Geoff Maxted
By Geoff Maxted

Whatever your thoughts on electric cars are, the fact remains that car makers across the globe are diligently working towards getting us out of the fossil fuel age. It’s fair to say that electric cars (EV) are much better now than the earliest examples: Range is better, charging easier and faster and, albeit slower, prices are gradually coming down in very small increments.

More importantly perhaps for MHH International clients, the prestige car market now has a wide range of EV’s available, like the Audi e-tron. Now there’s a new model, the GT, and it is gorgeous to behold. It looks low and fast even when standing still and delivers when it matters on the road.

E-tron image Overview

An Overview

From the images it is clear that the rather hyperbolic Audi description of the ‘emotionally charged design’ is accurate if not a bit too poetic. It is a great design though and lightning fast when it needs to be. With 0-62mph acceleration in as little as 3.3 seconds – the new Audi e-tron GT quattro and RS e-tron GT are currently the pinnacle of this new direction for the electrification for the brand. The company insist that sustainability is to the fore, with a construction of steel and aluminium and assorted materials, much of it from recycled sources, including a leather-free package, although real leather remains an option.

Both variants have launched simultaneously this Spring, and both combine breathtaking and instantly accessible accelerative force and zero local emissions. Audi describe the handling as incisive with trans-continental cruising comfort and ultra-sophisticated infotainment and driver assistance technology. True GT motoring for the 21st Century.

On The Inside

In the cabin, the focus is on the driver. The upper section of the light, clean instrument panel with its pronounced three-dimensional look forms an elegant arc, and the display of the standard Audi virtual cockpit plus stands freely within it. The MMI touch monitor surrounded by a ‘piano-black finish’ bezel appears to float in the central space.

A strong contour bisects the upper and lower sections of the dashboard, the latter housing the control panel for the standard three-zone automatic air conditioning system with its physical buttons. The flat lateral air vents with their aluminium-faced edges underline the width of the interior, as does the long arc below the windscreen which sweeps around to meet the front door trims, creating a wraparound effect. Very effective; very modern.

E-tron image Interior
E-tron image NS Front

The driver and front passenger sit low, separated by a wide centre console which houses the gear selector switch, its compact design emphasising the sense of space and providing a highly precise haptic control experience. In the e-tron GT quattro the front sport seats have integrated head restraints and electric eight-way adjustment upholstered in a combination of leather and synthetic leather. In some versions there’s an upgrade to ‘Front Sport Seats Pro’ with 18-way adjustment, ventilation and massage capability and full perforated fine Nappa leather upholstery.

The rear seats offer sufficient space even for adults within the sleek design. They are able to sit lower and position their feet in a generous recess incorporated into the design of the 86kWh battery pack running beneath the passenger compartment, which effectively compensates for the tapering roof line. The rear load area, provides a volume of up to 405 litres (variable, depending on version) and there’s a second luggage compartment beneath the bonnet, where those engines of old used to sit, offering a further 81 litres.

The Power

The PSM motors (permanently excited (apparently) synchronous motors) in the e-tron GT are very efficient. The electric motor, its power electronics, and the transmission form a compact block on both axles for quattro drive. The rear electric motor transfers its torque to a two-speed transmission. The short-ratio first gear enables stunning acceleration when the launch control function is deployed. When it isn’t, the e-tron GT starts off in second gear. Generally speaking, the long-ratio second gear improves efficiency and also provides large amounts of reserve power.

There’s not much to say about the motive power; it’s all so simple. This fully electric Gran Turismo from Audi promises exhilaration regardless of version: The e-tron GT accelerates from rest to 62mph in 4.1seconds, while the RS model needs 3.3 seconds (in boost mode in each case). Top speeds are governed at 152mph and 155mph respectively.

E-tron image OS Front
E-tron image OS Front

Charging times are variable depending upon which system is used but the e-tron will be charged overnight with just a basic domestic supply. Other methods are of course much faster.

If you want to know more about this stunning, prestigious and very advanced car, why not get in touch with us here at MHH International. UK Prices start at around £80,000, increasing to over £100, depending on model choice and options.

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