If there is one convincing argument in favor of a battery-powered e-car, then it is undoubtedly the driving pleasure. This sheer driving pleasure (sorry BMW) is taken to extremes in the new Audi e-tron GT, which we were able to savor on a longer test drive. Still euphoric by the perfectly composed (!!) E-Sound of Silence and the almost uncanny acceleration thrust, it is difficult to question the mobile electric future. If it weren't for a few hurdles.
Let's start with what immediately catches the eye with the Audi e-tron GT: the absolutely successful shape. Fascinating in every detail, aesthetically pointed and pointed: a Gran Turismo like out of a design textbook, a four-door high-performance sports car for the long journey, which immediately encourages you to think of a corona-free drive through the rolling hills of Tuscany. The country roads and the autobahn around Hamburg seem rather sobering on our test drive, but without being able to take the GT away from its fascination.
You don't have to drive this car to enjoy it.
The e-tron GT stands there like Michelangelo's David: muscular fine-tuning, powerful charisma, pure aesthetics and technological lead. This low-fat design, without unnecessary exaggeration, appears highly toned and athletic. And above all sustainable, which means that the e-tron GT should still be recognized as a formally successful work of art in 20 years' time. What the Audi design team under Head of Design Marc Lichte has put on the wheels is a classic from the future. Or a classic from which the future is made. Ergo: You don't have to drive this car to enjoy it.
The basic shapes from the manual for good design are long wheelbase, wide track and the flat roof line of a coupé. The perfect proportions of 499 centimeters in length, 196 centimeters in width and 141 centimeters in height convey formal dynamics even when standing. Physically confirmed a Cw-Value of 0,24, also in figures, a top value for streamlined efficiency.
Recycled material with a high-quality feel-good feeling
The interior is - what else should we expect from Audi - full of natural ergonomics. Materials of the best quality and workmanship that, when touched, create that haptic feeling of wellbeing that somehow creates cozy warmth in the cerebellum. The feedback from the fingertips only reports positive things.
If someone had told us earlier that the Audi technology pacemaker would offer recycled fabrics as seat covers, we would have turned away in disgust. Now we are sitting on “recycled” seat covers ourselves and are now absolutely convinced that prejudices have become obsolete. Because old PET bottles or old fishing nets can be used to weave soft fabrics that are pleasant to the touch, proving once again that prejudices shouldn't be recycled. What is conceivable is also feasible, said Socrates. Audi proves how true that is in this detail too. Incidentally, the floor carpet is made of recycled material as standard. Of course there is also fine leather on request. Our seating experience does not miss it, because the recycled cover fabric feels great and can be expected to have a long service life.
The composed electro sound sounds like from another sphere
Driving in this scooter is somehow out of this world. Especially in the RS version we chose. 598 PS from the two electric motors, one on the front and one on the rear axle, leave no doubt that a super sports car is about to break the sound barrier. In overboost even 646 PS are activated and with a torque of 830 Newton meters you seem to be able to fly under any radar control. Seriously: 3,3 seconds to 100 km / h impress in a not exactly discreet way. It literally flashes us away when we step on the power pedal for the first time on the free motorway. The electrical removal process from a full battery is perceived as a high-voltage lightning bolt in the brain, which seems to make the recently discovered gravitational waves perceptible. The violence pushing towards the horizon is damn impressive, the G-meter in the brain jumps into the red area.
The standard e-tron sports sound in our RS test car conveys an almost extraterrestrial sound. The sound designers obviously avoided emulating a combustion engine. So it was possible to conjure up a sound from the buzz of the electric propellants that fits perfectly with the power development of the RS e-tron GT. Light years away from the repeatedly rumored sound of a tram approaching, which e-skeptics like me used to like to bring into the field because we didn't want to give up the sound of a roaring combustion engine. What I mean by that: The new Audi e-tron GT also electrifies skeptics emotionally. This is not a question. Such cars are needed to increase the acceptance of e-mobility.
In the case of the e-tron GT, too, the consumption when driving fast requires a surcharge for express trains
When Audi states that the GT can achieve a maximum range of up to 488 kilometers, that is unfortunately a gray theory. Quite feasible, but then only theoretically. Anyone who buckles almost 650 hp also wants to feel it. At least every now and then. We drive longer distances on the free autobahn with a speedometer 260, enjoy the sound when accelerating and recuperate as much as we can: But in the end we find that with 100 kilometers of the "fastest" route, we have lost 200 kilometers of the displayed range.
However, the express train surcharge is not a peculiarity with e-cars. Let us remember driving in similarly powerful gasoline-powered vehicles, where the entire tank content rushes through the injection system at full throttle faster than you would like to admit. We tested similarly powerful combustion engines that could be driven with 10 liters, but also with 25 liters per 100 kilometers. There is only one difference: At the petrol pump it takes just three minutes until the tank offers full range again. A longer stay is necessary when refueling with electricity.
The battery in the e-tron GT has a net capacity of 85 kWh (93 kWh gross) and allows fast direct current charging with a maximum of 270 kW. This should allow a range of 100 kilometers to be recharged in five minutes and 20 percent of the battery capacity in 80 minutes. With the e-tron Charging Service, customers should be able to charge alternating and direct current at around 200.000 charging points in Europe, a single payment card is sufficient. This undoubtedly opens up new perspectives for reducing e-reservations. How deeply the complex charging technology was thought out by Audi becomes clear here: If the driver sets a fast charging station as a destination in the navigation system, the battery is cooled down or warmed up so that it can be charged as quickly as possible while driving.
The driving behavior corresponds to the Gran Turismo claim
On the chassis side, we found that the e-tron GT is not a sedan chair, but offers a balanced driving experience that allows you to cover long distances in comfort. A wide spread of the driving dynamics system can be individually set via four modes via Audi drive select. We consciously drive the sporty attitude and still feel comfortable. The battery-typical low center of gravity enables high lateral acceleration without any noticeable tendency to roll. All-wheel steering is available as an option, which significantly reduces the turning circle and improves agility.
The usual assistance systems are of course also available. The e-tron route planner calculates the necessary charging stops and guides the driver directly there. In the event of pending speed limits, curves or place-name signs, the e-tron GT can brake in advance and recuperate in the process. In our opinion, this is a helpful detail in order to avoid a trip into the Flensburg points.
The relationship with the Porsche Taycan does not change anything in the typical Audi character
It's no secret that the e-tron GT is closely related to the Porsche Taycan. It goes without saying that the corporate development departments work together on such an expensive project. It is very clear, however, that the Audi has received its typical Audi expression in its brand-typical character, in every detail. This will certainly be confirmed in the following comparison test of the specialist journals. Both vehicles are so independent that the brand-typical character DNA has not been diluted. The e-tron GT is a flawless Audi, the Porsche Taycan a Porsche.
The Audi e-tron GT, which has now come on the market in two versions, costs from 99.800 euros, the more powerful and more extensively equipped RS version costs from 138.200 euros.