► Based on the Porsche Taycan’s J1 platform
► 575bhp from two electric motors
► 0-62mph in 3.5sec, 249-mile range
You’re looking at the new Audi e-Tron GT, the next all-electric four-door from Audi - and although Ingolstadt is calling it a concept, the car you see here is extremely close to production spec. Based on the Porsche Taycan’s J1 platform, the e-Tron GT should arrive virtually unchanged in 2020.
What is the Audi e-Tron GT then?
The new Audi e-Tron GT continues the new, electric design language introduced on the e-Tron SUV, and transposes it onto an A7-style body – though at 4.96m long, 1.96m wide and 1.38m high, it’s both lower and slightly wider than that conventional grand tourer. And although it uses the Taycan’s J1 platform – and keeps the same roofline as the Porsche – this is unmistakably an Audi.
‘I'm really proud about this car,’ Audi’s head of design Marc Lichte told CAR. ‘For me it's up to now the highlight I have to say in my career. You know the challenge is always to put the battery pack which is located in the floor, so for us designers the basis for good design is the package, and this package is gorgeous.’
Electric specs and performance
Before we get to the styling, it’s worth looking at what Audi’s engineers have managed to shoe-horn under its low-slung looks – and the good news is that the e-Tron GT has roughly the same performance as its Taycan-twin. The J1 platform includes not just the chassis – but the batteries and circuitry too, so the GT has an ample 434kW, which is equivalent to 575bhp.
In keeping with the Taycan, 0-62mph should be around 3.5 seconds, and like the Porsche, Audi says the e-Tron GT’s performance will be repeatable. There’ll be Quattro all-wheel-drive via two electric motors, and you’ll get torque vectoring, too. 200 km/h (124.3mph) comes in just over 12 seconds, and we’re told top speed is a range-friendly 240 km/h (149.1mph). Audi is keen to remind us this is an Audi Sport product, though, so we hope that limit’s removable.
Range is estimated at a Taycan comparable 249 miles (400km) , although like the e-Tron SUV, we expect the new car to eke out a little more range in real-world use. After all, you can’t blame Audi for being a little conservative when it comes to range and emission figures nowadays…
As for charging? Expect the same 800-volt fast-charging capability as the Taycan, with Audi touting 80% charging in 20 minutes – good for 199 miles. Just like the Audi e-Tron, you’ll find charging points on both sides. What’s more, 11kW wireless charging will be available with the e-Tron GT at launch, and it’ll be added to the options list of the e-Tron SUV around the same time, too.
Tell us about the design then!
Featuring the same inverted ‘singleframe’ grille seen on the PB18 e-Tron concept and the e-Tron, the new car takes in elements of Audi’s first SUV and its existing range. A full-width light bar at the back features the same slats as the e-Tron SUV, and combines it with the styling of the A7 – and the front lights also feature the same vertical elements.
Along the side of the car you’ll find some strong, high lines – and particularly impactful rear shoulders which make it look sportier than you’d expect.
Less obvious in our pictures is an S-duct style 'bridge' that takes air from above around the top of the grille, and keeps it flowing over the bonnet and roofline. We’re told it’ll help the airflow stay attached to the car’s surface, thereby reducing turbulence and increasing efficiency.
Old-fashioned door mirrors?
Where are the wing-mounted camera you ask? Audi says that the like the e-Tron SUV, the GT will be available with door cameras, but due to US laws and the car’s LA unveil, Audi decided to leave them off the show car.
Will it look like this?
The e-Tron GT we see late next year won’t be that different from the one pictured here. A quick tap of the concept car revealed aluminum sheeting, while roof-rack attachments and rubber door seals also implied that this car is pretty much finished, on the outside and inside. Oh, and we were also told so by Lichte himself.
‘This is called the e-Tron GT concept, but honestly speaking it's a metal sheet body,’ he revealed. ‘Why is this? We took a pre-production body and converted it to a show car. This gives you a feeling of how close this car is to production.’
We expect less ornate 22-inchers and simplified lights on the production car, but not too many other differences.
And the interior?
The Audi range is being refreshed with ‘black panel’ tech, and the new e-Tron GT doesn’t escape the trend – so the concept features maximum touchscreens and minimal buttons. But unlike Mercedes, Audi is keen to keep the touchscreen tech as an integral part of the interior – not like the ‘iPad stuck onto the dash’ style Mercedes is currently using. If you're intereted, this philosophy is called a 'fully-integrated tech-layer' in Audi-speak.
To that effect, the interior is a rather handsome thing when powered down, with screens simply looking like premium piano-black panelling. There’s no leather here either, and Audi is keen to push the car’s vegan, renewable – but high-end – styling. Even the floor mats were made from recycled fishing nets!
Like our A8 L long-termer, we’re told the touchscreens will feature haptic feedback, and unlike our limousine, there’s a touch area next to the gear selector just for volume. We thought it was great for the driver to have controls at hand, we were told by Enzo Rothfuss, Audi’s head of interior design, that it was really just for the passenger, as ‘the driver can already control the volume via the wheel.’ That’s us told, then.
At the rear, the e-Tron GT offers ample room to passengers – we can vouch for the 6’3ish amongst us – and that’s because it also benefits from the J1’s ‘foot garages’. Essentially areas carved out of the skateboard battery, these caverns offer a little more depth and room for passengers at the rear – and suggest the Taycan will be just as comfortable.
And it looks like the interior will be very close to the finished car's, too. ‘We’ve never done a show car interior as close to production as this one,’ Rothfuss, tells us. ‘There will just be a few very little details that will be different. We will even have on our EVs car a steering wheel with a flat top and bottom.’
Part of the plan
This’ll be the second all-electric SUV Audi has revealed, and will arrive around the same time as a Sportback version of the e-Tron SUV. It’s the first EV collaboration we’ve seen from Audi and Porsche, and comes before a high volume PPE platform for B to D segment cars. With Audi pledging to produce twelve EVs by 2025, this is just the beginning.
We’ll update this article when we know more about the new Audi e-Tron GT.