2020 Audi e-tron GT: specs, price, release date & ride review

The Audi e-tron GT will be the firm's flagship electric model, going head-to-head with the Tesla Model S

Audi e-tron GT

The Audi e-tron GT, a direct rival for the Tesla Model S and Porsche Taycan, has been spotted undergoing final testing at the Nurburgring Nordschleife race circuit in Germany, ahead of its expected unveiling in early October 2020 for on on-sale date in early 2021.

An e-tron GT concept was revealed at the 2018 Los Angeles Motor Show (see our gallery further down the page), but its running gear and looks are thought to be all-but-identical to those of the production version. This is clear from various images of camouflaged e-tron GT test mules, which clearly show the car's distinctive front and rear end treatments, as well as its rakish roofline.

Similar in size to an Audi A7, the e-tron GT will join the e-tron and e-tron Sportback SUVs in the Audi range, eventually forming part of a 25-strong line-up of electrified cars carrying the 'e-tron' badge. The GT is expected to cost north of £100,000 in the UK, which would position it as the flagship for the entire e-tron electric-car range.

Audi e-tron GT electric motor and battery

Around 60% of the e-tron GT's parts under the metal are shared with the Porsche Taycan, with both cars using the same Volkswagen Group 'J1' platform. This includes the dual electric-motor setup, producing 582bhp, which is more than the standard Audi R8 V10 petrol supercar makes. As can be expected for an electric car, the GT will have significantly more torque than its two-door, conventionally powered stablemate.

It'll do 0-62mph in 3.5 seconds and hit a top speed of 149mph, while the 96kWh battery will charge from flat to 80% in only 15-20 minutes from a high-speed 350kW charging station. And with the regenerative braking system turned up to a high level, single-pedal driving should be possible.

Accomplished handling is promised due to a low centre of gravity, thanks both to lightweight carbon-fibre doors and roof, as well as the weight of the battery pack located low down in the chassis.

Styling

There are expected to be only minor variations between the GT Concept and what eventually goes on sale to the public in. The production model will seat five people.

The Los Angeles show car featured motorsport-style centre-locking wheels, but the roadgoing version will revert to the traditional five bolts. The wheels' design and 22-inch diameter won't change, though.

It's also likely that we won't see the concept’s glowing front and rear e-tron logos and touch-sensitive door openers on the finished product. Elsewhere, the absence of an engine up front and exhaust pipes at the rear has allowed for a very low bonnet and an advanced aerodynamic diffuser.

Interior

Inside the Audi e-tron GT, the main centre section of the dashboard extends out into the doors to emphasise the interior's width, while the driver's position is inspired by that of the R8 supercar, giving it a cockpit-like feel.

Audi promises four adults will be able to travel in comfort in the GT, with special 'foot garages' built into the floor to give more footroom. For luggage, there's a 450-litre boot at the back and an additional 100 litres of storage under the bonnet.

Audi e-tron GT

Ride review

After driving the e-tron concept at the 2018 Los Angeles Auto Show, DrivingElectric's sister title Auto Express was able to ride in a prototype version of the production car in September 2020. The car wore disguise and was not even allowed to be photographed fully, but it was clear that the final design won't stray far from the original concept.

The e-tron sits extremely low compared to most other electric cars, and is reminiscent of an Audi A7 more than anything else on first sight, although it shares underpinnings with the Porsche Taycan. One of the first things you notice about the car is its distinctive metallic hum – even when stationary. It intensifies as he car accelerates, becoming louder the faster you go.

Rather than being produced on a computer, the noise is actually the recording of a fan blowing air down a long metal pole. Audi used editing software to capture sections of that noise and match it to various driving scenarios, with the aim of creating a more organic and natural sound than other electric cars.

About all that could be gleaned from the passenger ride is that the e-tron will be massively fact, with a sub-three-second 0-62mph to rival the fastest Teslas seeming believable.