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Audi unleashes all-electric e-tron super saloons

Audi has finally lifted the curtain on its much-anticipated pair of fully-electric super saloons - and boy has it been worth the wait.

Low-slung, sleek and menacing, you’ll do better to find better-looking cars in 2021 than the e-tron GT and the RS e-tron GT.

And Porsche has got a proper rival to its own fully-electric Taycan.

You might have seen the ‘e-tron’ name before - Audi already uses that badge on its e-tron SUV and e-tron Sportback models.

The e-tron GT, however, is a different beast entirely, and you might consider it a pulsating rival to the traditionally-powered Audi RS6 or RS7.

First thing’s first, let’s talk about the cost. The e-tron GT Quattro will set you back from £79,900, while the more powerful RS e-tron GT starts at £110,950.

And how much bang do you get for your buck? Well, quite a lot, actually.

The regular GT has power of 476 PS for the most part, but if you hit the ‘boost mode’ via launch control, power shoots up to 530 PS, though it only lasts for 2.5 seconds. Torque, meanwhile, is 630 Nm.

That’s enough, thanks to Quattro all-wheel-drive as standard - to hit 62mph in 4.1 seconds - which is rapid, but not quite as quick as a petrol RS6.

The RS e-tron GT takes things up a notch. Here power sits at 598PS until ‘boost mode’ is deployed, dialling power up to 646PS, albeit momentarily. Here the 0-62mph time shrinks to 3.3 seconds.

That obliterates both the RS6 and the RS7 but it’s not quite as quick as the similarly-priced Porsche Taycan Turbo.

With those sorts of stats, you might be forgiven for thinking range might be compromised.

Not so.

A sizeable 93kWh battery ensures the GT has a range of 295 miles between charges while the RS will throttle along for 280 miles before you need to plug it in again.

Top speeds, meanwhile, are governed at 152mph for the GT and 155mph for the RS.

Clever adaptive air suspension, as well as a traction-boosting rear-axle differential lock, should ensure a smooth refined ride, no matter how hard you’re pushing it, and Audi maintains the GT has been built with ‘touring’ in mind.

And then, of course, there’s the way the car looks. Audi calls it a ‘work of art’.  And you’d hate to argue with them.

It stands at just 1.41 meters high, but sits 1.96 metres wide, ensuring the ‘dimensions of a classic grand tourer’, according to Audi.

The windscreen is made of noise-insulating glass as standard, as are the side and rear windows in e-tron quattro Vorsprung and RS e-tron Carbon Vorsprung models, and there’s noise suppression throughout the entire cabin.

Step inside that interior and there’s Nappa leather galore, a fully-connected infotainment system, and there’s also enough room in the back for three adults, thanks to a nifty ‘foot garage’ scooped out of the floor.

Andrew Doyle, Director of Audi UK, says: “The new e-tron GT quattro and RS e-tron GT are products of the same assiduous Vorsprung durch Technik approach to electrified driving, but embody it in a highly emotive and exciting new Grand Tourer format that exploits the technology’s incredible performance potential even more fully and will be invaluable as a means of hastening its wider acceptance."

The touring e-tron duo hit showrooms in the Spring. 

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Tuesday, 10/05/2022