Audi e-tron GT Review 2021 | Top Gear
Advertisement
BBC TopGear
BBC TopGear
Car Review

Audi e-tron GT

£ N/A
810
Published: 02 Mar 2021
Advertisement
A handsome four-door GT that plays to Audi's strengths, with a blistering turn of pace

Good stuff

Shocking performance, silky handling, chiselled good looks… and actual buttons on the interior

Bad stuff

Rear visibility limited, prices high, range still a long way off a Tesla Model S

Overview

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.

So it's the same sort of deal as the Taycan?

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.

Advertisement - Page continues below

Hit me with some performance figures.

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 why get the Audi over 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.

Advertisement - Page continues below

What's the verdict?

A handsome four-door GT that plays to Audi's strengths, with a blistering turn of pace

The e-tron GT’s real strength is it’s not trying too hard to be a car from the future. It’s simply a handsome four-door GT that plays to Audi’s strengths – namely a high-quality interior, comfort and useability and a belting turn of pace that’s more than worthy of the RS badge. An electric powertrain fits the brand’s aspirations as a tech-leader, too, which means there won’t be nearly as much fuss as when Porsche took the wraps off the Taycan.

In a world where Tesla is claiming a 400, even 500-mile range on the latest Tesla Model S, the Audi’s 300-mile range will still be a limiting factor for some, whether they need to cover big distances regularly or not. But it shouldn’t be, because in every department this is a hugely impressive car: comfy enough to be a daily driver, but with face-melting acceleration in its locker; a practical four-door car, but with chiselled good looks – if the one sacrifice for accessing all that talent is planning your road trip routes carefully to incorporate some rapid charging, then it’s a small sacrifice to make.

Now for some bad news. There are no plans to offer a simpler, rear-wheel drive version like the Taycan (our current pick of the electric Porsche range), and no plans to follow the Taycan Cross Turismo with an Avant version of the e-tron GT. Disappointing, given Audi is the fast estate company, but there’s plenty of time to change its mind.

Is it better than a Taycan? It offers a fraction more comfort and space and a smidge less speed, but really the differences are minute. It’ll come down to which brand you prefer and which body you’re drawn to – and on that basis the e-tron GT is in with a shout of ruffling some feathers in Stuttgart.

compare car finance
Powered byZuto Logo
more on this car
Take one for a spin or order a brochure
Powered byRegit Logo

Subscribe to the Top Gear Newsletter

Get all the latest news, reviews and exclusives, direct to your inbox.

By clicking subscribe, you agree to receive news, promotions and offers by email from Top Gear and BBC Studios. Your information will be used in accordance with our privacy policy.