Audi e-tron GT review – putting Ingolstadt’s 476 PS and 630 Nm scintillating EV to the test in Germany

Unless you haven’t had a smartphone, TV or even an Internet connection in recent years, it’s very likely that you’ve seen videos on social media of sports car or supercars being driven enthusiastically.

Whether it’s a flat-six engine, V6 or V10, there’s almost nothing that can beat the sheer aural pleasure of hearing an engine scream at the top of its lungs. However, those days are looking numbered and the same goes to such content, as electric vehicles are slowly but surely taking over. Whether it’s a passenger car, SUV or even supercar, there’s now something in the ‘EV genre’ for everyone.

Enter the Audi e-tron GT, the 2022 World Performance Car of the Year. Driven by two electric motors – one for the front wheels and the other for the rear – the all-wheel drive e-tron GT is available in two different outputs. As to how it drives, we were in Germany not too long ago to sample what Tony Stark’s supercar of choice can do.

Audi e-tron GT review – putting Ingolstadt’s 476 PS and 630 Nm scintillating EV to the test in Germany

What made it the World Performance Car of the Year?

The standard e-tron GT quattro makes 476 PS and 630 Nm of torque but with Launch Control, the car produces up to 530 PS and 640 Nm for a short 2.5-second period. The 0-100 km/h time is 4.1 seconds, with top speed at 245 km/h.

The more powerful RS e-tron GT makes 598 PS and 830 Nm and in Boost Mode, output increases momentarily to 646 PS. As a result, 0-100 km/h is slashed to 3.3 seconds, with top speed at 250 km/h, but what does that mean in the real world?

Sheer blinding speed. Whichever model you opt for, rest assured, the acceleration is an assault to the senses. In fact, it doesn’t even accelerate; it just slingshots forward and the speed just climbs relentlessly until you feel a desperate need to lift off (out of fear). It would be cool to own the RS model, but really, it’s just for bragging rights, because there’s more than enough performance any way you look in the standard e-tron GT.

Audi e-tron GT review – putting Ingolstadt’s 476 PS and 630 Nm scintillating EV to the test in Germany

The e-tron GT may not have a screaming V10 or a roaring V8 but there’s one thing ICE supercars owners will not experience in their fuel-guzzlers – immediate throttle response. There’s simply nothing that can come close to the immediacy of an electric car in terms of acceleration, and the e-tron GT is no exception.

A performance car you can use daily

Something that’s fast and brutal when you want it to be but civilised and accommodating in everyday traffic – not every modern performance/sportscars offer that kind of duality, but the e-tron GT (dare we say) is one of the very few you can actually use daily.

Whether driving in Munich city centre or in the outskirts, every flex of our right toe was met with an immediate (yet gentle) response. It was like driving with intuition. The e-tron GT’s ‘politeness’ was also exemplified through the way it glides through bumps and uneven road surfaces.

It may look like mean and angry on the outside, but whether you’re the driver or rear-seat passenger, the e-tron GT is as hospitable as an everyday luxury sedan. Having a 405-litres and a 81-litre frunk space also adds to the practicality of the e-tron GT as a long distance cruiser.

There’s more than enough space for the front two occupants, but not at the expense of rear legroom. That said, if your rear passengers are over 180 cm tall, you might find them tilting their heads just a little when seated.

The cabin is lined with the visually-striking trims made of carbon fibre or oak wood, complemented with suede-like, leather or fabric upholstery. It’s a typical Audi interior – understated but not underwhelming. The charm in the e-tron GT’s cabin also stems from how insulated it feels. This was especially apparent when we were cruising on highways between Munich and Ingolstadt, the home of the brand.

Audi e-tron GT review – putting Ingolstadt’s 476 PS and 630 Nm scintillating EV to the test in Germany

Is it a supercar or gran tourer? Or both?

Compared to its direct competitor, the Porsche Taycan, the e-tron GT exuded more ‘gran tourer-like’ qualities with its quiet and gracious ride – it just felt less tense. The Taycan, on the hand, is a tad more engaging even when you want to take things a little easier.

That said, to call the e-tron GT ‘soft’ against the Taycan would be unfair. When summoned, the e-tron GT’s talent is limited only to the driver’s ability – something we experienced at the Audi Driving Experience centre in Neuburg. In describing the e-tron GT’s performance around the 4.2 km test circuit, predictable, nimble, effortless and confidence-inspiring are the words we’d use.

Led by an instructor up ahead, we progressively increased our speeds with every lap and it was clear how easy it was to utitlise the e-tron GT’s potential. More importantly, the car was very forgiving to any lack of talent (or concentration) behind the wheel, even when driven hard. It would take a complete fool to get it facing the opposite direction on the road.

Audi e-tron GT review – putting Ingolstadt’s 476 PS and 630 Nm scintillating EV to the test in Germany

Loaded with tech

The e-tron GT’s competence on road and track is also partly owed to its three-chamber air suspension system. Not only is it able to offer various levels of comfort and stiffness, the system can also lower the car by up to 10 mm at 90 km/h and by another 12 mm at 180 km/h.

Below 30 km/h, a lift mode can be activated to raise the body by 20mm. This was particularly useful when we were in Munich’s basement parking lots with steep ramps. Having all-wheel steering for smaller turning radius also made navigating the city’s tight basement parking spaces a lot less stressful.

What the e-tron GT lacks in sound, it makes up for it with tech and connectivity. Audi vehicles have always projected an exciting user interface and the e-tron GT is no different; whether it’s the 12.3-inch digital instrument cluster or 10-inch infotainment touchscreen.

The infotainment system was fairly user-friendly with sharp displays, and response was quick to the touch. The instrument cluster offered various types of displays to suit the mood while the navigation system, frankly, made us forget Waze existed.

While experiencing the e-tron GT’s arsenal of driving aids, what made navigating back to Munich on the Autobahn that much easier was a little display on the instrument cluster that indicated to us the exact exit/interchange to take and a bar showing how close we were to it. There’s no doubt how useful this feature will be on our tangled-up Malaysian road network, but even more so while we were driving in a foreign country.

A balance of style and substance

As for the looks, there’s really nothing out there quite like it, is there? It may have the same proportions as the Taycan, but it does stand out with quite a few more details and aggression. Yet, it doesn’t exactly scream over-the-top. It may be a thing of prowess on track but it won’t look out of place at a hotel lobby. Audi hardly disappoints with its ‘light show’ and through the images, it’s probably hard for you to disagree.

Audi e-tron GT review – putting Ingolstadt’s 476 PS and 630 Nm scintillating EV to the test in Germany

Beneath those stylish looks hide aerodynamic substance as well. On each corner of the front bumper are slats that open and close depending on whether cooling or aerodynamic efficiency is needed. Further back is a rear spoiler that keeps the e-tron GT planted with two electronically-extended positions. At 90 km/h, it extends to an Eco position and at 170 km/h, it moves to a Performance position.

Having covered more than 800 km of German tarmac, it’s safe to say that long-distance driving is highly possible in the e-tron GT. Not only is it as easy to drive as an Audi A3 and as plush as an A5, it also comes with an 85 kWh lithium-ion battery to deliver up to 501 km of electric range. As for charging, the e-tron GT can support up to 270 kW DC charging and with it, a five minute charge will return 100 km of range. The e-tron GT also supports up to 22 kW AC charging.

It’s not often that we get to get drive such distances when on international media trips and experience a car to such an extent. In the case of the e-tron GT, the hours spent behind the wheel not only showed what electric vehicles can do with regards to performance and long-distance driving. but they can also be exciting as well, despite being less shouty about it sonically. Still, we wouldn’t say no to a fake V8 noise.

Malaysian prices for the Audi e-tron GT range have been announced, with the e-tron GT quattro expected to be priced from RM559,000 to RM643,000, while that for the RS e-tron is from RM749,000 to RM769,000.