It outputs 522 HP with all-wheel steering and all-wheel drive.
It has been two years since the first all-electric Audi e-tron made its SUV debut. Since then, it has been accompanied by a Sportback variant and, later this summer, by a pair of four-wheel-drive and four-wheel drive Grand Touring models – the 637 HP RS e-tron GT and the 522 HP e-tron GT quattro. Designed to perform equally well on both day trips and weekend road trips, Audi is positioning the RS GT and GT quattro in the front and center as the future of its fleet electrification efforts, which seek 30 per percent of its model portfolio to run on electricity by 2025.
The first thing you will notice about the new models is that they are not very SUVs with their big wheels, wide stance, flat silhouette and long wheelbase. Not to mention that sturdy rotten growl.
“One of our main design goals was that we wanted the sound to be very dependent on the current driving situation – we want it to be adaptable to the driver’s needs when the car is driving at slow speeds with low torques,” Stephan Herwig with Marketing Department from Audi, told reporters during a virtual press conference. “The sound should be lower, but it is clear that we are meeting all legal requirements. But when the driver decides to step on the gas, not only will the vehicle be more dynamic, but the sound should also be more dynamic. “
While a pair of adults can fit in the back seat without bending their knees too much, they are suitable sports cars – not just sports drivers like their predecessors – and their performance statistics reflect that.
The quattro offers 320kW of total power (350 kW or 522HP under thrust), a zero to 62 of 4.1 seconds and 465 lb-ft of torque. The most capable RS muscles reach 440kW (475 kW under thrust or about 637 HP), from zero to 62 in just 3.1 seconds, torque of 612 lb-ft and top speed of 155 mph (controlled).
Both variants are built on the same compact 93.4 kWh battery system, which should be enough to give the RS and e-tron GT a range of around 232 – 238 miles, respectively. However, as it is built on the latest 800-volt architecture that we are starting to see on the market – as in the Lucid Air and Hummer EV – hurried drivers will be able to offload about 62 miles of range during a “fill” of five minutes at rates of 270 kW using a fast DC charger. And if you are a regenerative braking master, the GT system can recover up to 265 kW reported.
The battery itself consists of 396 pocket cells divided into 33 modules (with 12 cells each). On a standard 11 kW AC line, drivers will be able to fully recharge the GT cells overnight, although the company is already working on a 22 kW adapter for launch shortly after these models debut. With access to a DC fast charging station, drivers will be able to recharge their energy reserves from 5% to 80% in about 23 minutes. About 200,000 of these chargers can be found across Europe as part of the e-tron charging service program.
The impressive reach of the GTs comes in part from the vehicle’s impressive 0.24 drag coefficient, equal to that of the Polestar 2. The GT is able to minimize its drag thanks to the flat silhouette, an adjustable electronic spoiler and air inlets located in the rear bottom section at the front. These vertical inlets push air from the vehicle’s nose into the wheel cavities, cooling the brakes during the high-impact direction, although they generally remain closed as much as possible to improve the efficiency of the air flow as it passes under the vehicle. Aerodynamics are further enhanced with the GT’s active rear spoiler. It is electrically controlled and can be deployed in two different stages to help cancel the lift caused by the airflow under the smooth bottom of the rear of the car. But despite the vehicle’s aggressive stance, they can accommodate up to 14.3 cubic feet of luggage in the trunk.
“When you do weight versus aerodynamics analysis for battery powered electric vehicles, you see that aerodynamics is actually quite dominant,” Dr. Moni Islam, Aerodynamics / Aeroacoustics Development department at Audi AG, explained to reporters. “So what we try to do when we design the vehicle in total is to add as much aerodynamics and drag reduction features as we can, without compromising driving range and the spoiler is a good example of that.”
The new variants will be available with the Audi pre sense front and Audi pre sense safety systems as standard. They will be accompanied by a trio of optional “Tour”, “City” and “Park” packages that offer additional benefits, such as adaptive cruise assistance – discover how to keep your car moving along with traffic using the least amount of energy possible – and remote parking, a smartphone-controlled feature that you can use on the sidewalk. If you choose the comprehensive “Assist” package, you will receive all three.
Audi is also offering a selection of headlight options for potential buyers. The quattro will come with standard LED headlights, although it can be upgraded to Matrix LEDs, which come standard in RS. Both can be upgraded to LED Matrix headlights with Audi laser light, which is activated when the vehicle accelerates beyond 43 mph to effectively double the visible range of the high headlights. The GT will come with standard 20-inch, 5-spoke rims, although the RS can be upgraded to 21 if the buyer prefers. RS also has a five-layer carbon fiber-reinforced plastic roof, “an innovation for an Audi vehicle and an exclusive feature of the segment,” according to the company.
Optional on the quattro and standard on the RS, both models offer all-wheel steering. This means that the rear wheels can turn up to 2.8 degrees, which reduces the vehicle’s turning radius. They will turn in the opposite direction of the fronts up to about 30 mph to increase the vehicle’s agility and curves, but they will turn in the same direction as the fronts at speeds above 30 mph to improve stability.
Inside, the GTs will offer the Audi 12.3-inch virtual cockpit, which serves as a conventional instrument panel, as well as a central 10.1-inch MMI touchscreen display. You will have to overpay for the pop-up HUD. The rest of the cab is focused on the driver too, with the entire panel tilted slightly to the left, giving the driver an unobstructed view of each screen and control. The Audi Phone Box wireless charging system and a Bang & Olufsen sound system are also additional options. Their power plants are not the only green resources of GTs. The interior is leather-free with seat upholstery from recycled materials – Dinamica and Alcantara being standard, although Napa leather is available as an upgrade. The carpet and rugs are made from Econyl, a 100% recycled nylon.
While the driver’s eyes are likely to be glued to the road ahead, the GT will be listening in the electronic world through a series of eleven hidden antennas that provide audio, LTE, Bluetooth and GPS connectivity. Many of the vehicle’s functions can also be controlled via the driver’s myAudi smartphone app.
The e-tron GT will arrive in the US this summer in three finishing packages: the e-tron GT quattro Premium Plus for $ 99,900, the e-tron GT quattro Prestige for $ 107,000 and the RS e-tron GT for $ 139,900.