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Audi India are committed to going electric with all-electric vehicles accounting for 15 per cent of their portfolio in the coming years. The e-tron SUV and e-tron Sportback are already available in India. We take a look at the e-tron GT quattro that was added a few months ago

Story: Kurt Morris
Photography: Apurva Ambep

The Audi e-tron GT’s moniker might make you think it’s a variant of the e-tron all-electric crossover. Unfortunately, your instinct would lead you astray. The e-tron GT is, in fact, a completely different model—a low-slung sedan with the appearance of a sports car idea. It’s nearly identical to the concept version shown at the 2018 LA Auto Show and featured in Avengers: Endgame.

The bond between Tony Stark and Audi is well-documented throughout the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU), but it reaches a pinnacle in Avengers: Endgame with the 2022 Audi e-tron GT. Unlike the e-tron SUV, which can be mistaken for one of Audi’s other traditional crossovers at first sight, there’s no mistaking once you see the e-tron GT with its sleek sports coupé design for anything else.

Audi have taken a page from Porsche’s playbook and gone all out to design with their electrified flagship sports sedan. The e-tron GT is effectively a Porsche Taycan with a sculpted Audi body, built on the same J1 high-voltage platform as part of the Volkswagen Group’s platform-sharing method to keep research and development costs low.

Design plays a key role in respect of electric cars in defining and differentiating the products from one another. It all comes down to the design detail and how well the design team has executed them. Audi and their design team in Ingolstadt have nailed the design.

To give the hunkered-down e-tron GT a sporty aspect, the exterior design combines wide wheels, a long wheelbase, and a relatively squat and flat stance. With active aero flaps for the brakes and radiators in the air dams and a fully closed underbody, the e-tron GT has a 0.24 coefficient of drag. This car is only 1,396 millimetres in height, which, given its 4,989-mm length and 1,964-mm width, gives the impression that it has arrived from the future. The car’s ground clearance was a concern but, thanks to short overhangs and a relatively high front lip, it was easily reversed off its transport flatbed. The e-tron GT’s sensuous rear end, on the other hand, is the standout. The way the haunches flow into the short deck (which has a retractable spoiler) and the figurehead-like tail-lights joined by a light bar are also fantastic. All these add up to make the e-tron GT an attractive car and give it an immense amount of road presence.

 

You could be forgiven for assuming that the current A6, rather than the e-tron GT, was Audi’s new technological flagship. If you only saw the interior of the two vehicles, you would forget that the e-tron’s interior is quite identical to that of its petrol-powered sibling. The virtual cockpit digital instrumentation, which comes in three themes and can be configured in a variety of ways, is a familiar aspect, while the infotainment responsibilities are handled by a 10.1-inch touchscreen with an extremely familiar-looking user-friendly interface that has support for wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. The screen is sleek and simple to use.

Additionally, a small circular touchpad replaces the physical volume knob seen in most Audi cars. This touchpad can be used to change the audio track or increase or decrease the volume; passengers found it quite handy to use. Audi also offer an interior with recycled plastic bottles and fabric carpets and seats. The more environmentally conscious alternative appears refined and, in my opinion, is far more in keeping with the e-tron GT’s sleek driving character than leather.

A highlight in terms of features is the 16-speaker Bang & Olufsen 3D radio that you can really take advantage of in an electric car due to the absence of engine noise. A full-length glass roof and three-zone climate control. You can also tick all the boxes in the options list to improve your GT, such as air suspension, a 360-degree camera, park help, and a sound generator. These are just a few of the features available.

The Audi e-tron GT quattro has a combined power output of 350 kW (476 hp) and 630 Nm of torque. It features a twin-motor set-up, one motor for each axle. The 175-kW front motor, whereas the rear motor output, is higher the at 320 kW. All this means that the e-tron GT sprints like a drat every time you step on the accelerator and, unlike other electric cars that can’t handle this torque and just make the wheels spin, Audi’s quattro tech really helps launch the car perfectly without too much tyre squealing.

The e-tron GT’s rear motor is connected to a two-speed automatic transmission. A short first gear allows for fast acceleration, while a tall second gear allows for more relaxed driving. When you press down hard on the accelerator, the gearbox smashes into first gear abruptly and a frenzied charge forward ensues. You’re also provided with a 2.5-second “overboost” function; quattro takes it from 0 to 100 km/h in 3.9 seconds on the way to a top speed of 245 km/h.

Coming to the issue of range and range anxiety that often accompanies electric cars, the Audi e-tron tackles it well with its claimed WLTP range of 480 kilometres, which translated into 390 km in real-world conditions while we tested it. The car comes with an 11-kW home charging kit, but customers can upgrade to a 22-kW charging station for an additional fee. A 270-kW rapid charger system can also be used to charge the e-tron range.

Having the battery down below in the form of a skateboard-like platform really helps with the handling of this Audi. It gives you the confidence to tackle corners at higher speeds than you can imagine. And having the quattro all-wheel-drive system really helps through the corners. However, given the fact that it is carrying a ton of batteries, you do feel the weight of the car, especially while breaking.

Thankfully, Audi have given it massive steel brakes (and carbon-ceramic brakes as an option) that really help in bringing it to a stop quickly. Additionally, regenerative braking also helps the car slow down and feeds power back into the battery. The suspension is set up quite well to tackle Indian roads and ground clearance is also not that much of a problem, though large speed-breakers had to be manoeuvred with care.

If this is a sign of what is in store from electric cars in the future, it is definitely a win-win for us enthusiasts. The only other competitor for the Audi is its sibling, the Porsche Taycan, so it all comes down to which design you prefer.

To sum up the Audi e-tron GT, you have to look at it as a supercar with the practicality of a sedan that seats five people. And you have bragging rights at any drag race against most petrol-powered rivals.

Price: Rs 1.8 crore (ex-showroom)

Battery: 800-volt lithium-ion 93.4-kWh battery

Electric Motor: 175 kW (238 hp) front, 320 kW (435 hp) rear

Max Power: 350 kW (476 hp)

Max Torque: 630 Nm

Transmission: Single-speed automatic front, two-speed automatic rear, electric all-wheel drive

Suspension: Double wishbone front, multi-link rear, three-chamber air suspension

Weight: 2,295 kg

Also Read: Luxurious Audi urbansphere concept Revealed

Story: Kurt Morris

 

About the author: Kurt Morris

 

 

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