The stunning new Audi e-tron Gran Turismo electric vehicle will make its debut this week at the LA Auto Show, and become available in Europe in 2020.
Audi e-tron GT
Making its debit this week at the Los Angeles Auto Show, the stunning new e-tron GT is the second all-electric vehicle to launch in Audi's electric portfolio.
Styled as an aggressive sports sedan, the vehicle is packed with technology, and presents Audi's vision for a non-SUV future for electric cars.
The very long, wide, and sculptural e-tron GT certainly makes an impression. Whether you like it or not is up to your individual taste, however Audi is betting that its similarity to Audi's other popular models will make consumers feel safe in welcoming an all-electric car in to their garage.
Most closely resembling an Audi A7 or S7, yet more futuristic, the e-tron GT boasts a strong gaze, with LED headlights and a wide grille. Moving along the bonnet, character lines give shape and dimension to the front of the car, with wide wheel arches telling us this is a performance car.
The door lines and glass house remind us of the S7 Sportback, while the rear is all-new design.
At the rear, linking the left and right lamp clusters is a red LED strip, complete with light animations. Lower down we see the number plate area, and a strongly-carved bumper, completed with an aerodynamically-tested diffuser.
The massive wheels of this prototype model may not make it to the streets. Neither will the oddly-shaped steering wheel, in my opinion, being swapped for a more circular steering wheel design.
The muscular coupe shape, high belt line, slim glasshouse, wide track, long wheelbase, and sloping rear end lend a sense of presence and scale to what will no doubt be an expensive and luxurious vehicle.
Inside the e-tron GT, the technology package and futurism of the vehicle is on show. From the Audi Virtual Cockpit, to the entertainment system, there are screens in front of the driver and in the middle of the dash.
While it's no surprise that the controls for an electric vehicle would be implemented electronically, this version of Audi's driver information system and entertainment system is arguably in the top 3 on the planet today.
Not as polarising as Tesla's single-screen approach in the Tesla Model 3, this Audi e-tron GT being double the price of the Model 3, needs to cater to a different audience - the traditional Audi buyer, and buyers switching to electric Audi's from other non-electric brands.
The seats are supremely comfortable. There is evidence of sheer quality all over the interior, from the dash, to the steering wheel, the door trims, arm rests, headlining, rear seats, rear accessories, even the trunk lining and front engine bay storage compartment.
There is nothing to complain about as far as space and quality is concerned on this vehicle, unless you just stepped out of a Rolls Royce. Even then, you'd probably be left wondering where the all the extra money went.
Production starts in 2020
Alongside the debut today in Los Angeles, is the announcement that production will commence in 2020, with Europe becoming the first market release, followed by the United States and Asia.
We could anticipate seeing the Audi e-tron GT on the road in Australia from late 2021, with local dealer Audi Centre Gold Coast being a likely candidate for first deliveries.
The Gold Coast is at starting point of the Queensland Electric Super Highway, with electric vehicle chargning points installed from Coolangatta to Cairns. This 1800km stretch of roadway is already heralded as the longest single-state electrified road corridor in the world.
Whether or not we see the e-tron on the roads in Australia in late 2021 or 2023, Australia and the rest of the planet have a long way to go before electric vehicles become an everyday item.
Replacing petrol stations with charging stations, installing home chargers, battery systems, energy storage, and other infrastructure concerns become a chicken-and-egg battle between which needs to come first, the infrastructure or the consumer demand for vehicles. While they are closely linked, Tesla has long paved the way for the success of Tesla cars with the Tesla Supercharger network, giving customers an assurance they wont suffer range anxiety as the battery runs low.
Queensland, and Australia in general, is set to benefit from the commerical experience of Tritium's charging solutions as the country rolls out more and more electric charging stations for Australian road commuters.
Until next time,