The first Audi E-Tron I drove was a hybrid A3 way back in 2015.
It could run on electricity alone, so qualified as an EV. It was Audi’s first electrified
offering, but certainly not its last.
The game has moved on since then, with fully electric cars that now bear the E-Tron
badge, not the least of which is the E-Tron GT that we drove this week.
I hadn’t ventured forth from Audi’s Sydney bunker before a customer in a Ferrari jacket
accosted me, wanting to know all about the car.
“It’s an E-Tron GT,” I said. At least that’s what it said on the back. At the time it was
about all I could tell him. I was as new to the car as he was, so I’ll endeavour to answer
that question now.
With similar lines to a Porsche 911, but four doors and a back seat, E-Tron GT sits at
the top of the Audi performance range – well, one from the top anyway. There’s an
even more powerful, more expensive RS version.
The E-Tron GT sits long and low with a small door opening and steeply raked roofline
that can make getting in and out a challenge.
With four doors and seating for five occupants, it’s a proper GT in the sense of the
term, but it could become a little claustrophobic back there. Forget about the fifth tight
seating position, this is a 4+1, with rear legroom is surprisingly limited and there’s not
enough places to put things in the cabin.
The back window looks like it should open, but look more closely and you will see the
shut line where it ends and the boot starts.
The 405-litre boot is deep but narrow and there’s another 85-litre one in the front which
is perfect for storing charge cables. Good luck finding the release.
The Audi counterpart of the Porsche Taycan and successor to the R8, prices start from
a nose-bleed $181,700 plus on roads for the GT and, big intake of breath – $249,700
for the RS E-Tron (love the way they round up the figures).
Our test vehicle, the E-Tron GT, finished in Metallic Kemora Grey with black interior
trim, was fitted with the optional Premium plus package at $7500, plus a body-coloured
single frame grille at $850, taking the total price to $190,050 before on-roads.
The Premium pack adds 20-inch alloys with black elements, colour ambient lighting,
privacy glass, air quality package and illuminated aluminium door sills.
That buys you a gorgeous piece of motoring machinery, with 350kW on tap (390kW in
charge-sucking boost mode) and a claimed range of up to 488km from a single charge.
A 270kW DC charger, if you can find one, will buy you another 100km in just five
minutes — a full charge in a little over 20 minutes. It’s got two charge ports too, both
near the front — one supports AC, the other AC and DC charging.
Standard are leather and three-zone climate air, a fixed glass roof and power boot lid,
electric front seat and steering column adjustment with driver seat memory, with sport
seats finished in leather upholstery, complemented by either graphite grey or walnut
Buyers can select between six no-cost metallic finishes, or solid Ibis white.
The E-Tron GT is covered by a 5-year warranty, plus 8 years on the battery and 12
years against corrosion, along with 6 years of free servicing and roadside assistance.
Both E-tron GT and RS E-Tron GT are also offered with a complimentary standard
installation for charging at home, courtesy of JetCharge, as well as a 6-year
subscription to the Chargefox charging network.
Infotainment in the form of Audi Connect plus, brings wireless smartphone interface
and charging, FM/DAB+ digital radio (but no AM) and wireless CarPlay and Android
Auto, plus two USB sockets front and back.
A 710-watt Bang & Olufsen 16-speaker sound system makes up for the lack of any
ENGINES / TRANSMISSIONS
The GT has two electric motors, one for the front and one for the rear axle, with a
combined output of 350kW of power (390kW in boost mode) and 630Nm of torque
(640Nm in boost mode).
The RS version takes it a step further, with 440kW (475kW on boost) and 830Nm — and
is the most powerful production Audi ever.
Drive is to all four wheels with a two-speed transmission and an on-demand ‘e-quattro’
all-wheel drive system.
The front electric motor provides drive to the front wheels alone through a planetary
gear set, while the rear electric motor drives the rear wheels via a two-speed gearbox.
The two-speed transmission is designed to deliver sharper acceleration off the mark,
especially in pin-your-ears-back Dynamic mode.
Energy consumption for the GT is a claimed 19.2kWh/100km.
Like most high-end vehicles, the E-Tron does not have a safety rating as it has not
been tested by any organisation.
That’s fine, but at the same time it’s not good enough in this day and age and is rated
accordingly. It does however get a full suite of driver assistance systems including front,
side and curtain airbags, a rear-view camera and Autonomous Emergency Braking and
pedestrian detection – detects impending collisions at up to 85 km/h.
There’s also head-up display, side assist, adaptive cruise assist, active lane assist,
intersection assist, pre-sense, 360-degree cameras, and a tyre pressure monitoring
Weighing in at 2351kg, despite extensive use of aluminium, the dash from 0-100km/h
in the GT takes 4.1 seconds — the RS does it in a blistering 3.3 seconds.
With a 93kWh battery, Audi claims a range of up to 488km (WLTP). Useable battery
capacity is 84kWh, however, which suggests more like 438km.
Recharging at the maximum 270kW DC capacity can provide a 100km top up in just
five minutes, but of course you need to locate a 270kW commercial charger (most are
They’re the essentials anyway.
The GT also boasts adaptive air suspension and rides on 20-inch alloys, with 245/45s
at the front and 285/40 rubber at the rear. But note, there’s no room for a spare – a tyre
repair kit is provided.
State of the art LED matrix headlights with front and rear dynamic indicators rate a
mention. They provide daytime running lights, dipped beam, high beam, positioning
lights, turning lights, all-weather lights, motorway lights, synthetic cornering lights,
automatic-dynamic headlight range control, dynamic light design and headlight washing
The tail lights are LED too, with more built-in pyrotechnics.
On the road, the E-Tron GT is a piece of work, whizzing past traffic, with the ability to
overtake virtually at will.
It’s the most engaging performance-orientated EV that we’ve driven so far. If only it had
another 100km of range to offer.
Some guy in a Chrysler 300 SRT wanted to play. He got the message really quickly.
The ride is surprisingly supple thanks to the adaptive suspension and handling is
neutral with 50:50 weight distribution.
With pin-sharp steering, benchmark braking and a low centre of gravity, the car sticks
like glue. But given its size and weight, it’s a long way from being a nimble coupe.
It’s not all peaches and cream either. Over the shoulder vision from the driver’s seat is
in a word terrible. There’s a small narrow rear window and massive rear pillars to deal
with, but the worst part is judging the forward extremities.
It’s almost impossible to predict how far the front corners of the car project, making car
parking stations with raised kerbs an expensive lottery.
You’ll be nervous and the auto braking is liable to scare the pants off you at times, with
its sudden intervention.
The GT is wide too, which means it won’t necessarily fit in that vacant space you just
spotted. Line it up and you may get in but you certainly won’t have room to open the
doors. Oh well, time to go around again.
The driver faces a fully digital configurable instrument cluster with 12.3-inch high-
resolution colour display, offering three different themes – Classic, Sport and E-Tron.
Inset in the dash old school style is a 10.1-inch display, with built-in navigation that
displays the current range of the car with a blue circle on the map.
The bit we like most about the interior is that it looks and feels like the cars that we’re
used to driving.
It’s not complicated, nor is it in your face like the electric offerings of some
Of note, a hidden rear spoiler deploys in two stages, depending on the speed of the
car. It opens automatically at 90km/h where it is most aerodynamic, but the angle
changes at 170km/h (yeah, right) to generate maximum downforce, providing greater
rear wheel traction. After more than 500km of driving, we were getting 22.5kWh/100km.
It’s interesting watching the transition to electric power play out.
Not everyone thinks EVs should be efficient, practical and devoid of character.
Cars such as the Audi E-Tron GT are keeping the performance dream alive, keeping
kids and big kids poring over those glossy car mags.
You can argue the toss about cousins and competitors, but buyers will want the E-Tron
because it’s an Audi and this one is as big and flashy an Audi as they come!
AT A GLANCE
Audi E-Tron GT, $181,700
Audi E-Tron GT RS, $249,700
Note: These prices do not include government or dealer delivery charges. Contact your
local Audi dealer for drive-away prices.
SPECIFICATIONS: (Audi E-Tron GT, five-door EV, 2-spd auto, AWD)
Configuration: Dual electric motors
Battery size: 93 kWh
Maximum Power: 350 kW (390 kW in boost mode)
Maximum Torque: 630 Nm (640 Nm in boost mode)
Fuel Type: Battery-electric
Energy consumption: 19.2kWh/100km
DRIVELINE: Dual electric motors, 2-spd automatic, all-wheel drive)
DIMENSIONS, WEIGHT AND CAPACITIES:
Length: 4989 mm
Wheelbase: 2898 mm
Width: 2158 mm
Height: 1413 mm
Turning Circle: 11.6 m
Kerb Mass: 2350 kg
Front: Ventilated discs (regenerative)
Rear: Ventilated discs (regenerative)
5 years/unlimited kilometres