Effortless e-tron GT is an Audi Electric Revelation

Audi

Audi’s e-tron GT is a quick, handsome electric four-door that plays so handsomely to the brand’s peerless, and totally effortless strengths.

Some may say that this e-tron GT is the most exciting electric Audi yet. That’s difficult to argue. Great looking and eye-catching, it has an electric twist that never failed to attract extreme attention wherever we drove it. Low and wide in subtly metallic white, all that black trim, splendid face machined black wheels and matrix LED headlights with Audi laser light each side of a dark Audi trademark mouth, come together splendidly. A full-width taillight around the back does a disco dance every time it switches on or off.

Audi

Audi e-tron GT is wrapped in an extremely sharp suit

The Porsche Taycan’s sister car is based on the same VW Group J1 platform. It offers most of the same technology its Stuttgart sibling does. Albeit wrapped in an extremely sharp Audi suit. It’s assembled alongside the R8 at Audi’s Neckarsulm factory, which limits the number that can be built and guarantees exclusivity. It’s also a fraction longer, a little narrower and a bit taller than the Porsche.

Swing open the door to reveal superb plum leather and carbon fiber clad, chunky metal adorned high-quality cabin. It has so many delightful and special little features in there, from that touch-friendly enough, space-age gear button to the cool e-tron logo that shines through the passenger side facia. Never mind, it’s packed full of all the very latest in Audi high tech. Yet this e-tron GT combines haptic touch screen controls with just enough knobs and buttons to keep us from crying foul.

A 12.3-inch virtual cockpit shines your choice of classic, sport and e-tron screens at you behind the wheel. The last mentioned is even something of a range anxiety elixir. Add 10.1-inch center dash touch screen above an array of oh-so-welcome knobs and dials for the air-con, heated seats, drive modes and the rest. See, we can still do the future with buttons. Incredible! Rear visibility could be better but backing up is eased by crisp and clear rear-facing and 360-degree cameras.

e-tron GT

Practical for Four Adults. And More, Too

There’s more than enough space in the rear for a couple of adults, whose feet fall into a neat notch cut into the underfloor battery. And there’s enough space in the 405-liter (14.3 cubic feet) trunk. Albeit our tester was smothered by a full-size spare wheel tied in there like a leather parachute. Nor is the long flat trunk a hatchback. You must make do with a narrow lid. That stolen boor space is partially recovered by another 81 liters (2.86 cubic feet) of baggage space in the nose. If you remove all the charging cables and paraphernalia, that is.

The Audi e-tron GT hums when you turn on. To warn pedestrians, cyclists and horsemen of your presence. With a motor at the front and another on the rear axle for all-wheel drive, e-tron GT has a two-speed gearbox on the rear axle to maximize acceleration off the line. And improve efficiency. Something of a fast granturismo, this ‘entry-level’ GT produces 470 HP, or 522 HP for 2.5 seconds when you select launch control. Audi says that’s enough for 0-60mph in 4.1 seconds and a top speed of 152mph.

It blasts off the line with great energy and thrusts you back in the seat thanks to that instantaneous electric torque. Acceleration is impressive and quicker than Audi’s claims as it goes through a quaint little transformation phase as the rear motor unit finds that second cog. After which there’s constant, endless and abundant power underfoot. Your GT pipes in Star Wars pod tones through its sport sound gadget, distantly gurgling and grunting as it progresses. And there’s always that effortless surge at your disposal.

e-tron GT

Effortless. That’s the Real e-tron GT Catchword

That’s the big call word here. Effortless. Steering is quick and honest, if a touch leaden. Not unlike, say an A7. The most impressive aspect of this electric GT’s driving manner however is its agility and obedience. It totally defies its 2.3-ton bulk. Audi reminds us that this e-tron GT’s center of gravity is lower than an R8. They really don’t need to. This one makes a mockery of its heft.

Supporting a 93-kWh battery and 800V architecture, you can charge e-tron GT at up to 270 kW if you can find a point capable of delivering that. At peak speeds in optimum conditions, you can add 62 miles of range in just five minutes. Or charge up 80 percent in just over 20 minutes. A full charge will give you 303 miles of range. If you can resist your urges to floor it and revel in those 522 horses, that is. So, range anxiety is still real and certainly takes a little getting used to.

In a world where we have experienced that the likes of the BMW iX will go 400 miles with a little discipline, and where some Teslas even manage 500 on a charge, this Audi’s 300-mile range is a limiting factor, whether you need travel far or not. It would be so much more complete with an extra 100 or so mile driving range, like some rivals now manage. Which means the etron GT fails to ease range anxiety as well as say and iX does. You still need to plot your longer routes around rapid charging stations.

e-tron GT

Perfect as an Everyday Driver Around Town

But it’s perfect for the everyday short haul. You can adapt the regeneration to your liking via the flappy paddles behind the steering wheel. Three tugs to the left make this GT almost fully single paddle drivable. Initial regen mode deceleration is up to 3Gs, so you only really need use the brake pedal in case of emergency or avoidance. All of which, unless you are going to use it on a trackday, makes the carbon brake option futile. Driven diligently, you may never even us the clamps. We hardly did.

So, there you have it. The Audi e-tron GT is tech leader as much as it is a hugely impressive car. Way beyond just a comfy daily driver, it’s a practical enough four-door but with sharp, long, and low good looks that grab gob-smacked attention wherever you take it. So yes, it is exciting. But this e-tron GT’s real strength is that it’s not trying to be a car of the future. It’s simply a quick, efficient, and handsome electric four-door that plays so handsomely to Audi’s peerless, and totally effortless strengths.

ROAD TESTED: Audi e-tron GT quattro
Motors: 2x electric, 522 HP 472 lb.-ft combined 
Drive: Direct AWD
Battery: 100 kWh lithium-ion
TESTED:
0-40 mph:           2.16 sec
0-60 mph:           3.91 sec 
0-80 mph:           5.18 sec
0-100 mph:          8.34 sec 
¼-mile:             11.9 sec @ 117 mph 
50-75 mph:          2.20 sec
75-100 mph:         3.15 sec 
CLAIMED:
VMax:               152 mph 
Energy Consumption: 37.2 kWh/100 miles 
CO2:                0 g/km local
LIST PRICE          $102,400 MSRP
RATED:              8

Photos: Michle Lupini

            Click HERE to join the AudiWorld forums!

Audi’s Sublime E-Tron is an Electric Conundrum

e-tron
Audi’s e-tron is a most impressive car in its own right. But is its insufficient propulsion source compatible enough?

Besides this one’s Star Wars mirrors and yellow on chrome e-tron badges, you’d never guess that this Audi e-tron is a battery-electric car. We like that. You fit into the crowd, rather than stand out as an electric car eccentric.

e-tron
Slots Between the Q5 and Q7 in Spec & Size

At first sight, it may appear to be a plug-in Q5, but the 193-inch-long e-tron actually slots neatly between the Q5 and Q7. Yet it borrows its front grille feel and LED taillight bar from the A7. Despite weighing over 5,700 pounds, it doesn’t look massive. Them lardy batteries, you know? Ride height is 2.5 inches adjustable to endow it with mild degree of electric off-road ability, and eases access, too.

E-tron’s superb Audi-built cabin brings a high-tech SUV edge. It abounds in beautifully stitched leather, quality polished plastic and sublime metal trim. Its fully digital cockpit nicked from the A6, 7 and 8 compliments Audi’s Virtual Cockpit digital instrumentation behind a conventional flat-bottomed multifunction steering wheel. Driver and passenger pews are broadly adjustable and there’s loads of head and legroom across the rear bench. It will even satisfy three people for short trips.

Being just a five-seater maximizes interior space and e-tron has some cool storage solutions. A vast and maybe too versatile center console gobbled things up so well we struggled to find them after. We also missed the extra feeling of room BMW achieves in iX by just leaving that gap open. Horses for courses, we suppose. A shortish wheelbase compared to, say a Jaguar I-Pace, does not impinge much. There’s plenty room for four adults in there and visibility out is decent.

e-tron

Haptic Virtual Buttons. What’s the Point?

The twin haptic feedback full-HD 10.1-inch upper and 8.6-inch lower displays take some getting used to. They will never be as easy to operate as good old physical knobs and buttons. The haptic thing still requires you to prod the virtual screen buttons. What’s the point, really? No, we’ll never stop complaining, even if Audi’s system has logical menus and tells you what’s selected. It could be a bit more intuitive though.

It has Bluetooth, wireless charging, CarPlay and Auto too. The system packs a DAB radio, but alas, no AM where our favorite station hides. And The USBs are C only, so you may need new accessory cables too. Add a handy 360-degree parking camera and Audi’s MMI Navigation Plus. Not sure why you need onboard navigation when your mobile phone’s app does the job just as well. Or better.

Our test car even had Audi’s Star Wars optional virtual wing monitors (not available in the U.S. at the moment). Sure, they’re sexy and look fantastic, inside, and out. We however only have one word of advice for this gimmick. Avoid it at all costs. Way inferior to good old reflective mirrors, that beauty is skin deep. Placed too low in the car, the monitors are unsorted and poorly developed. It’s impossible to fathom distance through them and they’re useless for backing up. They do not belong in production.

Audi

E-tron 55 has a Big Boot and Will Even Tow a Trailer

The e-tron 55 has a very big 28.5 cu ft trunk that opens up to 56 cu ft with the rear bench backrest down to trump the Q5 by over 200 litres. There’s even a little load space under the bonnet, which is better to ignore because that’s where you store all the different charging cables and kit. Perhaps surprisingly, the e-tron offers a 4-ton maximum braked towing ability. That’s a quantity most of its electric rivals don’t even quote.

Moving under the hood, or wherever its electric power bits are distributed, e-tron is propelled by Audi’s electric bi-motor quattro all-wheel drive. E-tron benefits all the torque, power and performance you expect from an electric car. Fed by a 95-kilowatt-hour battery that delivers a useable 86.5 kWh at a rated 224 Wh/km, or the equivalent of 87 mpg of the noxious fuel a combustion engine will consume, EPA driving range is rated at 222 miles. Which proved a realistic.

Response is immediate, albeit gentler than the e-tron GT we also drove recently, thanks softer gas pedal calibration. Its 402 HP and 490 lb.- ft instant torque ‘on boost’ still makes acceleration dramatic off the line and straight-line performance impressive. There’s more than enough punch for most motorists. The e-tron launches like a bullet, overtakes effortlessly, and gets most things done by the time a conventional rival’s auto gearboxes would even have woken up.

Audi RS Q e-tron Drifts Alongside Ducati DesertX in Italy

Audi RS Q e-tron

Audi and Ducati join forces to unveil a common design to emphasize the synergy between the brand groups. The Audi RS Q e-tron demonstrates its extraordinary capabilities drifting alongside the motorcycle.

The Volkswagen automotive group has many sub-brands under its umbrella. As our avid readers must already know, this includes the Ingolstadt brand. However, for those unfamiliar with the two-wheeler industry, VW’s Italian subsidiary Lamborghini is also the parent company of Ducati Motor Holding. A group of lucky journalists recently got the opportunity to drive an Audi RS Q e-tron racer alongside a Ducati DesertX motorcycle in Sardinia, Italy.

The event was also the first time that journalists got to test both vehicles simultaneously. Both offerings now share a common design language that highlights the synergy between the brand groups. The test was conducted under the expert supervision of motorsport professionals from Audi and Ducati. Danilo Petrucci from Ducati was present to demonstrate the potential of the bike manufacturer’s Testastretta motor.

Audi’s Carlos Sainz/Lucas Cruz, along with Stéphane Peterhansel/Edouard Boulanger and Emil Bergkvist, also displayed the capability of the RS Q e-tron’s advanced technology by drifting the Dakar racer drifting alongside the Italian two-wheeler on gravel tracks.

Audi RS Q e-tron

Audi factory driver Carlos Sainz shared his thoughts on the RS Q e-tron.

“What Audi has achieved with this concept is technically unique and a real benefit for us drivers,” explains Sainz. He further adds, “The event in Sardinia was great to communicate the benefits of the electric drive. All the media were impressed throughout.”

A high-voltage battery pack powers the Audi RS Q e-tron. The Dakar racer’s innovative electric drive setup uses an energy converter that offers a maximum charging power of 220 kilowatts. The converter consists of a TFSI engine and motor generator units derived from the automaker’s e-tron FE07 Formula E racer. The electrified off-roader can accelerate to 62 MPH from a complete standstill in just 4.5 seconds on loose surfaces. The Audi RS Q e-tron can also hit a top speed of 106 mph. With four stage victories, RS Q e-tron made an exciting debut.

Danilo Petrucci also offered his insights on the experience. “It’s a dream come true for me, because already as a child I was a fan of Carlos Sainz,” said the Italian. “You can’t describe the feeling in the cockpit. I didn’t expect the RS Q e-tron to be so fast off-road. Its technology shows the way to the future of the automobile.”

Image Source: Audi

Click HERE to join the AudiWorld forums!

Winter Fun: Audi RS e-tron GT Proves Its Mettle Against Avant RS6 On Ice

RS e-tron GT

Engadget demonstrates how well the EV architecture of the RS e-tron GT performs on snowy terrain against the Avant RS6. The latter is equipped with Audi’s mechanical quattro all-wheel-drive system.

The Audi RS e-tron GT is the talk of the town these days. Earlier this month, professional rally driver Ken block added a custom flat white RS e-tron GT to his electric fleet. More recently, Roberto Baldwin from Engadget got behind the wheel of two exciting Audi models for a remarkable comparison. Baldwin traveled up to Canada to drive an Audi RS e-tron GT and an Avant RS6 wagon across snowy terrains as part of the Audi Driving Experience.

Here’s a quick overview for those unfamiliar with the RS e-tron GT. The all-electric offering is an amalgamation of state-of-the-art electric vehicle technology. Even in its battery-only avatar, RS e-tron GT stays true to Audi’s performance pedigree. Since it’s an electric model, high altitude does not impede RS e-tron GT’s performance, but the same is true for the Avant RS6. However, the frigid temperature can diminish the performance of the e-tron’s 93.4 kWh lithium-ion battery pack.

Nevertheless, the video offers some interesting insights into how these two drastically different machines handle on the ice. “So even though I’m sliding all over the place on this road, I have the traction control off, what’s nice is that the e-tron, and EVs in general if they are well, well built, every tire is getting information, every tire is being adjusted within milliseconds, so that’s pretty great,” explains Baldwin.

Winter Fun: Audi RS e-tron GT Proves Its Mettle Against Avant RS6 On Ice

Electric vehicles like the RS e-tron GT have a very low center of gravity and are usually quite heavy.

As a result, the pressure from the extra weight offers a better grip on surfaces where achieving traction can be pretty challenging. Without the overboost, both e-tron and Avant RS6 produce roughly the same power output. Furthermore, with the help of Audi’s mechanical quattro all-wheel-drive system, the Avant RS6 was also able to get around tight corners with ease, but it wasn’t as composed as its electric counterpart.

“The e-tron, this EV architecture that added weight, it makes it a bit more stable on ice on snow, slick, rain, anything you’re looking for and that has to do a lot with those two motors that are able to finally adjust the wheel spin,” explains Baldwin.

Image Source: Engadget

Click HERE to join the AudiWorld forums!

Ever Wanted to Drive an Audi R8 on the Autobahn? THIS is What It’s Like!

 Audi R8 4.2 V8 Spyder

AutoTopNL reviews and races a rare 2015 Audi R8 4.2 V8 Spyder and hits 163 MPH (263 km/h) at the Autobahn.

The Netherlands is fast becoming the favorite stomping ground for high-performance Audi models. Last month, we discussed Roobol Exclusive Cars’ murdered-out RS6-R ABT offering, which can accelerate from 0 to 62 MPH in 3 seconds thanks to its 740 HP powertrain. More recently, Max from the YouTube channel AutoTopNL offered an in-depth review of a rare 2015 Audi R8 4.2 V8 Spyder.

That’s before he takes to the Autobahn in the supercar for an exciting high-speed run. The car seen here is currently listed for sale on the Dutch website Huijbregts Exclusive Cars for around $190,000 (€99,950). This Audi R8 Spyder comes equipped with a six-speed Graziano manual gearbox which sends power to all four corners.

The car also flaunts an eye-catching Samoa Orange paint job and only has around 35,400 miles (57,000 kilometers) on the odometer. Max offered his insights on what makes this particular example so unique. “This is such a cool car! It is quite rare to see a V8 Spyder, the V10 Spyders, you see them a lot more, but the V8 Spyders are super rare. Manual gearbox, it is an awesome car,” said Max.

Every Wanted to Drive an Audi R8 on the Autobahn? THIS is What It's Like!

This Audi R8 4.2 V8 Spyder gets the B7 RS4 engine with variable valve timing and a dry-sump system.

We concur with Max because manual R8s are pretty rare. Earlier in January, we reported on Underground Racing’s 1500 HP Audi R8 Decennium, which received a six-speed gated MT swap. The example seen in the video is one of the last V8 Audi R8 Spyders to be sold with a manual gearbox. Furthermore, since it’s a European-spec R8, it is also the first car in the world to get all-LED headlights.

The car rides on a set of 19-inch rims wrapped in Pirelli P ZERO tires. A 4.2-liter B7 Audi RS4 V8 propels this R8 Spyder. The motor could produce 430 HP of maximum power in its factory spec and around 317 lb-ft of peak torque. As a result, the R8 Spyder could accelerate from 0 to 60 MPH in just 4.8 seconds and achieve a top speed of 186 MPH.

“At the Autobahn, you notice that the car is actually not that quick. What it is, though, is entertaining, and you can extract a lot from this car because it’s not that powerful. It’s not that quick; you’re just enjoying shifting down, slowing down, nailing those downshifts, no assistant,” explains Max.

Image Source: AutoTopNL

Click HERE to join the AudiWorld forums!