The big danger with electric cars is that they’ll all be same. No characteristic engine note; no gears; no juggling of the revs. No charisma.
You climb in, press a button to turn them on, select Drive, press the throttle and away you go. Very clinical. Correct?
Thankfully the answer is no. Especially if you are lucky enough to have an Audi e-tron GT.
Bearing in mind that this Audi and the Porsche Taycan are almost identical under the skin gives you a clue that the e-tron GT is a proper performance car.
As soon as you engage Drive, a rather threatening hum develops. There are two electric motors – one for the front wheels, one for the rear – so you have quattro all-wheel drive. The hum from the motors and gearbox actually gives the car a touch of character and even makes pedestrians give the car a second look. It lets them know there’s a hefty chunk of power trying to escape. You can even opt for a sound generator. Our car had it fitted and we loved it.
Because you have no gears and because electric motors develop 100 per cent power instantly, you have truly remarkable acceleration. The battery develops a constant 469bhp, but if you floor the accelerator, you get a short burst of power that surges up to 523bhp. There are very few cars that really do give you a punch in the chest which pushes you back into your seat. The Audi e-tron GT is one of them.
And it is all remarkably fuss-free. Zero-60mph in around four seconds has never been so easy. The upcoming RS model can produce 637bhp and slice almost a second off that 0-60 time.
Yes the e-tron GT will handle like a sports car, but Audi is at pains to stress that this car is also tuned to give a comfortable ride on a long-distance journey.
A lot of this is down to the adaptive suspension. It might be a sporting GT, but it’s still a Grand Tourer. If you want to go for a sportier ride, go for the Taycan, but you won’t be disappointed with how this Audi gets you from A to B.
Out on the road, the first concern of every electric car driver will be how far they can travel before needing to charge. Audi reckon this e-tron GT can cover 298 miles on a full charge.
The best we could manage was 235 miles. Granted, our week with the GT was a miserable, very chilly spell in early February and included a lot of fast motorway work, but that figure is probably a good example of the lowest range you can expect. Warm weather will get you further.
As for charging, if you can find one of the steadily increasing number of high power chargers which pump up to 270kW you can charge this Audi from 5% to 80% in around 20 minutes. The best we could find was a 50kW charger which took the car from 48% to 98% in just over an hour. A 15-minute stop at an M6 service area added 42 miles which was enough to get us home. If you want to charge the car from a typical wall box, it’ll take around 13 hours from zero to 100%. You soon get into the knack of planning ahead and building in some slack when it comes to journey times.
Everything else about this e-tron GT is pure Audi. Build quality is stunning. We also think it looks fantastic – wide, low and sleek. The seats are supportive and comfortable. The fascia is dominated by an easy-to-use 10.1 inch digital screen. Thankfully there are plenty of proper buttons around the place too. The instrument cluster is in the shape of a 12.3-inch screen. We shan’t list the sort of kit you get with the Audi e-tron GT because you get everything you could possibly really need. The LED headlights are brilliant; so is the panoramic sunroof.
An electric, comfortable, well equipped, long-distance express with terrific performance and great handling manners.
What’s not to love?
For more information, see audi.co.uk