Audi takes on the Tesla Model S and Porsche Taycan with the $100,000 e-tron GT
The third model in Audi's e-tron lineup is a sleek sedan powered by PorscheBy Humza Aamir 17 comments
The big picture: The new e-tron GT bears an unmistakable Audi design and is also the company's most powerful EV to date. Following two SUV models, this four-door sporty sedan is now Audi's flagship EV and the front-runner of its e-tron brand. Although Audi's EV costs less than its more powerful German sibling and offers better mileage, it is easily trumped by the Tesla Model S when it comes to price, performance, and range.
Audi initially teased the e-tron GT concept at the 2018 LA Auto Show as part of its major EV push and has now finally revealed the production version at a recent livestream event. The company's latest flagship EV will be available in three flavors later this summer, namely the $100,000 e-tron GT quattro, the $108,000 e-Tron Prestige, and the $140,000 RS e-tron GT. All models have a dual-motor setup with AWD and utilize the Porsche Taycan's 800-volt architecture with a 93.4 kWh lithium-ion battery pack.
Audi is offering two powertrains for this car, with the standard (and Prestige) version producing 350 kW (~470 hp) and the performance-focused RS model making 440 kW (~590 hp).
All models come with launch control and an overboost feature that briefly pumps those numbers up by 35-40 kW and reduces their 0-60 times, taking 3.9 seconds for the standard e-tron GT and 3.1 seconds for the RS version. Top speed, meanwhile, is limited to 152mph and 155mph, respectively.
Although these figures are on par with Audi's own ICE-powered R8, they do make it less potent against the Porsche Taycan, and even more so against the recently refreshed Tesla Model S. The latter also excels when it comes to mileage, offering more than twice of what the Audi can muster: 520mi in the Model S Plaid vs. 238mi as per Audi's EPA estimates.
These factors, however, are only part of the story in the premium EV segment, where brand power, luxury, and design are now increasingly playing an important role for buyers when making their next car purchase.
The e-tron GT's interior, seems a lot plusher than its US rival. It has a 12.3-inch display for the instrument cluster and a 10.1-inch touchscreen in the center console powered by Audi's MMI system. There's also a generous sprinkling of physical buttons and switches, unlike the increasingly touchscreen-laden cabins of modern cars (including the Taycan).
In typical Audi fashion, buyers will have plenty of material choices for the cabin, alongside pricey optional extras on the base model like a premium sound system, heads-up display, a trio of safety packages featuring adaptive cruise assist, and all-wheel steering. There's also support for wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto.
The e-tron GT will initially launch in Europe this spring, followed by a summer launch in the US. It will be compatible with VW's Electrify America high-speed charging network, allowing it to gain 62 miles (~100 km) of range with just a five-minute charge. Audi will offer a 4-year/50,000-mile limited warranty for the e-tron GT, alongside complimentary maintenance for 1-year/10,000 miles.