6 years of work at Audi to develop a model like the Audi e-tron GT. It seems like a long time, but the result is great. With the arrival on the market of Audi’s first electric GT, the segment of electric 4-door sedans and coupes is beginning to grow and if the Tesla Model S was able to play alone in the schoolyard for a long time, this new Audi now joins the Porsche Taycan of course, but also the future Polestar Precept, Lucid Air and Mercedes EQS to blow the whistle.
And if electric technology first appeared at Audi, like many others, on board SUVs, from now on, it is embarked in models that are slimmer, thinner and especially lower. I had the extreme privilege of discovering, testing… during a 4000 km road trip, this marvellous vehicle which is definitely cut out for great epics.
Being light is good. Being low is much better. In this respect, the height of the e-tron GT peaks at 1.41 m (compared to 1.63 m for the e-tron SUV) for a length of almost 5 m, 4.99 exactly. In order to improve its aerodynamics, which is so important for an electric car, the e-tron GT has controlled flaps in its radiator grille, which are normally closed but can be opened if the battery needs to be cooled, as well as a mobile rear spoiler which can be deployed at two angles depending on the driving mode selected in the Drive Select system and/or the more or less dynamic driving conditions. It complements the action of the rear diffuser to guide and extract air and compensate for the effects of lift at high speeds.
The e-tron GT has two electric motors, one for the front wheels, the other for the rear wheels, and is therefore an all-wheel drive…
although under certain conditions the rear wheels can be uncoupled to turn the e-tron GT into a simple front-wheel drive. But when needed, the rear wheels are brought back into play more quickly than with a conventional mechanical quattro transmission. The front engine produces 238 hp/175 kW, the rear 435 hp/320 kW for a combined output of 476 hp/350 kW and a combined torque of 630 Nm. A temporary boost function increases this power to 530 hp/390 kW for up to 2.5 seconds if required.
These permanent magnet synchronous electric motors are powered by a 93 kWh lithium-ion battery (86 of which are useful), located under the floor between the axles to promote an ideal 50/50 weight distribution and a very low centre of gravity, which is necessary for good road holding. A rare fact: thanks to its compactness, this battery provides a very useful “footwell” for the rear passengers, who can therefore benefit from a space under the front seats for greater comfort.
When the foot is off the accelerator, the system defaults to cruising mode and uncouples the transmission components to take full advantage of the inertia generated by the mass. In Dynamic mode, or if the driver operates the pedals behind the steering wheel, the electronic control unit predicts the optimum recovery mode for energy management. For decelerations below 0.3g, which is the vast majority of cases in normal driving, only the electric motors are used, with the kinetic energy recovery system feeding up to 265kW back into the system. Above 0.3g, the large steel discs clamped by 10 pistons at the front will take over. The e-tron GT is available to order now.
The e-tron GT adopts 800 V high-voltage technology. On a DC (direct current) supercharger, it can accept a charging capacity of 270 kW, which allows for example to recover 100 km of range in 5 minutes. Under the best conditions, recharging the battery from 5 to 80% takes 23 minutes. According to the WLTP standard, energy consumption is 19.8 to 21.6 kWh/100 km for the e-Tron GT, and 20.6 to 22.5 kWh/100 km for the RS version. The theoretical range for the e-Tron GT is 487 km. According to the NEDC standard, the e-Tron GT consumes between 19.6 and 18.8 kWh/100 km, the RS version between 20.2 and 19.3. This means a range of 458 km, which I was able to verify during this incredible road trip through France.