By on November 30, 2018

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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20 Comments on “Audi Pulls the Sheet Off e-tron GT Concept in LA...”

  • avatar

    Please stop posting these great cars that a company like GM will never be able to produce. It is depressing!!!

    GM is dung.

  • avatar

    Can anyone remind me the last car designed by Audi that was not good looking?

    • 0 avatar

    • 0 avatar

      I’d argue that the current Q7 is Audi’s weakest effort in a long time. The Q5 is inoffensive, but hardly good looking.

      I’d put the current A4, Q7, and Q5 into the same design category as the B6/B7 A4: a stop-gap design between the big evolution that happened with the B8.

      The new A6, A7, A8, however…now they’re getting back on track. These cars look thoroughly modern and sophisticated, without being over the top.

      The new e-tron GT takes it to the next step – modern, and borderline concept-car like, but probably close to production ready.

  • avatar

    Even though an electric vehicle provides a lot more design freedom, they seemed to have kept the Audi proportions – including a long front overhang. Makes you wonder if the electric motor is hanging over the front-axle.

  • avatar

    Wow, beautiful car, to bad it’s not for sale

  • avatar

    Nice, VW Group turns out some of the handsomest vehicles on the planet. Other than the weird scoop behind the front wheels, there’s no extraneous Japanesque details here. Now if only they would bring an e-Arteon to market with a lower price point!

  • avatar

    Looks like a rehash of the Fisker Karma, no?

    Exhibit A:×407.jpg

    Exhibit B:

  • avatar

    Absolutely beautiful car. Bye bye Tesla.

    • 0 avatar
      SCE to AUX

      You seriously think a concept car is sufficient to sink Tesla?

      By the time this car comes out, Tesla will have nearly 1 million cars on the road, the cheapest of which has more range than this Audi.

      Besides a rabid customer base, Tesla also has the Supercharger network, which other mfrs will have to either beat or join in order to be serious about long-range EVs.

      • 0 avatar

        I agree that a concept car is not at all a near-term threat to Tesla. That said, there are a dozen or so $75k+ cars on the horizon. I think the reason mainstream brands haven’t gone all-in at the high end is that it’s an untested area where they don’t (yet) think they can make profits. Let Tesla open up the market and then swoop in a grab that market.

        • By the time this comes out Tesla will have lost all of its $7500 incentive.
        • As for the charging network, do people who spend $100k on a car really drive cross-country? Don’t they usually fly? Also, this will be 1 of several vehicles. Maybe they have an A7 or one of the Audi trucklets.
        • Would you rather a car with a charging network or a dealer network? The people who I know who have Teslas have far more dealer service needs than they have range anxiety.

  • avatar

    Speaking of German car manufacturers wanting to get into the electric vehicle market, here’s a rather interesting article published by German newspaper Sueddeutsche Zeitung in Munich about the problems pertaining to the recycling of batteries:

    (Google Translator-mangled version, but still surprisingly readable…. those machine translators *are* getting better…..)

  • avatar

    Volkswagen group’s plan for EV success is to rely on the premium they can charge for Porsche and Audi models to help them more quickly recoup the investments being made, and gain sufficient experience, knowledge, and capacity to then bring a lot of this technology down into the rest of the group mass-market models. I think this is going to work very well for them.

    • 0 avatar

      If VW can ever see their way to offering another version of their new Atlas as a Plug-in EV or Plug-in Hybrid EV, I think they will have a real winner.

      The current gas-only version of the Atlas is already beginning to draw attention and develop a following of their own, especially with young military families. Counted four of them at the Commissary yesterday, all of them being driven by a young mommy with kids in tow.

  • avatar

    “434 kilowatts of energy”

    Kilowatts are power. KWh are energy.

  • avatar
    SCE to AUX

    That 248-mile WLTP range is more like 211 miles EPA range. That’s not great for a 90 kWh car – on par with the thirsty and heavy Jaguar i-Pace.

    It will be hard for Audi to justify its high price for such limited range when other vehicles offer more speed and range for less money.

    The 800V charging system is a plus, but Tesla certainly has a huge advantage over all other mfrs with their Supercharger network. If VAG gets serious about EVs *and* charging stations, proliferating the 800V protocol is one way to do it.

  • avatar

    besides looks (which is a big deal since tesla was really the 1st good looking EV you could buy), the 800V wireless charging is huge as is the much better interior and hopefully quality. dealer network is +/-. hoping some gas stations start to also offer charging stations

  • avatar

    With this and the Ipace one thing is for sure. Tesla no longer have the market to themselves

  • avatar
    Master Baiter

    Needs bigger wheels.


  • avatar

    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.

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