If you’re a Marvel fan, then there is no doubt that you’ve seen Avengers: Endgame released back in 2019. Chances are you may have also noticed that the movie showcased the car in question, but it had yet to be officially released at the time. Of course, in this starring role, the stylish EV was driven by Tony Stark, AKA Iron Man, as played by Robert Downey Jr.
Now, the car is already a production reality and has finally made landfall in Malaysia. Priced at RM588,790 on-the-road minus insurance, Audi’s latest electric scorcher looks all set to be just one of those cars that transforms from a movie starring role to commercial production without too much drama! This is because the combination of striking design, capable performance, and advanced technology – which are central to the Audi e-tron GT – have made this transition almost effortless.
The e-tron GT’s designer, Marc Lichte, already pointed out that Audi’s current slew of electric vehicles will be the brand’s most attractive vehicles because perfect proportions are the basis for great design. And electric drivetrains, with their low-mounted batteries, have simplified drivetrains, lend themselves to the low hood, clean grille, slim rooflines, short overhangs, and large wheels (20 inches in this case) that are the basis for great car design.
Meanwhile, the new Audi’s cabin is lined with visually striking trim made of carbon fibre or oak wood, complemented with suede-like, leather or fabric upholstery. All in all, it’s a typical Audi interior – understated but definitely not underwhelming. The charm in the e-tron GT’s cabin also stems from how well-insulated it feels.
Audi should also be commended for not giving over completely to touch screens. Sure, the main touch display offers a pleasing haptic ‘click’, but most other controls are given over to switches and dials. Ride quality is also generally good, although there’s the occasional battery-enhanced thump and crash on rough surfaces – yes, it’s tough to mask the car’s rather hefty 2326 kg weight!
So, what’s the e-tron GT like as a daily driver, though? Well, after spending the better part of a week with the car in the typical Klang Valley daily circuit, and exploring what it’s like to live with it on a day-to-day basis, getting behind the wheel of the big, twin-motor all-wheel drive German felt more like being in a sports car, due to its low driving position, deft handling and easy performance. And thanks to its 800V electric architecture, the e-tron GT supports DC fast charging of up to 270 kW, taking it from 5-80% in just 22.5 minutes.
In fact, there are actually just two strikes against this car; range and size. The latter is something you just have to adapt to. The GT is wide, at 1.96m, making width restrictors an unnecessarily stressful experience and limiting available parking spots. The range is also more of a puzzler. Audi says the e-tron GT has a range of up to 458 km, but the reality is just a bit more than 80 per cent of that is usable, if you’re lucky with traffic, don’t dip into the awesome performance, or drive up any steep hills.
But then, you experience the other aspects of the car’s performance: The standard e-tron GT tested here makes 476 PS and 630 Nm of torque. But with Launch Control, the car produces up to 530 PS and 640 Nm for a short 2.5-second period. So, the car’s 0-100 km/h time is 4.1 seconds, with a top speed of 245 km/h. In practise, however, the car really just slingshots forward and the speed just climbs relentlessly until you feel a desperate need to lift off and calm the heck down!
Yet, as all EV owners already know too well, speed and acceleration might be effortless, but they’re instantly accounted for by a corresponding decrease in range. Yet even in top-speed restricted ‘Eco’ mode, though, the GT never feels even remotely slow. One only senses a distinct lack of bite to the regenerative braking, which is modulated by the steering wheel paddles.
So, in hindsight, the GT is actually superlative in almost every other respect. Once you’ve acclimatised to the car’s scale and finessed the regular ritual of switching on ‘eco’ mode at the start of every journey, it makes for an effortless and accomplished daily driver, really. Those broad flanks also mean there’s ample interior space, not just for four-plus-one, but for five! And there’s also a fantastic glass roof that lets the sun into the dark-trimmed cabin.
Sure, it may look a tad mean and angry on the outside, but whether you’re the driver or a passenger, the Audi e-tron GT is as hospitable as any luxury sedan can ever be. Having 405 litres of boot space and an 81-litre frunk up front also adds to the practicality of the e-tron GT as a long-distance cruiser. There’s more than enough space for the front two occupants, but not at the expense of rear legroom. That said, however, if your rear passengers are over 180 cm tall, then perhaps you might find them tilting their heads just a little when seated…