2022 Audi E-Tron GT Review: Low Vis, High Impact

2022-06-07 07:19:51 By : Mr. jack tu

Design | Comfort | Technology | Performance | Safety | Fuel Economy | Pricing | FAQ

I love Porsche, but part of loving a thing is recognizing its flaws. And while the folks from Zuffenhausen make fantastic cars, they also come with a high profile. Sometimes, you want a Porsche experience that flies under the radar. Thankfully, the German brand is part of a super-massive automotive group that it shares many parts with.

The 2022 Audi E-Tron GT is one of the latest products of the fruitful component-sharing between Volkswagen Group members. The E-Tron GT – not to be confused with the regular E-Tron crossover and its slinky Sportback derivative – is the only other car in the VW Group to ride on the Taycan's J1 platform and carry both the same high-performance 800-volt architecture and impressive dual-motor layout. But beyond the mechanicals, this is all Audi, and that’s good news for owners that want explosive performance in a less shouty package.

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The E-Tron GT is far from the only Audi model to share a modular platform with another member of the VW Group. The A4 through the A8 and Q5 through Q8 all ride atop the same MLB Evo platform that underpins the Porsche Cayenne, for example. But where Audi’s sedans and crossovers look unequivocally like vehicles designed for the four rings, the E-Tron GT isn’t as successful at distinguishing itself.

The similarities in profile between E-Tron GT and Taycan are unmistakable. Fortunately, this is a very sleek, aggressive shape. Audi leans into that with the front end, which is wide and menacing, carrying the brand’s hexagonal grille well. My tester’s Ibis White paint provides a sharp contrast with the blacked-out surrounds which make the grille and the nose of the car look even wider. Slim, aggressive headlights and prominent haunches round out the front third of the E-Tron GT.

What I can’t tolerate is the tail. The rear glass, rounded butt, and meaty fenders – which create a delicious tumblehome that’s all business – are fine touches. But good lord, I hate these taillights. They’re huge, cartoonishly so, the kind of embellishment you’d find on a $10 caricature. I’m betting Audi went this route because there’s so little going on with the rear bumper. You get a gloss-black diffuser that matches the front grille surround, but little else. And so, the taillights step in to try and seize the limelight, like the drunk guy at your wedding that insists on dancing while wielding a cupcake tray (true story).

Aside from the tight quarters the J1 platform forces on the E-Tron GT (more on that in a second), the interior is far more successful at standing out from its Porsche counterpart. Ingolstadt swapped in all its own switchgear and made things such as dash or door panels better fit the brand’s aesthetic. Sharper angles, like the huge strip of carbon fiber on the dash or the shape of the climate vents on the center stack, present a more sporting vibe than even Porsche can manage. It’s a great cabin in terms of style and design, and the material quality is suitably high, too.

But while the E-Tron GT’s cabin distinguishes itself in a few important ways, that’s not the case across the board. The Audi’s front seating position is excellent, with a low hip point and seat height. The firmly bolstered, super-supportive seats wear standard leatherette and faux suede inserts, but my tester subbed in the $4,000 Full Leather Interior, which is money well spent. The Nappa hides and the associated honeycomb stitching look and feel great, and the pack includes an upgrade to 18-way adjustability with massaging and ventilation, as well as a three-spoke RS steering wheel.

Life’s less good in back where, as in Taycan, there’s a cramped two-place bench. Legroom is tight and headroom is tighter still. The a small door opening makes the back tough to recommend for a couple adults. The E-Tron GT’s trunk also confuses me – unlike the Taycan, which features a rear liftgate, the Audi has a traditional trunk. There’s just 9.2 cubic feet available behind the slim opening, which is 5.1 cubes less than the Porsche.

Regardless of where you’re sitting, there’s little to complain about with the E-Tron GT’s ride quality. A standard three-chamber air suspension with double wishbones in front and a multi-link arrangement at the back quashes the worst real-world roads can throw at it, exhibiting impressive stability over rough and broken pavement. Wind and road noise are muted – neither quality is quite as impressive as a Mercedes-Benz EQS, but considering the E-Tron’s sportier brief, it’s very impressive in this regard.

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Where the Taycan carries a unique infotainment system and digital instrument cluster, the E-Tron GT shares its setup with other Audi products, thankfully. The current touch-intensive version of MMI is a cinch to figure out, with quick-access buttons on the left side of the display that include a permanent home button. On that home screen, color-coded tiles for different sections of the infotainment are on hand.

The system has crisp graphics on the 10.1-inch screen, although the color scheme feels dull even to an avowed Dark Mode fan like me. Responses are rapid and the screen boots up quickly, too. There’s wireless Apple CarPlay (and wired Android Auto) if you aren’t a fan of Audi’s own software. While I used it (no automaker anywhere has figured out how to make podcasts so easy to access), Apple’s functionality never really feels superior in any other regard.

The partner to MMI is Audi Virtual Cockpit, the brand name for the 12.3-inch digital instrument cluster. It remains my personal favorite on the market. Like the MMI display, the graphics are lovely and navigating or reconfiguring the screens requires few inputs on the steering wheel. Tap a left-right toggle on to change pages, work the scroll wheel to make changes within said pages, or tap the View button to switch between a gauge- or function-focused arrangement.

Beyond these standard systems, my E-Tron GT Prestige tester added an attractive head-up display, a killer 16-speaker Bang and Olufsen 3D audio system, and an awesome top-view camera setup that the driver can manipulate for different views of the car. That last one isn’t a new feature, particularly among German luxury brands, but I remain a fan for the sheer coolness factor of it all.

The lack of an RS badge on this E-Tron GT isn’t a huge loss. With 469 horsepower and 464 pound-feet of torque (figures that swell to 522 hp and 472 in Boost mode), it slots in neatly between the 429-hp Taycan 4S (429 hp) and 509-hp Taycan GTS . The sprint to 60 miles per hour takes a respectable 3.9 seconds (a mere tenth behind the 4S) and the top speed is a happy 152 mph.

Sandwiched between its cousins from Zuffenhausen, Ingolstadat’s EV sedan’s performance sits somewhere between robust and hair-raising. As with most EVs, a stomp on the accelerator unleashes immediate and uninterrupted acceleration, complete with the same annoying gear change from the rear-mounted two-speed automatic that you’ll find in the Porsche. Accelerator response is quick even in the default Comfort mode and it’s positively sharp in Dynamic, on point for a car with such a sporty mission.

The E-Tron GT’s handling is sharp and decidedly un-Audi-like. Better balanced than a combustion-powered car with four rings on the nose and with an absurdly low center of gravity, the hallmarks of an agile handler are on hand. But my tester carries the $6,000 Performance pack, which adds rear-wheel steering for even more immediate directional changes and torque vectoring to better apply the power on corner exit. That’s in addition to the standard air suspension and adaptive dampers.

So paired, the E-Tron GT is a delight on a twisty road. The steering’s small dead zone and the rear-axle steering conspire for an almost telepathic responses to inputs, while the air suspension has a tight hold on body motions. Feedback through the steering is limited, but the chassis makes up for it, transmitting plenty of info through the excellent front chairs.

The E-Tron GT’s standard active safety suite includes lane-departure warning, forward collision warning with automatic emergency braking, and blind-spot monitoring with rear cross-traffic alert. All the rest of the active safety gear – the things that elevate the E-Tron GT to an SAE Level 2 car – live in the $7,200 Prestige option group. They include full-speed adaptive cruise control and active lane-keep assist.

The integration here, as on every other Audi, is smart and well mannered, handling lane intrusions predictably and maintaining a consistent position. The optional Matrix LED headlights (packaged with the Prestige option group) are brilliant and will only get better once the federal government signs off on their anti-dazzle technology.

The EPA rates the E-Tron GT’s range at 238 miles per charge from the 93.4-kilowatt-hour lithium-ion battery. But as with the Porsche Taycan (which the EPA rates at 227 miles with the same sized pack), that’s likely a very conservative figure. In Porsche’s case, independent testing reveals a range of 272 miles for a Taycan 4S. I wholly expect similar real-world overachievement from the E-Tron.

The Audi relies on the same 800-volt architecture as the Taycan and benefits from similarly rapid charging speeds. A 350-kilowatt DC fast charger can juice the E-Tron at a rate of 270 kw, rejuvenating the battery from five to 80 percent in just 22 minutes. And as a boon for consumers, Audi includes three years of free DC charging on the Electrify America network with every E-Tron GT purchase.

I managed my week with the E-Tron GT using a Grizzl-E Classic home charger, which can juice the Audi’s battery pack from zero to 100 percent in about 11 hours using the 10.0-kW output on a 40-amp circuit. Audi also offers home charging solutions for its customers via Electrify America.

The Electrifying Audi E-Tron GT:

Prices for the E-Tron GT start at $103,895 (with the $1,495 destination charge lumped in), although the Prestige trim featured here starts at $111,095. My tester then added the $6,000 Performance pack (four-wheel steering, torque vectoring, matrix headlights, and gloss-black exterior accents with carbon-fiber interior trim) and a $4,000 full-leather interior kit. The out-the-door price of the car featured here is $118,740.

The most immediate competitor is the $113,520 (including a $1,450 destination charge) Porsche Taycan 4S with the same 93.4-kWh battery standard in the E-Tron. But the E-Tron packs more power, torque, and range as standard. And while I’m a sucker for Porsche’s exhaustive options catalog, the easier-to-configure Audi is simply a better value unless you need your own unique configuration of options and aesthetics.

If you want cushiness instead of performance, the Mercedes-Benz EQS trades straight-line speed for far more luxurious trappings and dramatically more range. The base 450 model starts at $103,360 and will cover 350 miles to a charge, but it takes 5.9 seconds to find 60 (a full two ticks behind the Audi). The EQS 580 is brisker at 4.1 seconds, but its starting price is $126,950 and the range drops to “just” 340 miles.

And of course, there’s the Tesla Model S. The dual-motor model undercuts the E-Tron, starting at $100,000, and both its 375-mile range and 3.1-second sprint to 60 blow the Audi out of the water. I wouldn’t fault anyone that went the Tesla route, because those figures are hard to ignore (and I’m not even mentioning the excellent Supercharger network). But the E-Tron’s superior build quality and Audi’s far more established record of reliability would be too difficult to ignore.

How Much Does The 2022 Audi E-Tron GT Cost?

Prices for the 2022 Audi E-Tron GT start at $103,895 (with a $1,495 destination charge), while the top-end RS model demands $143,895. Between those two extremes is the this mid-range Prestige, at $111,095 and coming with a fair amount of worthwhile kit.

How Fast Is The 2022 Audi E-Tron GT?

The 2022 Audi E-Tron GT will hit 60 miles per hour in 3.9 seconds and carry on to a top speed of 152 mph. As for the 637-hp RS E-Tron GT, 60 arrives in just 3.1 seconds. An electronic limiter halts proceedings at 155 mph.

What Is The Range Of The 2022 Audi E-Tron GT?

The EPA rates the E-Tron GT at 238 miles per charge, which trails behind all competition except its cross-country sibling, the Porsche Taycan.

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