Tesla is undoubtedly the household name when it comes to electric cars – and generally it has the best-looking vehicles, too.
That is, until now.
There is a new contender in town and it comes from Audi: the new e-tron GT and its RS sibling.
They’re an interpretation of the gran turismo – or grand touring – cars with sporty intentions, yet comfortable enough to cruise across the country with passengers and luggage.
Incidentally, it bears a striking resemblance to its cousin the Porsche Taycan – in more ways that just the design.
The two models – e-tron GT quattro and the RS e-tron GT – serve up 350kW and 440Kw, respectively, laying it down through an electric all-wheel-drive system with a “permanently excited machine” at each axle.
In most cases, the Audi e-tron tends to use its rear electric motor to achieve the highest efficiency – with the drive torque being generally distributed with a rear-axle bias.
Both models feature a 175kW front motor with a 320kW and 335kW motor at the rear on the e-tron GT and RS e-tron GT.
These produce 640Nm and 830Nm respectively.
Acceleration is near-instantaneous, hampered only by grip, but expect 100km/h to arrive in 3.5 seconds.
85kWh of energy is then stored in the lithium-ion battery made up of nearly 400 cells and is good for a range of up to 487km.
Ever-improving charging options in Europe will mean that a 5-minute charge is enough for another 100km of range, said Audi.
While impressive in themselves, these specs are essentially mirrored in the Porsche Taycan and Taycan 4S.
Outside and inside
The car is long and low with dimensions exaggerated by its large wheels, long wheelbase, wide track, flat silhouette.
In terms of size, it is about the same size as the BMW 8-series Gran Coupe and near-identical to the Porsche Taycan.
As with most electric cars in this segment, it’s also packed with cool technology.
From the optional laser lights which double the visibility length of the high-beams, to Audi’s futuristic virtual cockpit, the days of the mechanical gauge are dead in the e-tron GT.
Additionally, it’s easily comfortable enough for four adults seated in individual bucket seats.
Electric cars are notoriously silent, which some owners find unsettling.
Audi has taken note of this and composed a unique sound for the e-tron GT which makes use of two control units and amplifiers in the luggage compartment.
They generate a separate exterior and interior sound played out loud by the individual speakers.
The data from various sources in the drivetrain create a digital sound which is then synthesized to provide drivers – and those the e-tron GT passes by on the street – with the impression that the “engine” actually makes a noise.
Presales of two models with fully electric drive will start simultaneously in Europe in February 2021.
The e-tron GT quattro will sell for €99,800 (approximately R1,782,00), while the RS e-tron GT is €138,200 (approximately R2,467,000).