The German automobile manufacturer Audi’s new E-tron GT, unveiled recently, presents a rare combination in the world of electric cars – a powerful and luxurious SUV.
While Audi’s most recent electric vehicles have been SUVs, just like many new electric vehicles, the E-tron is designed to appeal to those who value the driving feel and better handling of a car more.
The E-tron GT will compete against cars like the US-based Tesla Model S, as well as the Porsche Taycan, which is a close relative of the E-tron GT. Both Audi and Porsche are subsidiaries of Germany’s Volkswagen AG and the two companies cooperated on the fundamental engineering of these cars.
The E-tron is designed as a four-door grand touring car. In contrast to Porsche’s emphasis on raw performance, it’s intended for long-distance comfort as well, according to Audi. Adjustable air suspension allows for a range of settings, such as comfortable highway cruising or aggressive cornering.
Audi will introduce two versions of the E-tron GT soon. One version, the E-tron GT Quattro, will be powered by two electric motors, one powering the front wheels and the other the back. Together, those motors will produce up to 469 horsepower. Drivers will be able to get up to 522 horsepower for as long as 2.5 seconds. In normal driving it should be able to go about 238 miles on a full charge, according to Audi.
In the Audi RS E-tron GT, the electric motors will produce up to 590 horsepower in normal driving and 637 horsepower in boost mode. That will be enough to take the car from zero to 60 miles an hour in 3.1 seconds. This quicker version will go about 232 miles on a charge.
In competition Tesla
While these performance figures are impressive compared to gasoline powered cars, a base Tesla Model S Long Range provides similar acceleration, can go over 400 miles on a single charge, and costs $60,000 less.
Meanwhile the starting price for the Audi RS E-tron GT is expected to be about $140,000. The E-tron GT Premium Plus, the least expensive model that will initially be offered, will cost about $100,000.
Matthew Mostafaei, Manager of E-tron and Connected Vehicle at Audi, insisted that the E-tron will be well worth the higher price compared to the Tesla. “This is a true luxury EV, with every bit of the safety and tech you would expect from the Audi brand,” he said.
Like the E-tron SUV, the E-tron GT doesn’t look strikingly different from Audi’s gasoline-powered vehicles, It’s slightly lower and wider than the Audi A7, the gas-powered model it most closely resembles.