The e-tron GT has a formidable stance. It sits low and relatively broad, a lot in order that the motive force who delivers Audi’s star electrical automobile to my residence in London parks it virtually in the course of our slim street in worry of damaging the cool graphic wheels towards the curb. The exaggerated width is on goal: the muscle tissues are designed to be excessive, particularly on the rear half, sculpted to reference the GT’s four-wheel quattro drive.
I do know this because the director of Audi design, Marc Lichte, defined the problem to me at size when revealing the e-tron GT final 12 months. Flicking by his sketches on our video name, he stated it took so long as three months to develop this voluptuous bottom. He famous that regardless of the engineering complexity, his crew pushed laborious for it, saying: “it’s the most important muscle now we have ever executed and it appears unbelievable.” And, observing the automobile within the flesh — or extra precisely steel — I couldn’t agree extra. But, just like the supply driver, I’m equally intimidated to take it for a spin. However after I do, the e-tron GT is sensational to drive. And it will get numerous admiration from fellow Londoners.
The automobile affords 476ps and 350kW, with round 296 miles accessible in battery energy — relying in your fashion of driving. There’s the choice of a extra highly effective RS, however I’m unsure if its wanted since, in that pretty sudden electrical automobile style, this GT sprints with ease from standing to 62 mph in just a little over 4 seconds. The mannequin on mortgage comes to only over £100,000 ($140,000) to incorporate all types of advanced tech and additional prospers such because the 21-inch black 10-spoke trapezoidal aero alloys — the wheels the motive force was fretting about.
This GT is the top product and probably the most performance-focused automobile in Audi’s electrical household, that are collectively badged as “e-tron”. The polished look veils an terrible lot of cutting-edge expertise (largely borrowed from Porsche’s electrical Taycan venture) with the design directed by the electrical drive system. The e-tron motors are mounted on the axles, whereas the big battery sits low within the ground house, which suggests, regardless of the automobile’s super-low coupé physique type, the cabin house is spacious sufficient to sit down 4 adults comfortably. And since there isn’t any combustion engine beneath the hood, the designers have been capable of push the entrance part ahead, whereas positioning the big wheels to sit down on the far edges of the automobile — all for a delicate expression of electrical energy.
It’s within the particulars the place Audi needs to make an electrical assertion with the e-tron automobiles. Central to the brand new styling theme is due to this fact the grille, which signifies the electrical drive. Right here, the basic Audi “singleframe” design has been inverted and because the battery-electric set-up not wants a grille purely as an air consumption, it’s used to accommodate the sensors that fashionable automobiles have to allow the motive force help applications. The outside is completed with superior digital lights, whereas the taillights are linked by a theatrical mild strip.
The game seats in my automobile are swathed in perforated black Nappa leather-based replete with the identical noir tint in honeycomb stitching for a extra standard luxurious sportscar look. Audi can also be providing an inside with carpets and seats made from recycled plastic bottles and materials. The extra ecologically-considered possibility appears refined and to my thoughts, rather more in step with the clear driving e-tron GT expression than leather-based.
For a remaining contact, the e-tron GT will get its personal sound, a computer-designed engine observe with traits that may be adjusted in line with your driving mode. The hum of an electrical motor is a severe subject as of late. It could appear just a little mild a subject to ponder, but this new part of transport has to the touch all of the senses. And it seems Audi has discovered a pleasant stability that’s without delay an expression of motion but in addition a really new sound apt for the electrical age.
See my highlights from the world of automobile design in 2021 right here; learn my candid interview with the illustrious automobile designer Marcello Gandini and with the previous BMW Group artistic director Chris Bangle.