Audi e-tron road test review – charge up for electric tour de force as these GT and RS models hit the roads with a 300-mile range.
IT has stunning looks, outstanding performance, a beautifully crafted interior, is extremely comfortable and it’s ecologically sound – factors which have to tick all the boxes for any modern-day sports car fanatic, writes David Ward.
And Audi, renowned for go-faster, sporty quattros, TT coupes and the like over many years has clearly come up trumps again with its first all-electric performance car, the e-tron GT.
With the motoring world now racing headlong into all-electric cars it seems that Audi is proving a point early on with a car where motorists can enjoy the traditional sports performance of a coupe with absolutely zero exhaust emissions.
Sitting low and wide the e-tron GT delivers the sporting goods with a 0 to 62mpm in just over four seconds along with some 640 Nm of torque – and a claimed top speed of 152mph with four-wheel-drive.
Crucially for the driver this e-tron GT has two other great assets – it has excellent mid-range acceleration and exquisite road holding – no matter how uneven the road surface.
With its steering so precise and accurate along with good handling dynamics no matter what the driving conditions are like it feels a remarkably safe and also easy car to drive.
Audi has certainly cracked it with this car in terms of its usual sporting pedigree but in such a clean-living manner with only electric power.
The heart of the power comes from a 93kWh battery that drives two electric motors – one on the front wheels and the other at the rear – making a total of 532bhp and the GT is just as exhilarating to drive as one of the marque’s combustion engined sporty models.
There are three driving modes – efficiency, comfort and dynamic – with the middle setting the one most drivers will probably opt for since it gives the best of both worlds with performance and an exceptionally comfortable ride.
The big worry for motorists driving electric cars is range and how far can be travelled before the need to recharge the battery – and then how long will it take?
This e-tron GT has a range of 298 miles and the capability of using a DC rapid charging station which means a possible 60 miles being added within five minutes – or as on our 700-mile route around 45 minutes to regain 80 per cent battery capacity.
With more and more charging stations opening daily across the country it’s now becoming increasingly easier to drive a car like the e-tron GT really long distances.
An audible reminder signal sounds inside the cabin at stages below having 50 miles left in the system.
For those wishing to recharge at home that’s possible but takes a longer time.
The e-tron GT – like its sister ship the Porsche Taycan – has everything one would need from an Audi today when it comes to onboard driver assist equipment and connectivity.
There’s the familiar touchscreen and TFT instruments with standard features like a head-up display, LED lights and a comprehensive infotainment system but there are ‘real’ buttons for most of the essentials.
All are clear and concise for ease of use thanks to the straightforward layout of the dashboard while a full-length panoramic roof is a godsend, particularly in a low slung coupe.
Driving any fully-electric car is naturally quiet and the e-tron GT proved extremely civilised and refined. Inside the cabin there’s just a hint of a whine from the powertrain when accelerating hard but in no way is it intrusive.
Road and wind noise is practically non-existent thanks to an exceptionally efficient acoustic glazed windscreen and whilst this car is basically a 2+2 (the rear seats more for toddlers) but there is remarkably good head and leg room in the front seats.
However, the e-tron GT is not cheap coming in at £79,900 and there is an upgraded RS version at around £110,000.
The GT will take up 80 per cent of UK sales and in the high performance electric market it represents exceptionally good value for money – better than the Porsche in my book.
With the e-tron GT Audi has delivered the right goods at the right time and at the right price, with an all-electric sports car that still delivers what drivers demand.