Audi e-tron GT

quattro

Audi e-tron GT, 2022, front
Audi e-tron GT, 2022, side
Audi e-tron GT, 2022, rear
Audi e-tron GT, 2022, interior

ELECTRIC cars come in all shapes and sizes but few are quite as eye catching as the new e-tron GT from Audi.

This low slung, large five-seater powerhouse has more curves and contours than a Scalextric track, and is just as much fun.

With a dramatically wide rear and huge muscular haunches it's a car that always gets a second look.

The e-tron comes in two guises, the standard GT model with 476bhp and the RS version with 598bhp.

But even the standard model, driven here, comes with a boost mode facility which ups the power briefly to 530 bhp, enough to send it from standstill to 62 miles per hour in just 4.1 seconds and put a smile on the face of whoever is behind the wheel.

This is a car which comes with two electric motors, one on each axle, making it four-wheel-drive, or in Audi speak a quattro model.

The all-important range is claimed to be around 296 miles and to be fair should be achievable as this high-performance car is remarkably good at retaining its power reserves when driven sensibly.

Unlike a lot of other electric car makers Audi has chosen not to equip the car with one pedal drive which would allow more aggressive regenerative braking to help charge the batteries.

But there are paddles behind the steering wheel to allow you to use some regenerative braking - pulling on the left one once or twice gives two different levels - but not enough to stop the car completely and you always have to use the footbrake in the end.

It might also come as a surprise to buyers to find that the e-tron GT uses the same floor pan as the Porsche Taycan and is based on much the same technology although, as it's name suggests is more a Grand Tourer than an out and out sports car like the Porsche.

That means comfort and refinement but still with the ability to impress when you put your right foot down hard.

And if you use Audi's very aptly named launch control system on this car you really will be impressed. All you need to do is find a quiet stretch of road, slip the driving mode control into dynamic, put your left foot on the footbrake and depress the accelerator completely with your right foot and then release the brake.

If you're lucky and hold on tight you won't end up in the lap of one of the rear seat passengers.

The system uses a short ratio first gear to give blistering acceleration but during normal driving the car always starts off in second gear.

Unlike the exterior the interior of the e-tron is all fairly low key and minimalist, except for the 10.1-inch touchscreen. Even the gearshift is a tiny, discreet slider near the driver's left hand.

The front sports seats, however, are superb both in appearance and comfort and hold you firmly in place on the tightest bend.

Rear seat passengers tend to sit low because of the extreme slope of the roof but nevertheless the seats are comfortable and there is generous leg room. And if you're in the back you get the most benefit from the dramatic full length, fixed glass sunroof.

The rear window is a little restrictive when reversing but this is more than compensated for by the sharp reversing camera with movable lines to show exactly where you are heading.

There's reasonable luggage space under the tailgate at 405 litres - although the opening is narrow - as well as a little extra room under the bonnet for small odds and ends.

And on the subject of the bonnet, or at least the front end of the car, I can't help wondering why Audi has chosen to put a bland plastic panel in place of its normal dramatic grille.

Okay so you don't need a traditional Audi grille because you don't need the cooling effect on an electric car but a blanked off version of one would look better than what has been used.

Usefully there are charging ports housing AC connectors on both sides of the car although the faster DC charger is only behind one of them.

The e-tron is hardly a cheap car but it delivers on all fronts and gives an honest, confidence-boosting accurate estimate of just how many miles are left in the battery at any given time.

2%

3yrs/60,000 miles

FAST FACTS

Audi e-tron GT quattro

Price: £83,665

Mechanical: 226 bhp, single electric motor driving rear wheels via automatic transmission

Max Speed: 152mph

0-62mph: 4.1 secs

Combined MPG: 296 miles

Insurance Group: 20.5 kWh per 62 miles

C02 emissions: 50

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