It is virtually impossible to review Audi’s e-tron GT quattro without mentioning the €102,400.00 Porsche Taycan that was co-developed with the €110,265 (when tested) Audi. The Taycan sits on the same J1 platform and somehow for a car costing six figures is not an uncommon sight in Europe.
There are two Audi e-tron GT versions you can buy. The e-tron GT Quattro tested here and the €150,265 RS e-tron GT. Audi says the non-RS version is the one that will grasp the majority of sales. Where blunt force acceleration appears to be of profound importance to people who like to boast to their friends both cars are performance hellraisers: the e-tron GT has 470 bhp and can for a few seconds boost up to 530 bhp that alarmingly makes this a car, one that weighs as near as dammit the same as a Bentley Continental GT, whoosh to 100/h kms in 4.1 seconds. In RS form you’ll really need to hang on – that’ll crack it in 3.3 seconds. On paper those stats do the car an injustice. This is an EV with permanent all-wheel drive so there is zero spinning of wheels or drama. We’ve all seen crash test dummies strapped into a seat and catapulted forward on a test rig. The sensation in the Audi is broadly similar. The setup itself is unusual with one motor powering the front wheels and rear axle is hooked to a two-speed transmission.
We’ve all seen crash test dummies strapped into a seat and catapulted forward on a test rig. The sensation in the Audi is broadly similar.
Simply cruise down a ramp onto a motorway and accelerate onto a lane and the sensation of speed is replaced by a moment of instant panic as there is none of the traditional reference sounds or gearchanges to act as guidemarkers as to how fast you are travelling. When I drove it the only clue to the propulsion experienced was the cars in the rear view mirror that appeared to have stepped on the brakes behind me. Except of course they hadn’t. This funfair ride excitement is a big departure from Audi’s first e-tron outing that was a stout electric SUV which heaved in corners and felt every bit of its portly 2.5 tonnes suggested.
All of this funfair ride fun is a big departure from Audi’s first e-tron outing.
Up for praise is the car’s steering. It displays the high engagement of a car engineered for agility that defies the typical Audi A-something bluntness which has too many middle managers crying out for the feedback of a BMW. Not here. This comes very close to the precision delivered by the now dead R8 supercar. Push the e-tron GT and the bite from the steering rack is sharp and deliciously precise. Though fair warning – this is a very fast car displaying exceptional grip. Getting over confident in bends is accompanied by higher speeds than the driver is prepared for and the e-tron GT will understeer rendering it a projectile that needs grappling to be reigned in.
Efficiency is similar to any high performance EV – it depends how it is used and any wait-until-you-see-this acceleration demonstrations to passengers sees the claimed battery range plunge. It’s possible to get close to 2.8 miles per kw hour and up to 488 km or just over 300 miles. Over my week it was closer to 280 miles/450 km range. It’s worth noting a current generation A8 3.0 litre diesel is good for nearly 1,200km in range – that’s a delta of 750kms. Audi says the high speed DC charging can add 100km/62 miles in 5 mins. 270 kW DC charging comes standard.
Storage is decent with a front trunk and a less than generous 405 litres in the rear. Step into the e-tron GT and the seating position is low but I found the the dashboard’s positioning especially for front seat passenger and space is restricted when getting in and out of the car. For such a large saloon the rear seating remains average.
In summary, the Audi e-tron GT is a beautiful looking saloon car and if it was available as a diesel hybrid the sales numbers would rise further. My test car came in Tango Red Metallic and everywhere I drove it was admired and positive comments flowed. At charging stations the conveyor belt of world-weary BEV crossover owners adored the car. This, right now, is Audi’s best looking model. Blindingly fast with a feel good factor that is off the scale, Audi’s e-tron GT Quattro is one of the finest EV saloons you can buy in 2023.
The Audi e-tron GT is a beautiful looking saloon car and if it was available as a diesel hybrid the sales numbers would rise further.
If you are tempted by the e-tron GT Quattro’s performance, style and silence and considering trading in your trusty diesel you must have access to a home charger. The current charging infrastructure in Europe and the UK is patchy at best and will need years to become a convenient consumer service. Car companies are jumping on the EV train for one reason only: emissions targets from the EU have seen car manufacturers facing big fines for those that miss. That’s why they’re marketing EVs heavily. Remember environmental green credentials do not impact quarterly company earnings: fines from Goverments do.
- Mark Gallivan, Motoring Journalist
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