Today’s crop of electric vehicles is usually intentionally designed to look different from what the average motorists expect a vehicle to look like. The theory there is to promote mobility in a new manner, appealing to a new audience that would never have considered owning a vehicle powered by the long-standing internal-combustion engine.
They are also designed to be as energy-efficient as possible, with super low drag coefficients, active aerodynamics, sophisticated body sculpting, and so on. The problem is that the design often alienates the traditional car buyer wanting to make the jump to electric without shouting “Look at my EV!” while driving on the road.
Thankfully, there is the Audi e-Tron GT. It is Ingolstadt’s answer to the electric question, mixing the very best of EV technology in a stunning silhouette that evokes the drama of grand touring from an era long past.
It is a gorgeous four-door coupe with a silhouette that can easily be mistaken for its award-winning R8 sibling at a quick cursory glance. It also rides as low as a supercar, making my weak knees buckle while I get in and out of the cockpit.
The stylish and well-appointed interior is a place you definitely don’t want to leave unless absolutely necessary.
As a nod to Audi’s years of motorsports involvement, the e-Tron features a flat-bottom steering wheel just like the brand’s Le Mans, GT3, and DTM race cars with flappy paddles included. Additionally, the shape gives better leg clearance for people like me who have tree stumps for limbs.
The e-Tron, as with any Audi, features the Quattro all-wheel-drive system, harnessing the power of dual electric motors (one on each axle) to propel it at a truly terrifying rate should you open the taps completely.
There is an available 476hp that can momentarily spike to 530hp in boost mode and an instantaneous 630Nm of torque from the get-go. The 0-100km/h sprint is dispatched in 4.1 seconds, all the way to a limited 245km/h top speed.
The battery is a liquid-cooled lithium-ion unit with a usable 84kWh capacity. It can deliver an advertised range of 501km in its most efficient driving mode.
Given today’s electricity prices, should you charge at home using the included 11kW Audi Compact Charger, a full charge would be around P1,200 or less. Compared to a typical large-size vehicle with a 65L fuel tank costing roughly P61 for mid-grade fuel, your ICE car will cost P3,965 per full tank. That’s a massive P2,765 jump in energy cost for your personal mobility.
Drop the hammer on the highway or fast back roads, and it delivers on its promise of an exhilarating experience. It confidently delivers prodigious grip, instantaneous throttle response, and predictable weight transfer despite the considerable 2,200kg curb weight.
You find a steady rhythm—flowing from corner to corner—attacking imaginary apexes with gusto while keeping your driving tidy thanks to the amazing Quattro grip. The instant torque also makes it very forgiving to drive hard and fast; you find yourself taking small swipes at what’s prudent and what’s not on public roads.
My only gripe is with the brakes—the adjustable regenerative braking system, coupled with the brakes that are a tad over-assisted. It makes braking a rather nervous experience, especially at high speeds where it always seems to deploy 20% more braking effort than what you are expecting. It is a minor gripe as the e-Tron acclimatizes you to this peculiarity.
And as with any modern vehicle, electric or not, the e-Tron comes well equipped.
It has the latest iteration of Audi MMI, Audi Drive Select (driving mode selector), a Bang & Olufsen premium surround-sound system, three-zone automatic climate control, 10 airbags, stability/traction control, lane departure warning, cruise control, Audi’s pre-sense that can predict imminent collisions, and 360° cameras to help parking and low-speed maneuvering.
As electric vehicles go, the e-Tron is fantastic. It bridges the traditional car-buying market that has set expectations on how their vehicle, EV or not, should look and feel, with a new breed of people seeking personal carbon-neutral mobility, all wrapped up in a stylish package.