By Mike Torpey on 2023-05-28 - Driving Force news editor and responsible for organising our daily output. He was staff motoring editor of the Liverpool Echo for 20 years.
Audi e-tron GT
ELECTRIC exhilaration in a gran turismo guise - words that perfectly sum up one of the most elegant, distinguished and rapid cars on the road, the Audi e-tron GT quattro.
Audi describes the model as ‘the performance car for the new electric era' and their description is spot-on because everything you could wish for in a high-powered four-door coupe/saloon is there.
Breathtaking acceleration, low-slung style, a race-bred interior, cruising comfort and the ability to theoretically travel 300 miles on a single charge make the e-tron GT a serious player at the top end of the electric marketplace.
The fact that it is built alongside the R8 supercar at the specialist Audi Sport facility in Germany hints at the e-tron GT's credentials, but then it shares not only the floor pan but also a high percentage of its components with the Porsche Taycan.
There the comparison ends though because the Audi looks, feels and drives differently, albeit with almost identical performance figures to its full-on sports electric cousin.
Power comes via a 93kW battery plus two electric motors - one on each axle - together developing 469bhp of wallop. Use the boost facility and the thrust leaps briefly to a volcanic 530bhp, enough to hurl the e-tron to 62mph from standstill in 4.1 seconds. Potential top speed is 152mph.
In fact, so instant is the power delivery that it can really pin you to the front seatback, although making the most of the Audi's performance will seriously compromise its range.
The beauty of this car though is the way it rides and drives in such well-mannered and relaxing fashion, something that can be managed via the available driving modes of Comfort, Dynamic, Efficiency and Individual.
As for charging there are ways to get the job done with the minimum of fuss. For instance you can top up from 10 to 80 per cent in about 40 minutes from a 150kW charge point.
And the e-tron has the capability to do it in half the time via a 350kW charger, though there are very few of those in place at present. As for using a home wallbox, it's an overnighter - somewhere in the region of 14 hours.
Retaining that energy is also impressive with this car, which also has two levels of regenerative braking operated via discreet steering wheel-mounted paddles.
Inside, the e-tron GT is fairly minimalist and based around a single seater-type virtual cockpit design with the instrument panels slightly tilted towards the driving position.
Meanwhile the HD virtual cockpit shows info in a choice of e-tron, sport and classic display options directly into the driver's field of vision.
You also get a 10.1-inch touchscreen for operating functions like sat nav, air con, media, phone, favourites, settings and sounds.
And talking of sound, the e-tron GT has an optional synthesised Sports Sound pack for an extra £500 that can be heard inside and outside the car and syncs with the power output as you accelerate and decelerate.
Space in the rear is limited but sensibly organised. So the front seats are scooped out to ensure sufficient legroom for rear seat passengers, who sit low down due to the angle of the roof, which is a full-length panoramic glass affair that adds even more elegance to the car's profile.
The 405-litre boot can cope with up to half a dozen suitcases plus an overnight bag and there's also a small compartment under the bonnet, plenty large enough to store charging cables
In fact the only downside, apart from the cost of optional extras, is the restricted rear view - though thankfully there's pin-sharp reversing camera.
Audi e-tron GT quattro
Mechanical:469bhp, 93kWh battery + two electric motors driving rear wheels via two-speed automatic transmission
Combined MPG:301 miles
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