a big part of the appeal. Once you’re inside, the driving position is comfortable, rather than roomy, but perfectly suited to the gran tourer vibe.
My car also had everything to make long drives more comfortable, including thermally insulated glass and a panoramic glass roof, which opens up the feel of the car, especially if you’re in the back.
There were some neat touches too, including front and rear door sills with aluminum inlays, while the three-spoke Audi Sport contour steering wheel was a real treat. The Audi Connect navigation and infotainment work quite well, with everything within easy reach via the MMI Touch interface.
That said, it took me a few tries and a dip in the big manual to figure out how to reset the on-board computer. Uh. Otherwise, the sat nav, Audi sound system and phone connectivity proved easy to use.
Audi e-tron GT: Performance
Like all electric vehicles, there is a price to pay for carrying batteries. You can lose the weight of an internal combustion engine, all those technical gizmos inside often make an electric car feel heavy. The Audi e-tron GT is no exception, and at around 2.3 tonnes it’s chunky. It looks like a heavyweight killer, but it’s been designed to deliver plenty of performance to compensate for that and, to its credit, feels wonderfully well-balanced.
There are front and rear motors, delivering quattro power to the wheels. That means the car feels great, even when you’re hunting for that ever-elusive EV charging point. Take the plunge and, thanks to the four-wheel steering, you really start to feel the car’s potential. Considering the Audi e-tron GT runs on huge tyres, the ride quality is surprisingly good, even on the worst country roads in the UK.
In fact, the tires are so big that they often managed to push me past ugly potholes, rather than sinking the precious wheels into them. The suspension is fabulous, providing a comfortable ride for driver and passengers, but also enough dynamism to make the Audi e-tron GT thrilling. Even though there is little noise except for the computerized enhancement, the power delivery is instantaneous.
Choose from three modes: Efficiency, Comfort and Dynamic which all serve their purpose. Although Dynamic alters the car setup to the point where your next visit to a Charger is sooner than expected. You need power for all that performance, after all.
Dynamic mode is infectious, however, and really inspires a “go to hell” attitude when you take off into the sunset. Stopping the Audi e-tron GT is easy too, with brakes that are everything you’d expect from a car that can go from 0-60 in 4.1 seconds.
Audi e-tron GT: Interior
Up front, the Audi e-tron GT is everything you’d expect from the German automaker, too. It’s simple, functional and well laid out. The seats are super comfortable and feel great over a long distance.
Although it’s a fairly low car, the e-tron GT is also easy to get in and out of if you’re the front seat occupants. Legroom isn’t plentiful for people six feet and taller, but if you’re on the shorter side, it’s more than enough. The same goes for the passenger side.
Sit in the back, meanwhile, and you tend to feel a bit cut off from the world. If you’re in the back seats, being driven and having work to keep you busy could be a bonus. However, if you have children there, the sloping side windows caused by the sloping roofline mean there’s not much to see out of the side windows. Add to that the fact that the comfortable sculpted front seats block your view forward, and you could soon be subjected to the howls of motion sickness. Try the car in a few corners and you’ll double that effect.
It’s a nice place to sit. Just like the front, you feel crouched and there are the usual extras everyone needs: charging points, a sizable center armrest and smart cupholders.
There’s also some legroom, although taller occupants who have to move the front seats all the way back will soon take that away from all but the smallest children.
The trunk, at just 14 cubic feet, isn’t large considering the size of the car, and some space is taken up by the supplied charging cables. Anyone with kids and lots of stuff is probably best to stick with the Audi e-tron Sportback instead.
Audi e-tron GT: range and charging
The official range of a fully charged Audi e-tron GT is 298 miles according to European WLTP standard and 238 miles according to EPA range tests. I feel like the US numbers are closer to the truth, and I’ve rarely done more than 200 miles. Somewhere around 215 miles seems the average figure.
Drive it sensibly and the e-tron GT feels surprisingly frugal in the way it uses battery power.
In some instances, when it felt like we were coasting through the rolling Welsh countryside, the car seemed to do nothing. The range indicator seemed almost static. Spot a tempting curved stretch ahead of you and that would soon change. Regenerative braking takes place, although it doesn’t sound as impressive as one might think. Even with all that weight on steep grades and your foot firmly on the brake pedal.
Audi e-tron GT: Verdict
I put in almost 1200 miles in my seven days with the Audi e-tron GT and for the most part it was great fun. A big bonus was the obvious lack of stress, which can be common when you struggle to find an EV charging point to match. In fact charging the car, using new slots that I haven’t used before, was largely perfect. Fast too. Find a fast charger and you will no doubt be impressed too.
Driving the Audi e-tron GT is great fun, until you have to squeeze it into tight spaces. That’s when stress levels start to spike and give those anxiety and anxiety cold sweats a run for their money. Say goodbye to city parking and take the car out on the road and the Audi e-tron GT will soon have you forgetting all worries. On the highways, the ride is effortless, comfortable, and pressing your foot to overtake provides plenty of thrills.
Head down the winding country roads and it’s even better. Thrills diminish if you stray into the spirit of single-track country roads, and the UK has plenty of that. Stick to a twisty, super-smooth Welsh main road and you’ll find the Audi e-tron GT is an almost faultless ride. Those big tires, huge 285s at the rear, mean the car is planted on the road and corners like it’s on rails.
It’s a well-used cliche for sure, but certainly true from my experience of the Audi e-tron GT. It’s enough to make me want to have one of my own.