The 2022 E-Tron GT - Audi's Sporty Electric Flagship
The car shares a platform with the Porsche Taycan, but this grand tourer is uniquely Audi
With Audi’s new electric flagship, the E-Tron GT, Volkswagen Group—the parent company of Audi and Porsche—seems to be asking its customers a simple question: What is your preferred flavor of fast, sleek, electric German four-door coupes? Not that the Audi E-Tron GT and the Porsche Taycan are the same car, but they are built upon the same electric vehicle architecture, use similar electric powertrains, and feature rakish, low-slung body styling that makes it easy to see that they’re more than distant cousins.
The E-Tron GT competes with the Porsche Taycan, Tesla Model S, and other upcoming luxury EV sedans, such as the BMW i4 and the Lucid Air.
Of course, these high-performance EVs are nothing like the budget-oriented multi-brand EV clones Detroit pumped out during the last few decades of last century, giving rise to the pejorative term “badge engineering.” Today’s electric Audi and Porsche fellow travelers are their own unique models that feature the latest technology, captivating styling, and a steep price tag to go with all of that. And for those who like Audi’s distinctive design touches, they’re all present and accounted for in the E-Tron GT.
The E-Tron GT is expected to on sale this summer. Audi will offer two trims—a base model, and a performance-oriented RS version that will go from zero to 60 miles per hour in 3.1 seconds on its way to a 155-mph top speed, acceleration Audi says is in league with the V10-powered Audi R8 supercar. Added into the mix of top shelf goodies are a carbon fiber roof, all-wheel drive, optional four-wheel steering, and an 800-volt electrical system that Audi says will be able to charge a nearly depleted battery to 80 percent capacity in just over 20 minutes in public DC-fast charging venues. There are no EPA range estimates available yet, but Audi estimates the base model will go 238 miles on a full charge, and the RS will go 231 miles.
The E-Tron GT will have two different motor setups available. Both the base model and the RS feature a 235-hp front motor. In the base model, the rear motor is a 429-hp unit that, combined with the front motor, produces 469 hp until the car is put into "overboost" launch control mode, which increases combined output briefly to 522 hp for 2.5 seconds. The base model’s motors crank out a combined 465 lb.-ft. of torque (472 lb.-ft in overboost), and the car has a top speed of 152 mph. The RS model has a more powerful 450-hp rear motor, which, combined with the front motor, puts out 590 hp (637 hp in overboost). The top torque output for the RS is 612 lb.-ft., and its top speed is 155 mph.
Most electric cars available right now rely on a direct drive without gear ratios, but the E-Tron GT features a two-speed transmission with one gear for acceleration, and the other for highway cruising. The car features an electronically controlled air suspension that can adjust its firmness for different driving demands, and which allows the ride height to be raised nearly an inch up or down from its center position. Four-wheel steering—which turns the rear wheels a few degrees in the opposite direction from the front wheels at low speeds to increase maneuverability, and turns them the same direction as the front wheels at higher speeds to aid stability—is standard on the RS version, and optional on the base model.