Near 400 km range, R8-level performance
Electric Audis boast new levels of performance and luxury
Audi’s e-tron GT and the high-performance RS model to go with it are finally here. The Audi electric grand tourers are expected to hit the market in North America this summer, boasting up to 637 hp and an estimated range close to 240 miles.
Starting with the elegant shape that’s nearly the match of the one revealed in concept form a few years back, the Audi e-tron GT boasts massive wheel arches, a slim cabin, and a roofline that drops toward the road like a rock. It’s not only stylish, it’s one of the brand’s most aerodynamic shapes ever, with nearly every surface (even the sharp rear lamps) working to cut the coefficient of drag.
It shares a platform with the Porsche Taycan, as well as some of its most important electrical bits, and that’s where it gets the power figures. The standard e-tron GT makes 235 hp from its front motor and 429 at the rear. That’s a combined 469 hp, but 522 hp are available for 2.5 seconds on overboost. The RS e-tron GT gets a more powerful 450 hp rear motor, meaning 590 hp or 637 on overboost, letting it hit 60 mph in 3.1 seconds. That’s as quick as the R8, but nearly silent.
The 93.4 kWh gross lithium-ion battery with integrated cooling has VW Group’s 800V electrical architecture including 270 kW fast charging, letting it go from 5 to 80 percent in just 22.5 minutes. Estimates for range, though not yet EPA certified are 238 (386 km) miles for GT and 232 miles (376 km) for RS.
A three-chamber air suspension is standard, with 60 percent more capacity than previous e-tron models and a wider spring variation between hard and soft for comfort and handling. It can also raise the body 22 mm or drop is 20 mm depending on the driving situation. Four-wheel steer is standard on RS, optional otherwise, and also increases stability on the highway and in-town agility.
The cockpit uses Audi’s 12.3-inch digital dash and it’s flanked by a 10.1-inch MMI touchscreen that’s also angled toward the driver. RS models offer sports seats with plenty of bolstering while two non-leather cabin choices are heavy on recycled materials without recycled appearances. Despite the roofline, Audi says a footwell cutout in the rear means plenty of headroom for full-size passengers.
US prices for the cars start from $99,900 for e-tron GT, with the RS e-tron GT from $139,900. Expect Canadian prices to follow, and US sales are set to start in the summer.