The Audi e-tron GT is a razor-sharp katana on 20-inch wheels, with a hint of Iron Man's mask. Interesting as we first saw this car driven by Tony Stark in Avengers: End Game. The first electric car that achieves supercar beauty. The Vorsprung Durch Technik designers have smashed this out of the park and straight into the future.
This latest iteration of the e-tron is a four-door five-seater saloon with impressive panache and styling. Inching close to the TT and R8 in terms of sheer sleekness. Plus it will be made in the same factory as the R8 in Audi's Sports facility at Bollinger Höfe in Germany.
Audi may have taken a little while to finesse its electric offerings, but they are definitely ahead of the game with the GT Quattro.
OK, to the nitty gritty details first. It sports an 800-volt battery and charges from 5-80% in 23 minutes with a powerful enough charger. The e-tron GT Quattro Vorsprung dual motors pump out 476 PS (470 BHP), weighs 2.3 tonnes, and blasts from 0-62 mph in a mere 4.1 seconds with a top speed of 152 mph.
The motors use 20.5 kWh/100 km and the claimed range is 298 miles on a full charge. Expect more like 240 miles in the real world, particularly as this is genuinely engaging and fun to drive, so you will be pushing it a tad. And there is a 2.5-second power boost in launch mode increasing the horsepower momentarily.
A four-door, four-wheel drive, all-wheel-steering Gran Tourer, with a two-speed gearbox and an electronically controlled rear differential. It shares the same J1 platform as the Porsche Taycan so that's a hint as to the performance already.
Everything about the Audi e-tron GT is a big leap forward. This is the first e-tron that attracts envious looks just for the styling. The exterior colour in Floret metallic silver (£950) is eye-catching and the silhouette turns heads. Super sharp lines balance beautifully with the fluted curves and 20" five-twin-spoke alloy wheels. Sinuous curves that look sharp to the touch, seemingly carved from razor blades.
The streamlined contoured roof sits supremely low, yet there is plenty of headroom. A multilayered front complete with a single-frame Hekla grey front grill and striped Matrix LED headlights cut into the bonnet to impart a fierce demeanour. The balance of this four-door is admirable, the length midpoint sits perfectly between the passenger doors, with angled vertical lines set in perfect parallel. Plus the impressive, proud bonnet slopes aerodynamically down, with a drag coefficient of just 0.24. The design combines sports cachet with practicality.
Touring is a breeze with the e-tron's bespoke luxury interior. Every detail has been considered, there's a large 12-inch console with three modes to track every telemetry including range, a 360° sky camera, a heads-up display, front massage seats, front and rear seat heating and remote parking assist.
The 10-inch centre infotainment dash is child's play to use alongside physical switches and knobs for each control that requires fast, easy access while driving. Audi avoids the desperate need to remove everything but the screen maintaining a luxurious interior cabin that still feels like a car, not a laptop on wheels.
The full leather package is essential if you like to be pampered. Do not leave the showroom without it. Supple red Nappa leather sports pro seats with honeycomb & contrast stitching are framed by black leather and carbon fibre. Superior styling that will keep you happy for years.
The Vorsprung package includes front-seat ventilation and 18-way massage. Essential in a Gran Tourer that will actually be driven long distances. I drove to Falmouth and back over two days utterly relaxed.
The rear three seats are spacious and genuinely comfortable, ample for two to three large adults on long journeys, all accompanied by a Bang & Olufsen 3D premium sound system.
Three drive modes supply endless fun. Dynamic mode passes more torque to the rear if you fancy a touch of drifting. Ample power to do so, but Audi's sophisticated engineering protects you even in the worst UK weather conditions. The legendary four-wheel drive lets you use all that electric torque safely.
The steering is poised and agile, the all-wheel steering enhances the speed and precision in the turns to a fantastic degree. The handling and grip are exceptional, as firmly planted as a house, a big one made from stone. The speed at which you can circle a roundabout is positively obscene.
Audi is sticking with their paddle regenerative braking system, first seen in the original e-tron. Tap once or twice to increase braking and return more power to the batteries. It's a driving style that you swiftly come to enjoy and is excellent for hypermiling. Though they could easily increase the regenerative force a bit more and add another notch to the paddles.
Not sure the 0-62 mph in 4.1 seconds is a useful statistic with electric motors. This feels much faster than that. Positively brutal if desired. Suffice it to say it is extremely enjoyable and masterful in any situation. Supercar performance without the throbbing engine roar. Oh yes, you can add a V8 engine sound, pumped inside and out for an extra £500, influenced by the roar of 80's American muscle cars. So well worth having actually. Prevents the usual numpties with headphones stepping out in front of you as you spin through a roundabout.
The battery weight lowers the centre of gravity so the car is just a tad magical, with zero body roll. The performance is more sports car than GT but the interior is all luxury touring, with ample space, height and technology to keep you cosseted in comfort.
Perhaps the only niggle is the 298-mile range, more like 240 miles in our real-world road tests. Though the rapid recharging is almost as fast as pumping gas so range anxiety is pretty non-existent. New charger infrastructure is rolling out everywhere plus the sat nav calculates the charging stops and destinations for you, removing any worry.
What really stands out, beyond the incredible performance is the adaptive air suspension. It is a speed bump killer, a mass murderer of humps and potholes and indeed any surface perturbations. Akin to Rolls and Bentley for its smooth glide, floating over the ridges between plates on cheaply built UK motorways without that repetitive thump, thump, thump.
Cabin soundproofing is superb, in fact, the outside world barely exists in auditory terms and the full panoramic glass sunroof is the best way to go convertible in UK weather.
Recharging is simple, just plug in and wave your phone at the charger with Apple Pay and recharge from 5% to 80% capacity in 23 minutes. You can also stop for a mere five minutes and get up to 60 miles. It will take a 270Kw charge, but you're more likely to come across 150Kw, but there were plenty of fast chargers on our drive down to the Royal Duchy Hotel in Cornwall.
There's an RS version too if you just have to go faster and nothing less than 0-62 Mph in 3.3 seconds will do.
The Audi e-tron GT Vorsprung Quattro is nigh on the perfect electric car of the future, today. This road ravager is salted chocolate caramel on wheels, smooth but with an exciting twist. Honed modern styling combined with extraordinary performance and extreme interior opulence. This is the ultimate electric Gran Tourer.
Audi e-tron GT Quattro starts from £84,950
Audi e-tron GT Vorsprung Quattro with extras £110,415