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The Amazing Audi e-tron GT

by Ron CoganAugust 27, 2021
We’ve known for a long time that legacy automakers would be gunning for Tesla, the maverick automaker that proved electric vehicles could be flashy, fun, and go the distance. Now Audi has entered the fray with its scintillating e-tron GT.

While performance is a given at any level, it’s been Tesla’s highest-end, dual-motor models that really set the bar for the ultimate in electric drive thrill seekers. While Tesla has pretty much had a lock on this for some time, serious competition has been in the pipeline. Audi’s new-for-2022 e-tron GT not only considerably extends the reach of Audi’s unfolding all-electric e-tron lineup, it presents a compelling option to those who would otherwise consider a Tesla.

Sleek and sinewy, the e-tron GT is what electric performance should be about. If Audi’s 610 horsepower, V-10 powered R8 supercar screams performance, then the more luxury-oriented electric e-tron GT simply exudes it in a refined and luxurious sort of way, without making a fuss. The e-tron GT is beautifully designed with a sloping roofline, a long wheelbase, wide stance, and large 20-inch alloy wheels as standard fare, with the uplevel RS variant offering available 21-inch alloys.

And performance? As expected. Front and rear permanently excited synchronous motors in the GT – 235 horsepower at the front and 429 at the rear – offer a net combined output of 469 horsepower for exhilarating acceleration. A greater 522 horsepower with overboost and launch control is delivered for a brief 2 1/2 seconds as needed. This delivers a 3.9 second 0-60 mph sprint and a top speed of 152 mph. The RS e-tron GT uses the same front motor but integrates a more powerful 450 horsepower motor at the rear, offering 590 horsepower overall and 637 horsepower with overboost. It reaches 0-60 mph in just 3.1 seconds, matching the breathtaking performance of Audi’s V-10 R8.

Power in both versions is delivered to the road via a two-speed transmission that accentuates quick acceleration while providing a second taller gear for extended highway driving. All-wheel steering, available in GT models and standard in the RS e-tron, provides a maximum of 2.8 degrees of opposite direction in the rear to increase low-speed agility at speeds up to 30 mph, and in the same direction at higher speeds to aid stability. Three-chamber air suspension is standard to enable tuning for comfort or performance.

Energy is delivered to the motors by a 93.4 kWh lithium-ion battery pack housed within an aluminum frame. Audi estimates a 238 mile range for the GT and 232 miles for the RS GT based on its own testing approximating EPA test cycles. Both are standard and fast charge capable, with the latter bringing the e-tron’s battery from 5 to 80-percent charge is just over 22 minutes.

Arriving this year, the Audi e-tron GT quattro Premium Plus carries an MSRP of $99,900, with the GT quattro Prestige upping the ante to $107,100 and the RS e-tron GT to $139,900.