Audi Pulls the Sheet Off E-tron GT Concept in LA

Matt Posky
by Matt Posky
audi pulls the sheet off e tron gt concept in la

After some healthy automotive foreplay, Audi finally took the wraps off its new e-tron GT Concept at the LA Auto Show. Offering the best elements of the brand’s design language, the vehicle previews a production model that’s scheduled to appear late in 2020, as well as Porsche’s upcoming Taycan EV — which will share the Audi’s drivetrain and platform.

Relatively handsome, if you like Audi sedans and oversized grilles on electric cars, the GT avoids getting overly ambitious with the futuristic styling we see on a lot of mainstream EVs. We’d call this “extremely modern” rather than some truly visionary design you’d expect from a concept car. It’s safe but not so safe that anyone should be left fretting.

However, it’s not quite the Tesla destroyer the media is eternally hunting for. Despite boasting some impressive specifications, the e-tron is roughly on par with the Model S when viewed broadly. But it should still make for healthy competition while encouraging the American brand to step up its game.

A pair of electric motors driving each axle draw power from a 90-kWh battery pack. Combined, the duo produces 434 kilowatts of energy, or about 590 horsepower. Audi says the machine will rush to 62 mph in just 3.4 seconds, which is actually a little better than we had originally presumed. But it is not faster than a 4,891-pound Tesla Model S P100D running at full tilt.

Charging times are another story. Boasting range of about 248 miles, according to Europe’s new Worldwide Harmonized Light Vehicle Test Procedure, the Audi’s 800-volt battery system is supposed to be capable of restoring 80 percent of its total range in around 20 minutes. That’s should make it (and the Porsche Taycan) one of the quickest-charging EVs on the market.

Handling should benefit immensely from the e-tron’s rear-axle steering, advanced all-wheel drive system, and exceptionally low center of gravity — Audi went so far as to compare it directly with the R8.

Minus one internal combustion engine, the e-tron GT has a small front truck with 3.5 cubic feet of available space. While a handy area for storing carry-on luggage, most of the serious storage duties will go to the rear compartment, which measures a hair under 16 cubes. Since this is a concept vehicle, the interior is likely to change. Still, you can comfortably count on a wealth of tech and more luxury than you probably ever needed.

Considering Audi only launched its first battery-only vehicle a couple of months ago, the e-tron GT looks like the brand is making solid progress into the brave new world of “electro mobility.” But it still has a long way to go. Audi wants to sell twelve automobiles with all-electric drivetrains by the end of 2025 and have its product line featuring enough electrification to “cover every relevant market segment from the compact to the full-size class.”

Hopefully the world is ready by then.

[Images: Audi]

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  • Master Baiter Master Baiter on Dec 02, 2018

    Needs bigger wheels. /s

  • Cognoscenti Cognoscenti on Dec 03, 2018

    I just can't wait for the Germans to bring compelling Tesla competitors to market. They don't need to beat any one Tesla metric to succeed (even though they will), because their dealer networks will ACTUALLY BE ABLE TO SERVICE THE CARS IN A TIMELY FASHION. Long-distance charging networks are a red herring.

  • Analoggrotto By the time any of Hyundai's Japanese competitors were this size and age, they produced iconic vehicles which are now highly desirable and going for good money used. But Hyundai/Kia have nothing to this point that anyone will care about in the future. Those 20k over MSRP Tellurides? Worn out junk sitting at the used car lot, worn beyond their actual age. Hyundai/Kia has not had anything comparable to the significance of CVCC, 240Z, Supra, Celica, AE86, RX-(7), 2000GT, Skyline, GT-R, WRX, Evo, Preludio, CRX, Si, Land Cruiser, NSX etc. All of this in those years where Detroiters and Teutonic prejudiced elitists were openly bashing the Japanese with racist derogatory language. Tiger Woods running off the road in a Genesis didn't open up a moment, and the Genesis Sedan featuring in Inception didn't matter any more than the Lincoln MKS showing up for a moment in Dark Knight. Hyundai/Kia are too busy attempting to re-invent others' history for themselves. But hey, they have to start somewhere and the N74 is very cool looking. Hyundai/Kia's biggest fans are auto Journalists who for almost 2 decades have been hyping them up to deafening volumes contributing further distrust in any media.
  • Bd2 Other way around.Giorgetto Giugiaro penned the Pony Coupe during the early 1970s and later used its wedge shape as the basis for the M1 and then the DMC-12.The 3G Supra was just one of many Japanese coupes to adopt the wedge shape (actually was one of the later ones).The Mitsubishi Starion, Nissan 300ZX, etc.
  • Tassos I also want one of the idiots who support the ban to explain to me how it will work.Suppose sometime (2035 or later) you cannot buy a new ICE vehicle in the UK.Q1: Will this lead to a ICE fleet resembling that of CUBA, with 100 year old '56 Chevys eventually? (in that case, just calculate the horrible extra pollution due to keeping 100 year old cars on the road)Q2: Will people be able to buy PARTS for their old cars FOREVER?Q3: Will people be allowed to jump across the Channel and buy a nice ICE in France, Germany (who makes the best cars anyway), or any place else that still sells them, and then use it in the UK?
  • Tassos Bans are ridiculous and undemocratic and smell of Middle Ages and the Inquisition. Even 2035 is hardly any better than 2030.The ALMIGHTY CONSUMER should decide, not... CARB, preferably WITHOUT the Government messing with the playing field.And if the usual clueless idiots read this and offer the tired "But Government subsidizes the oil industry too", will they EVER learn that those MINISCULE (compared to the TRILLIONS of $ size of this industry) subsidies were designed to help the SMALL Oil producers defend themselves against the "Big Oil" multinationals. Ask ANY major Oil co CEO and he will gladly tell you that you can take those tiny subsidies and shove them.
  • Dusterdude The suppliers can ask for concessions, but I wouldn’t hold my breath . With the UAW they are ultimately bound to negotiate with them. However, with suppliers , they could always find another supplier ( which in some cases would be difficult, but not impossible)