The order bank for the Audi e-tron GT, the brand’s most powerful series production car ever, is already skewing towards the hottest RS variant.
Though the RS e-tron GT is priced at $248,200 before on-road costs, or $68,000 more than the base e-tron GT, more customers have placed an order for it than for its more affordable counterpart.
“Given Australia is the sixth largest market for Audi’s high-performance RS models globally, that’s not really a surprise to us,” said Audi Australia CEO Jeff Mannering.
“In fact, if you look at the orders around our entire dealer network in Australia, our e-tron GT orders are quite strong and we’re quite happy with it.
“In saying that, you could always have a 100 per cent quota fill, but we haven’t had the car, people haven’t seen it, touched it, let alone driven it or put it up against a direct competitor or shared platform car.”
“We actually did just that in Korea. We put both [the e-tron GT and related Porsche Taycan] side-by-side to show people the different takes on design using the same platform. The e-tron GT is fundamentally a different car that’s been tuned as a grand tourer, whereas the Porsche is a sports car.”
Audi’s Head of Design, Marc Lichte, calls the e-tron GT the most beautiful car he’s ever designed. It sits even lower than the Autobahn-crushing RS7, one of the fastest four-door sedans on the planet, while boasting some of the widest wheel arches ever seen on an Audi road car.
The Audi e-tron GT shares its J1 platform with the Taycan, and in flagship RS guise features a dual-motor all-wheel drive powertrain.
In boost mode, it develops a whopping 475kW of power and 830Nm of torque to all four wheels, using a two-speed transmission like the Taycan.
Those outputs are up 85kW and 200Nm on the standard e-tron GT.
The RS is capable of going from zero to 100km/h in a blistering 3.3 seconds, while hitting 200km/h takes just 11.8 seconds.
Like the Porsche it uses a 93.4kWh battery with an 800V electrical architecture and can be charged at up to 270kW on a DC charger, giving the e-tron GT a claimed maximum range of 504km (NEDC) with a charging time of 22.5 minutes when going from five per cent to 80 per cent battery capacity.
Audi product strategy head Matthew Dale told CarExpert the e-tron GT is also about the progression of what the Audi brand stands for.
“It’s about those technologies like quattro, and the driveability of the car – it needs to feel like an Audi, and that’s what our customers expect,” said Mr Dale.
“Things like synchronous motors with reproduceable performance. That’s progress that Audi is showing in its electric vehicle technology which is accustomed to the Audi brand, and to our customers as well.
“They want the car to be engaging, they want the car to feel like an Audi with high levels of mechanical grip from the quattro system, and it’s these technologies that will evolve in Audi’s future vehicles.”
Mr Mannering also cited the Audi ownership experience as being important to the e-tron GT buyer who not only gets a complimentary standard home wall charger installation, but also benefits from six years of free charging, scheduled servicing and roadside assistance as part of the package.
While Audi offers just two e-tron GT variants, priced at $180,200 and $248,200 before on-roads respectively, Porsche has seven Taycan variants on offer in Australia.
The base rear-wheel drive Taycan starts at $158,100 before on-roads, while the range tops out at $351,000 before on-roads for the Turbo S.