Audi unveils stunning Tesla rival

 

Audi says the new e-tron GT electric car represents a third icon for the brand.

Just as the Audi TT sports car revolutionised its design and the R8 showed enthusiasts Audi could build a world-class supercar, the new Audi e-tron GT looks set to be one of the best electric cars on sale.

This isn't the first electric Audi. An Audi e-tron is already in showrooms, taking the form of a $150,000 SUV with close ties to conventionally-powered crossovers.

Audi has revealed its flagship e-tron GT electric car.
Audi has revealed its flagship e-tron GT electric car.

The new e-tron GT is a different proposition.

Low, sleek and undeniably attractive, the GT dismisses the trend for heavy and high-riding crossovers to share its bones with the Porsche Taycan. This is a dedicated electric car wired for rapid charging and even more rapid performance.

It's the most powerful production Audi yet, capable of sending 475kW to all four wheels in a launch mode that rockets the sedan to 100km/h in 3.3 seconds. While impressive, that's not quite as quick as the fastest Teslas, or Porsche's range-topping Taycan Turbo S.

The e-tron GT shares its bones with the coming Porsche Taycan.
The e-tron GT shares its bones with the coming Porsche Taycan.

Available in two forms, a standard GT with 350kW and 630Nm or a high-end RS GT with 440kW 830Nm (which boosts to 475kW temporarily), the Audi follows Porsche's lead with a two-speed transmission and all-wheel-drive.

The e-tron GT upholds Audi’s reputation for top-class interiors.
The e-tron GT upholds Audi’s reputation for top-class interiors.

An 85kWh battery brings up to 487 kilometres of range, and 800 volt hardware allows the e-tron to take on 100 kilometres of charge in about five minutes when plugged into fast charging stations.

The performance is backed by hardware normally found in flagship models such as the Audi RS6 Avant. You get three-chamber air suspension with multi-mode shock absorbers, all-wheel-steering, all-wheel-drive and the option of carbon ceramic brakes.

Low-slung and aggressive styling give the e-tron some road presence.
Low-slung and aggressive styling give the e-tron some road presence.

Tech includes a full suite of driver assistance features, plus Matrix LED headlights with laser high beams and speakers in the boot that emit a spaceship-like sci-fi soundtrack both inside and outside the car.

Audi launched the e-tron with an hour-long presentation anchored by movie stars, sporting heroes, members of its design team and board of management celebrating "a new era" for the brand.

The new e-tron GT and e-tron RS GT will arrive locally in the third quarter of this year.

Prices and specifications for the model have not been confirmed, but if the mechanically similar Porsche Taycan is a guide, the regular model will cost about $200,000 on the road, with the halo variant likely to top $250,000.

 

Originally published as Audi unveils stunning Tesla rival


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