I’ve been considering lengthy and onerous concerning the e-tron GT lately. Not just because it’s now left and I wanted to, however as a result of I truly suppose I loved operating it greater than the RS6 I had final yr. And the extra I thought of it, the extra I used to be satisfied…
It’s all to do with health for function. How effectively a automobile does the job it was designed to do. The RS6 did the consolation and area stuff effectively, however by no means correctly gripped me as a driver’s automobile. The e-tron GT is clearly pitched in a different way, but it surely nails the temporary.
‘Ah, however what’s that temporary?’, I hear you say. And my reply is ‘I’m unsure, but it surely’s excellent at it’.
Anyway, right here goes. The template is the one laid down by the Mercedes CLS about 15 years again and reads ‘government saloon with type’ or one thing equally trite that conjures up photos of besuited catalogue fashions strolling into glassy skyscrapers. What the e-tron GT doesn’t try, and I feel that is key to its enchantment, is any pretence at sportiness. The RS e-tron GT does, and is weaker for it, however that is extra laid again, extra GT-ish.
And from the rear three quarter, it is extremely handsome. I solely have two points with the face it presents to the world: the nostril seems to be prefer it’s spent too lengthy in a glass of purple wine and the wheels are crap. The Taycan is much less bulbous up entrance and has significantly better rims. However can also be attempting to persuade you (as is the RS e-tron GT) it’s a blast to drive, when actually it’s simply efficient, satisfying and succesful. It falls down in the identical place as each different electrical sports activities automobile: all the fun of the powertrain is lacking.
The e-tron GT embraces what is superb about electrical and makes a advantage of it. It’s a blissful GT. It rides softly and gently, it’s silent and clean, it wafts and whisks. And as my each day driver that’s what I wished. It steered and moved exactly sufficient, responded proportionately, had greater than sufficient poke. I might have appreciated low velocity trip management to be a bit higher to cease that lengthy nostril scuffing on the descent from each speedbump, as a substitute I needed to hit Dynamic mode each time I went into city to tauten the suspension.
I did the identical after I obtained on a great highway, to enhance physique management and provides the steering extra weight. On monitor was the place it stunned me most, proving to have approach higher chassis steadiness than I’d anticipated. However I’d nonetheless by no means select it over something smaller, lighter or nimble for monitor or highway enjoyable. No, what I admired most concerning the e-tron GT was its calm nature.
90 per cent of recharging was performed at residence, my Pod Level app telling me precisely how a lot cost had been inserted. Away from residence it was extra ragged and irritating. Twice, I might – ought to – have used it for lengthy journeys to Wales and Scotland, however knew it will be a large problem, so took an ICE automobile as a substitute.
When timings had been much less fraught I did do a number of lengthy journeys within the e-tron GT, however recharging was by no means flawless (not solely the technical facet of hooking up, I solely obtained it to recharge at a max of 140kW on when 270kW is claimed), which meant you hedged your bets subsequent time, stopping sooner, not indulging the final 50 miles. Vary and effectivity improved markedly throughout hotter climate, rising from 2.4mpkWh to 2.9. Handled gently, I obtained a greatest of three.3.
Driving like an ICE automobile I obtained 220 miles vary, however the factor about all electrical automobiles is that they put you in a special mindset. So I drove that bit slower, anticipated visitors additional forward, used the aircon in Eco mode, tried by no means to interact the wheel brakes. Which meant 260 miles. And the data that slowing down was harnessing power, slightly than releasing warmth and particles, is a very pleasing one.
I might have appreciated extra aggressive regen braking on carry off – a full one-pedal mode. As a substitute, pulling a paddle provides a bit deceleration. That is Porsche’s structure don’t neglect, and Porsche believes braking needs to be performed by urgent a pedal, not releasing one. The one bit that caught me out was coming to a whole cease, the Audi seeming to surf via the previous couple of mph, threatening to rear finish no matter was in entrance.
Two youngsters slotted fortunately within the again and with a little bit of jiggling the load via allowed me to hold a pair of two.4 metre Ikea doorways (not similtaneously the youngsters…). The entrance boot I barely ever used. The cables lived in there, however I nearly by no means wanted them. It’s a great 4 seater, however the low ceiling makes it barely oppressive inside, even with the complete glass roof.
The cabin I discovered generic. Sure, you’ve got separate controls for heating so aren’t compelled to do completely every little thing via the display, however the Taycan is extra bespoke and attention-grabbing indoors. This has loads in frequent with an A4, Q5 or RS6. And there’s nothing inherently incorrect with that, it’s only a bit uninteresting.
Working prices have been low, the little fixes had been performed underneath guarantee, highway tax is zero, and recharging has price me round £100 a month at residence to do simply over 1000 miles – equal to a petroleum doing 65mpg. Possession prices are excessive. You don’t want a completely laden GT like this. I reckon about a couple of thousand in choices is all you want, which implies month-to-month repayments of across the £950 mark slightly than £1,300. Have the LED Matrix lights, the Consolation and Sound pack, perhaps the leather-free inside.
As I wrote a few months again I’ve had some points. The bodily ones (rattling door converse and unfastened rubber seal) had been simply fastened, so too those that irked me most – the refusal to run CarPlay reliably and the misfiring app connection. All sorted underneath guarantee. However Audi’s technicians couldn’t replicate the occasional gearbox clonk and scattergun matrix LED behaviour. Neither has precipitated an issue since, so I’ve obtained to imagine the digital reboot labored.
Total the e-tron GT epitomised what an electrical automobile needs to be for me. It treads softly, acts calmly, drives with authority. It’s swift if you need it to be (we timed it to 60mph in 3.9secs, 100mph in 8.5secs), however that’s not what it’s about. It’s an extended vary cruiser, easy and complicated. It does that job higher than something this facet of a Bentley Conti GT. All it wants is the charging community to catch up and there’s nearly nothing I’d slightly drive a great distance.
To me that is the place electrical scores, the place extra weight and lack of sound are advantages, not drawbacks. That mentioned, the most effective drive I had within the e-tron GT was with the household on board, again throughout Exmoor one good night. We’d simply eaten platefuls of pub grub, and had been glowing after a day of strolling and biking. The Audi didn’t intrude on our night, but it surely performed the music we wished immaculately via the B&O system, smothered the damaged surfaces and whisked us residence with out obvious effort.
And that has been the story of life with the e-tron GT, it’s slotted in brilliantly, carried out admirably, I appreciated having it round, it made me really feel good and my driveway is a poorer place now it’s gone.