After all, everything was indeed included in the two weeks of testing the vehicle. The Audi e-tron GT quattro 350 kW was able to prove itself on the long haul, as well as on short trips between my home and workplace. Plus whatever else in between. In purely visual terms, it always looked great. Beyond its design, however, it was also very impressive, as you'll find out in my review.
Audi e-tron GT quattro: Combining sportiness and comfort with sustainability
Audi itself sees the e-tron GT quattro as an "emotional signature car" that not only shows what can be achieved in terms of electric driving. It also gives a preview of the brand's future design. Even leaving these thoughts aside, however, the electric car is a solid vehicle. As the name suggests, it relies on a Gran Turismo design (GT), which was further developed in the spirit of e-mobility and, according to the manufacturer, combines sportiness and comfort with sustainability.
Since February 2021, the electric GT has also been available in an even sportier version, the RS e-tron GT, which is reflected in the performance of the e-vehicles. The "normal" production version has an output of 350 kW/476 hp, while the RS variant has 440 kW/598 hp. With a width of 1.96 meters, a length of 4.99 meters and a height of just 1.41 meters and a flat body line, the e-car cannot be called inconspicuous. It may not stand out quite as much as the Mercedes EQS electric sedan or BMW's iX electric SUV, but as a sporty GT it doesn't blend in with the crowd. After all, it doesn't want to.
Far too much care has been taken to ensure that the sporty proportions of the electric car are put in the right light: Large wheels, wide track, flat silhouette paired with a wheelbase 2,900 mm long. In terms of weight, too, the e-car with 83.7 kWh battery (net) clearly sets itself apart from its market competitors with 2,276 kilograms. Both the Mercedes EQS and the BMW iX weigh 2,510 kilograms.
All in all, this means that the comparatively "weaker" e-tron GT can still sprint from 0 to 100 km/h faster. The e-tron GT just needed 4.1 seconds to do so. It draws its power from an all-wheel drive with the aforementioned 350 kW/476 hp output - peak power 390 kW - at a maximum torque of 640 Newton meters. The top speed is clocked in at 245 km/h, or 250 km/h (RS variant).
The Audi e-tron GT is also ahead in terms of charging. At least if the technical data is to be believed. Here, the e-car is the only one among the three German flagships that can boast an on-board voltage of 800 volts. This gives the GT a peak charging power of up to 270 kW. However, this only for a limited time window, and only if the corresponding HPC charger is approached with the navigation system on. Because then, is it possible for the e-vehicle to precondition the lithium-ion battery ahead of time. In addition to the possibility of recharging energy at the fast charger or corresponding AC charging stations, the e-tron GT quattro is also capable of recuperating up to 265 kW.
The e-tron GT will be manufactured in the Audi Böllinger Höfe at its Neckarsulm site in an integrated process of Smart Factory and craftsmanship, as the manufacturer already announced at its world premiere. Even at this early stage, the company had made sure that the e-car would be produced in a carbon neutral way. Which Audi achieves through the use of eco-electricity as well as biogas.
The electric car shows that sportiness, comfort and sustainability do not have to be contradictory. One example of this is the sports seats plus with a 14-way adjustment, which are available either in a combination of synthetic leather and the Cascade fabric or in a mix of synthetic leather and the Dinamica microfiber material. Regardless of what you choose, in both cases recycled materials will be used. These include polyester fibers made from former plastic bottles as well as textiles or fiber remnants from selvedges. Audi itself claims that there are 119 recycled plastic bottles in every Cascade upholstery set.
Emotional flagship car with that special something
As mentioned at the start, the Audi e-tron GT quattro is nothing less than the brand's electric flagship. The design of the electric car is based on the Audi prologue design study from 2014, although the brand says that the Gran Turismo has reached the next stage of evolution and is intended to provide a preview of the next generations of Audi electric cars.
As is usual with such defining vehicles of a brand, they are obviously defined by their design. In the case of the GT, the design helps the vehicle achieve a drag coefficient of 0.24. Which in turn shows that design is not an end in itself, but rather the combination of form and function, as the manufacturer describes it. The e-tron GT deliberately adopts established design elements of the e-tron, Audi's first electric car. At the same time, it develops these further in a targeted manner. These include, for example, the strongly modeled insert above the door sill trims. This is intended to emphasize the battery pack in the center of the vehicle as the powerhouse of the car.
The very eye-catching front features a single frame with the Audi rings, which visually identifies the vehicle as a pure e-car. While the single frame in the models with combustion engines primarily serves to cool the power unit, it hides a large part of the sensor technology in the e-tron GT models.
It gets more exciting when looking into the side mirrors, which challenged me at the beginning. It's not that easy to find your way around at night in combination with rain. Of course, the corresponding sensors and warnings help, but you first need to gain some confidence. Or at least that's how I felt.
While the front is quite appealing, it was primarily the side view that captivated me most about the Audi e-tron GT quattro. The sharp edges over the large wheel arches are particularly striking. Coupled with the combination of a low center of gravity in the main body and the powerful waistline of the midsection, as Audi itself is probably best able to put into words. Personally, I'd rather let the photos in the test report speak for themselves.
All-electric through everyday life with the Audi e-tron GT
Did we talk about the dimensions of Audi's electric flagship yet? I think we did. But still, restraint looks different. A wheelbase of 2.90 meters suggests a corresponding amount of space inside. The length is 4.99 meters, with a width of 1.96 meters and a height of 1.41 meters. Sufficient storage space is also available. At least the 405 liters in the trunk were more than enough to spend a week and a half on the road. Two. A second luggage compartment (frunk) under the front hood holds another 85 liters and was used for charging cables and corresponding adapters.
"The display of the Audi virtual cockpit plus is free-standing, while the MMI touch monitor is embedded in a black piano lacquer trim that seems to float above the instrument panel," as Audi itself manages to describe the "control center" of the e-vehicle. Both driver and front passenger sit sportingly low, separated from each other by a wide center console. Audi's center console with its few but nevertheless available switches, buttons and setting options allows the front passenger to get involved as well.
The choice of driving modes is reserved for the driver. The compact gear selector is located on the center tunnel console and is easy to reach with an outstretched hand. The e-tron GT quattro generally drives with electric all-wheel drive, and only the "efficiency" mode of the Audi drive select dynamic handling system prioritizes front-wheel drive. In the "dynamic" mode of Audi drive select, recuperation is used in thrust. The driver can use the steering wheel paddles to set two manual recuperation levels in each mode.
As Audi states, the e-machines take over up to about 0.3 g during braking. Which is the same as most of the everyday braking. This enables Audi's e-tron GT to recover up to 265 kW of power. To conclude the overview of the driving modes, it should be mentioned that the EV can be driven in "comfort" as well as "individual" mode.
I drove the Audi e-tron GT in comfort mode most of the time without noticing any noticeable restrictions. Of course, it gets more exciting in sport mode, which I drove with my neighbor. Where a comment was made that I hadn't expected: "It sounds really good. Almost like a combustion engine."
This may be due to the fact that Audi has made great improvements in this area. Because the electric car is also supposed to sound emotional, which is why Audi composed its own sound for the e-tron GT. The optional e-tron Sportsound includes two control units and amplifiers in the luggage compartment. They generate a separate exterior and interior sound, which two speakers each radiating from the outside and inside. The e-tron Sportsound sounds sporty-voluminous and high-quality at the same time - as an acoustic expression of the progressive Gran Turismo character, Audi says.
A bit of a gimmick from my point of view. But honestly, if it persuades one or the other combustion engine driver to switch, it can stay in. I like the silence of an electric car much more. And the corresponding charging options are also more decisive for me.
Range, consumption and charging options in focus.
In the previous sections, I have already discussed some aspects of all-electric driving with Audi's sporty electric car. What can be noted, even at this stage, is that in terms of overall appearance, it is impressive. Before we get to the design, we need to take a closer look at charging.
I was on the road for two weeks with the Audi e-tron GT quattro, in Kemoragrey Metallic. As you are used to from other test reports, the usual distances I cover with an e-car in this period are around 350 to 500 kilometers. Most recently, this was topped by the Mercedes-Benz EQS with 1,506 kilometers.
As the car was with me at just the right time, I took my partner to Chiemsee in Bavaria, followed by a further trip to South Tirol. In the end, this resulted in 1,443 kilometers traveled on the digital speedometer. With an energy consumption of 22.6 kWh/ 100 kilometers. However, the 448 to 488 kilometer range according to WLTP wouldn't have been attainable. Based on my average consumption, we would have managed around 370 kilometers with a net charge of 83.7 kWh. Of course, since we never completely ran on empty, a range of around 350 kilometers would be quite realistic.
We preferred to charge at 11 kW and 22 kW charging stations near our accommodation or in our hotel. Here, it was also relatively unimportant to me when the electric car could get away from the charging station again. The cable can then be detached accordingly and used by others. In any case, it was positive that the charging port is available on both sides. When facing the vehicle, there is an AC charger on the right and a CCS charger on the left.
On the highway, of course, it's a different matter. Here it depends on the fast charging performance. There was a bit of time available, as the on-board navigation system planned the route and provided the corresponding charging points. We arrived at the charging station with 25% remaining capacity, and after 48 minutes and 19 seconds, 99% of the battery was full again. That's something to be proud of. In peak mode, the Audi e-tron GT quattro is supposed to charge with up to 270 kW. I was able to see over 220 kW at peak charging myself.
Audi e-tron GT quattro: Interior and exterior at a glance
First experiences described impressions and included photos hopefully have given you an impression of Audi's sporty electric car. Now we'll dive in a bit more together and take a closer look at the exterior and interior of the e-car.
Rims in sizes ranging from 19 to 21 inches emphasize the powerful design and are intended to signal the sporty capabilities of the EV even when stationary. The paint range comprises nine colors, including a new shade called tactical green. Upon request, Audi supplies the black optics package in two variants. The first of these includes the single frame, its mask, the area of the sills and door inserts, and the diffuser. The black plus optics package adds the rings and badges in high-gloss black.
The interior of the e-car is characterized by what you can't see. In this case, eleven antennas, all invisibly integrated, connecting the e-tron GT to the outside world. They receive and transmit audio, LTE, Bluetooth and GPS signals, which means the e-tron GT is connected to the world around it and to its owner in a variety of ways.
Verdict on the Audi e-tron GT quattro 350 kW test
If you expect an ultra-comfortable e-car that allows you to cover long distances without sacrificing luxury, sportiness and comfort, you're not far off the mark with Audi's e-tron GT. It must be said that there is still room for improvement. At least in the small things. However, this may simply be since I still remembered the massage function of the EQS on a similarly long road trip.
But let's be honest, the comparison is of course a bit misleading. Which is already due to the fact that a luxury sedan is being compared with a luxurious, sporty Gran Turismo. And the Audi e-tron GT is certainly sporty. As you can already guess from the design, but above all feel when you take a seat in the electric GT.
There's no hiding the powerful forward propulsion even in Comfort driving mode, and you won't want to get out of the car anytime soon in other respects either. Because when it comes to the interior, the e-tron GT does quite a lot right. Whether it's the cabin, which is consistently geared to the driver, the sophisticated navigation and infotainment system, or the thoroughly comfortable sports seats.
Even after almost 1,500 kilometers in these, you want to get back in and continue your journey. The question that still intrigues me now, have you ever driven in the Audi e-tron GT or not? Either way, what is your impression of the e-car and what else would you like to know?
The Audi e-tron GT quattro 350 kW was provided to me free of charge by Audi for this test report, for a period of two weeks. However, this has no influence on my honest opinion written here.
Photos courtesy of Sebastian Henssler.