17 Feb 21
09 Feb 21
Audi has announced the e-tron GT, its new high-performance saloon which is set to hit the European market this spring.
The new e-tron GT joins the Audi stable two years on from the launch of its first electric vehicle, the e-tron SUV, and will come in two flavours - the GT quattro which starts at €99,800 (£87,500) and a full-bore RS variant from €138,200 (£121,250) each launching in Europe in the spring.
Both models offer more performance than any Audi EV has to-date, with the standard e-tron GT offering up 350kW (470bhp) of power, whilst the RS outputs a massive 440kW (590bhp). Those figures leap to 390kW (522bhp) and 475kW (637bhp) in overboost mode for a 0-100km/h (0-60mph) sprint with launch control of 4.1 seconds and 3.3 seconds, respectively. Each model is limited to a top speed of 250kph (155mph).
Unlike in its stablemate the Porsche Taycan, also based on the Volkswagen Group's J1 platform, the e-tron GT can make use of that overboost function outside of launch control, too, on full throttle in the car's dynamic mode.
All that performance is delivered via dual-motors and all-wheel drive, backed up by a 93kWh battery pack (85kWh usable) which is slung low between both axles, giving the car a lower centre of gravity than the company's halo ICE supercar - the R8.
As a result, the e-tron GT RS can stretch to a 472km (293-mile WLTP) run between charges and the GT quattro some 488km or 303 miles. Audi says just five minutes hooked up to a capable charger can yield 100km (62 miles) of range thanks to 800 volt, 270kW DC charging architecture - not too shabby for a quick jolt.
There's some very clever tech underneath the e-tron GT's skin to keep the tyres pushed firmly into the road, too. Double-wishbone suspension, an electronic rear differential and adaptive air suspension all come as standard on the RS, with four-wheel steering and an aptly Tron-like e-tron sport sound options on both variants - as are carbon-ceramic brakes if the buyer should so wish.
The car's been given a completely unique interior, with Audi's designers looking to play on a sense of space. Switchgear and the multimedia interface will be familiar to Audi owners, though a 12.3-inch digital instrument cluster and 10.1-inch touchscreen in the middle of the dash, plus LTE, Wi-Fi and innumerable smart integrations make the e-tron GT Audi's most tech-laden EV to-date.
The German carmaker may be calling time on its current spell in Formula E at the end of the 2020/21 campaign having been part of the fold since the inaugural season, but Audi Sport ABT Schaeffler is pulling out all the stops to add to its title tally following Lucas di Grassi's 2016/17 triumph, and its own as a fully-fledged manufacturer outfit via the Teams' Championship in 2017/18 at the first time of asking.
Its all-new, and first in-house designed and built Audi MGU05 powertrain provides the beating heart of its new e-tron FE07, and the undertaking has been described as one of Audi Sport's "most challenging and intensive projects ever" by Formula E project leader Tristan Summerscale, with the giving its all for a shot at top honours in Formula E's first season as an FIA World Championship with Rene Rast and Lucas di Grassi behind the wheel.
"We are leaving no stone unturned to reduce the energy loss within the system to an absolute minimum,” says Summerscale. “We have achieved an overall efficiency of more than 95 percent for our powertrain. The new MGU inverter unit has an efficiency of even more than 97 percent in all relevant driving conditions.”