2021 Audi e-tron GT electric coupe revealed
Sporty e-tron GT four-door coupe heads up Audi's expanding electric range; RS model has 590bhp
- First e-tron developed by Audi Sport
- Starts at £79,900
- On sale in spring
The Audi e-tron GT has been unveiled and is set to rival the Porsche Taycan and Tesla Model S. It’s Audi’s flagship electric car and is available in standard and RS e-tron GT versions. Full specs will be revealed closer to the car’s launch in spring 2021.
Prices start at £79,900 for the e-tron GT, with the high-spec Vorsprung version costing £106,000. That’s just £4,950 off the starting price of the RS e-tron GT, and then you can pick Carbon Black and Vorsprung versions that cost £124,540 and £133,340 respectively.
2021 Audi e-tron GT styling
The face of the e-tron GT is recognisably Audi, with angled LED headlights and a wide ‘singleframe’ grille. The majority of the grille is fared-in and painted in body colour because the two electric motors don’t require as much cooling as a petrol engine. There are swollen wheel arches to hint at the power on offer and the e-tron GT sits low to the ground, with a roofline that’s 17mm lower than the Audi A7. Large alloy wheels range from 19 to 21 inches in size and there are nine colours to choose from.
An absence of exhaust pipes allows for a large aerodynamic diffuser, reducing lift to keep the e-tron GT firmly stuck to the road without creating range-sapping drag. There's also a retractable bootlid spoiler to provide downforce at higher speeds. We’re told the e-tron GT previews more sporty electric cars with a flowing design.
The e-tron GT shares many parts with the Porsche Taycan and is built on the same production line as the Audi R8 supercar. Both standard and RS models have impressive performance. The standard e-tron GT produces 469bhp and reaches 0-62mph in a fraction over four seconds, while the Audi RS e-tron GT has 590bhp and accelerates to 62mph in just 3.3 seconds. Engage launch control and, for 2.5 seconds, maximum power is increased to 523 and 637bhp respectively. Both models top out at over 150mph.
A motor on each axle gives four-wheel drive, while the car’s top-of-the-range status means it gets Audi’s best chassis technology. All-wheel steering, air suspension and a rear differential lock are all part of the package, while you can spec carbon-ceramic brakes at extra cost.
Driver appeal looks to be high on Audi's agenda, too – the e-tron GT will be the first electric model developed by Audi Sport and will offer a sophisticated 'torque vectoring' system to distribute power to the wheels best suited to take it in the given conditions. A low-mounted battery pack, lightweight carbon roof and aluminium doors allow a low centre of gravity. The upshot is a car that may weigh almost two tonnes but could feel and handle like a four-door supercar.
Range and charging
The Audi e-tron GT is designed to be a grand tourer, so a long range is important. A 93kWh battery (85kWh usable) and a slippery aerodynamic body gives a projected range of 298 miles, which is some way off the Tesla Model S but is still respectable. The Taycan’s 800V technology is present here too, and allows superfast DC charging at up to 270kW. Find a powerful enough charger and the battery can be topped up to 80% in 23 minutes. Charging for just five minutes adds 62 miles of range.
AC charging at up to 11kW is included too and we’re told 22kW will be available shortly after launch. This will allow easy charging at home or at work. Regenerative braking is on hand to bolster battery range, with a single-pedal driving mode available that obviates use of the brake pedal.
As well as promising zero-emissions motoring, the GT concept also boasts floor mats made from recycled fishing nets and a fully vegan-friendly interior that eschews leather in favour of synthetic upholstery. The interior look is familiar, with a layout inspired by the Audi A7 to provide a cockpit-like feel, while its width is accentuated by a dashboard centre section that flows outwards into the doors.
Although sleek and streamlined, the e-tron GT still promises space for four adults. It will have a 405-litre rear boot and an additional 85-litre storage compartment under the bonnet. Inside, six-footers will fit in the back, and the battery cells have been arranged in such a way as to allow ‘foot garage’ hollows in the car's floor, which provide foot space for passengers.
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