Audi E-Tron GT battery electric vehicle (BEV) revealed in full, RS performance model makes 646hp, coming to Singapore Q3 2021
It’s been teased a lot by Audi, but the German luxury brand has finally unveiled its new four-door coupe, the E-Tron GT, in the flesh. The high performance version, the RS E-Tron, with 646hp from twin electric motors, making it the most powerful series production Audi in history.*
But underlying the headline-grabbing power figure is a company switching current. The E-Tron SUV (read our Singapore review here) was its first toe in the BEV pool, adapted from existing vehicle architecture.
The E-Tron GT, with its dedicated BEV platform, is meant to show what Audi is capable of when it goes all in full charge. Audi says the E-Tron GT is its electric flagship product – much like BMW iX is the flagship electron-user.
At roughly five-metres in length, the car is the same size as an A6 large sedan, but it’s a four-door, five-seater gran turismo with a focus on looking good and going fast. With that in mind, its key competitors will be its related cousin, the Porsche Taycan, and the Tesla Model S.
While the car’s Audi-ness is unique, much of the technology has been premiered by the Porsche Taycan, with which the E-Tron GT shares its VW Group J1 platform.
*The most powerful car until now was the R8 Performance, at 620hp.
There will be two versions: The E-Tron GT quattro, and the RS E-Tron GT quattro. Both have a similar appearance and all-wheel drive via dual motors (one per axle). The former has 476hp (530hp overboost), and the latter has 598hp (646hp overboost).
The E-Tron GT is scheduled for arrival in Singapore in the third quarter of 2021. By our estimates, the standard E-Tron GT will cost around S$400,000 with COE, while the RS E-Tron GT should cost at least S$550,000 with COE.
Audi says it’s designed the E-Tron as a long-distance GT, so it’s meant to look both elegant and sporty, so they started with a long wheelbase, wide track, big wheels and balanced proportions.
Unlike other Audi models, the RS and standard E-Tron GT have no major differences other than badging, wheels, and the standard brakes.
The rear with the ‘overhanging’ light bar that expands into chevron-marked taillights makes the car look most similar to the extant Audi A7 Sportback, given both cars have a similar product brief, but the E-Tron GT is very slightly longer, wider, and lower, at 4.99-metres long, 1.96-metres wide, and 1.41-metres tall.
While it’s a BEV flagship, Audi says the car will kick off a new iteration of its design language. There haven’t been major departures from existing tropes (large diamond-shaped grille, flat matrix headlights etc) but one highlight of the car’s design, and one which reflects its sustainable nature says Audi, is the attention paid to aerodynamics.
Visually, there’s a distinctive new body-coloured air louvre behind the front wheel, which along with the front air curtain and aero bladed-wheels help reduce turbulence. There’s also active aero on the front inlets and rear wing, and this plus the air suspension (which varies height to reduce drag) adds 30km to the car’s range. Audi’s team spent 9.2-million CPU hours on aero simulations, all of which resulted in the car’s low drag coefficient of 0.24Cd.
|Gross/net battery capacity||93.4kWh / 85.7kWh|
|Battery type||Lithium ion pouch cell|
|Maximum charging capacity||22kW AC, 270kW DC|
|Charge time at 11kw/22kw||9:30h, 5:15h|
|Charge time at 270kW||22.5min / 5min 100km|
Like the E-Tron SUV, the car’s battery pack is sandwiched in aluminium for crash strength, and the pack lies between the two axles and makes up the floor of the vehicle. The car’s usable 85.7kWh pack – it’s the same across both models – provides at least 400km of range in the WLTP cycle.
As it is with the Taycan, the 800V electrical system enables lighter wiring components and shortens charge time – the car is capable of 270kW fast-charging, which is the quickest currently available.
|Audi E-Tron GT||Audi RS E-Tron GT|
Both cars have the same 234hp motor driving the front wheels, while the E-Tron GT has a 429hp motor driving the rear wheels, and the RS E-Tron GT a 450hp one. Each car’s full power can be called up on overboost for up to 2.5 seconds.
Audi sampled hundreds of different noises to create a unique sound signature for the car, with an additional E-Tron Sport sound available as an option. Two external speakers, one in the front and one in the rear, along with the interior rear door speakers, generate the sound.
The linked operation of the motors allows for ‘e-quattro’, as seen on the E-Tron SUV, reacting up to five times quicker than a mechanical system. The rear axle also has a differential lock for distributing torque appropriately for faster or more stable cornering, and all-wheel steering is optional.
With the ‘GT’ in the name, there was a particular effort to balance high-performance and comfort. The front and rear suspension are full double-wishbone units equipped with a new-to-Audi three-chamber air suspension system (can move the car up or down up approximately 20mm) and adaptive dampers.
The brakes also see another Audi first, with the debut of a new carbide-coated brake offering that’s 10 times harder than steel. It’s similar to Porsche’s PSCB (Porsche Surface Coated Brake).
The cockpit features a monoposto-style wrap-around cockpit that tilts slightly toward the driver with a 12.3-inch digital instrument display embedded, and next to it is a now-familiar 10.1-inch MMI touchscreen.
Another departure from established Audi convention is the ‘shelved’ cockpit layout, visible from the large carbon section that runs horizontally across. According to designers, that’s meant to create a sense of spaciousness and depth. Above the shelf is the e-tron illuminated logo.
As the aerodynamics show sustainability on the car’s outside, the inside has an interesting leather-free option using artificial analogues. Artificial leather can be paired with a new wool-like ‘Kaskade’ material or Dinamica microfibre, both made from recycled sources.
The car’s floor and carpets are made from sustainable Econyl, derived from nylon recycling. Along that line, the car’s production facility at Neckarsulm, Germany, has a net-zero carbon footprint.
Audi demonstrated that people of up to 1.8-metres tall can fit comfortably in the rear passenger seats, thanks to the foot cut-outs in the battery (which makes up the car’s floor) bay. Boot space is a decent, though not excellent, 405-litres, with the frunk having space for 85-litres extra.