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The Top Gear car review: Audi e-tron GT
For:Shocking performance, silky handling, chiselled good looks… and actual buttons on the interior
Against:Rear visibility limited, prices high, range still a long way off a Tesla Model S
What is it?
This is the Audi e-tron GT, the sister car to the Porsche Taycan – based on the same VW Group J1 platform and containing much of the same technology – albeit wrapped in an extremely sharp suit. It’s not the first pure-electric Audi of course, that title goes to its ever-growing line-up of e-tron SUVs, but it’s definitely the most exciting.
There will be two versions of e-tron GT, initially at least: the ‘entry-level’ e-tron GT quattro and the full-fat RS e-tron GT. Yup, this is also the first electric Audi to wear the RS badge. Both have a motor at either end for four-wheel drive, both have the same two-speed gearbox as the Taycan on the rear axle to maximise acceleration off the line, but also elevate efficiency at higher speeds, and both feature a 93kWh battery as standard – no shorter range 79kWh, or rear-wheel drive option like the Taycan here.
The ‘quattro’ produces 469bhp, or 523bhp for a 2.5 second boost when you engage launch control – enough for 0-62mph in 4.1 seconds and a top speed of 152mph. Too slow? The RS gets 590bhp or 637bhp on overboost making it the most powerful RS model to date, albeit in brief bursts, capable of 0-62mph in 3.3 seconds (half a second slower than the Taycan Turbo S, and 1.3 seconds slower than the new Tesla Model S Plaid) and a top speed of 155mph. Rib-crushingly quick, then, just not quite as sadistic as the Porsche.
So, the Audi is being pitched as more of a rapid GT than a four-door sports car. Fast, but not as fast as the Porsche. That theory holds true when you get the measuring tape out, too. The Audi is a fraction longer, a little narrower and a few cm taller than the Taycan, there’s a bit of extra boot space too – 405-litres in the back, another 81 in the nose. But in isolation you won’t notice the difference, this is a low, long, wide and lean looking four-door that hoovers up attention wherever you go in it.
Despite sharing its bones and gizzards with the Taycan, both cars won’t be built in the same place. The e-tron GT will be assembled alongside the R8 at Audi’s Neckarsulm factory, which puts a bit of a cap on the number it can build, initially at least. Audi reckons “something in the high four figures” a year is achievable – so roughly a 10,000-unit ceiling – compared to the 20,000-odd Taycans Porsche flogged in 2020.