Audi dealers across Europe have welcomed the arrival of the recently launched e-tron GT to their showrooms as the four-door electric coupe has now gone on sale in both its stomping ground of Germany, with a starting price of 99,800 Euros (around RM487k) as well as other markets.
Interested buyers will be able to choose from two variants of the car, both equipped with dual motors and all-wheel drive: the e-tron GT quattro and RS e-tron GT. The new model joins other cars in the new Audi electric sub-brand such as the titular e-tron and e-tron Sportback.
Unlike those two preceding cars, however, which both use existing Volkswagen Group MLB platforms, the e-tron GT is the first Audi EV to be built from the ground up around zero-emissions powertrains. It sits upon the same J1 underpinnings as the Porsche Taycan, partially explaining why both cars look so similar and share nearly identical specifications along with its 800V electrical architecture and three-chamber air suspension system.
As a little refresher, the current entry-level e-tron GT quattro could be seen as the Audi equivalent to the Taycan 4S, powered by two permanently excited synchronous electric motors that combine to produce 476PS and 630Nm under normal driving but can be ‘overboosted’ to 530PS for a short period when necessary, such as during launch control.
The RS e-tron GT, on the other hand, is a more powerful and performance-oriented variant, akin to the Taycan Turbo, which features an uprated pair of electric motors in addition to other enhancements. Output is typically 598PS and 830Nm but can be temporarily boosted to 646PS under hard acceleration, as required to achieve its quickest 0-100km/h sprint of 3.3 seconds.
Both quattro and RS variants of the e-tron GT derive power from an 84kWh lithium-ion battery array built into the vehicle’s floor structure, supplemented by four independent cooling channels and can support DC fast charging up to 270kW. Armed with a full battery, the e-tron GT is capable of long distance driving with ranges up to 488km according to real-world WLTP testing standards.
With the e-tron GT’s European rollout underway and a more global campaign soon to follow, Audi plans to maintain their momentum as the best selling EV brand among fellow German rivals Mercedes-Benz and BMW with the e-tron and e-tron Sportback recording year-over-year growth of 79.5 percent in 2020 with 47,324 units delivered to customers.
More than 80 percent of the models in Audi’s range are currently available with an all-electric or electrified drive system, including plug-in hybrid drives (PHEV) and mild hybrid systems (MHEV). Going forward, the company intends to have more than 20 all-electric models and an expanded PHEV lineup on the road by 2025.