Audi eTron GT is the EV to Unseat Tesla Model S as the Electric King

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Audi eTron GT Concept Low Front

Audi’s eTron GT Concept has a stunning exterior, a plush cabin and premium electric performance.

The Audi eTron GT Concept made its formal debut last week during the media days of the 2018 Los Angeles International Auto Show and it continues to be on display this week. This car is technically a concept based on the same basic underpinnings as the upcoming Porsche Taycan, but we can expect that the production version of the all-wheel-drive, all-electric Audi sedan to look a great deal like the car shown here.

That is a good thing, as the Audi eTron GT Concept is the best looking EV I have seen to date. This concept incorporates the company’s design language to a aggressively-designed, electric-sport sedan that should be able to end the unchallenged reign of the Tesla Model S as the most engaging EV in America.

Audi eTron GT Concept Driver's Side Front

Fun-to-Drive EVs

There are plenty of electric vehicles sold in the United States that will help you achieve the goal of the lowest cost-per-mile and complete independence from the gasoline industry, but a great many of those cars are purely designed for efficiency. As a result, they fall short on driving dynamics and while that aspect of the bestselling EVs is improving, mass-market electric vehicles continue to bore those drivers who demand something more than an appliance to get from A to B.

That is where the Tesla Model S comes into play. The Model S offers some of the best performance numbers of any stock road car sold in the United States with all-electric freedom. Of course, the Model S also has a cabin that is loaded with premium amenities and most importantly, the Tesla sedan doesn’t look like the average EV. The Model S is sleek and sexy, offering excellent aerodynamic properties without being shaped like an egg cut in half.

Audi eTron GT Concept Rear

Since the Tesla Model S hit the streets, it has really been unrivaled by any legitimate automaker, so if you want a fun-to-drive EV with a plush interior and an attractive exterior, it is your only choice, but that will change when the Audi eTron GT comes to market.

 

My favorite aspect of the Audi eTron GT Concept is the exterior, which embodies the brand’s current design language while having a look all its own.

 

eTron GT Details

The Audi eTron GT Concept is based on the same chassis platform as the upcoming Porsche Taycan and it uses a similar two-motor system, with one driving each axle of the all-wheel-drive configuration. Like the Porsche, the Audi will use a 96.0-kWh lithium-ion battery pack with a bi-level design that allows the engineers to mount the battery under the floor without interfering with interior space.

That battery pack will work with the dual electric motors to deliver 590 horsepower, which with the advanced all-wheel-drive system yields a 0 to 60 time of around 3.5 seconds while reaching a top speed of 149 miles per hour. For comparison, the current Tesla Model S 75D AWD offers 518 horsepower and 486 lb-ft of torque, while being able to hit 60 in 4.2 seconds. Of course, Tesla has also offered higher performance models with far more power, but with the eTron GT Concept being based on a volume production car, it compares to the current volume production Tesla.

Audi eTron GT GT Concept High Angle

Based on the specifications of the concept car, the eTron GT should handily beat the Model S 75D in a straight line and around turns, with a chassis that is tuned by the same people who have developed countless high performance German sedans. The eTron GT will offer plenty of all-electric driving range, but more importantly to many buyers, the Audi will be offer more fun-to-drive factor than the Model S.

The Audi Look

My favorite aspect of the Audi eTron GT Concept is the exterior, which embodies the brand’s current design language while having a look all its own. The eTron is the same basic size as the A7 and like the A7, the GT Concept is a fastback sedan, but every aspect of the electric sedan is more aggressive. The front end rakes back more sharply than the A7, the eTron hood has a dropped center section and the sculpting along the side of the EV has far more detail than the A7. As a result, the eTron feels more like a sports car than a sport sedan while offering all-electric performance that should beat the best in the segment.

Audi eTron GT Concept Front End

The challenge for most automakers is to make an electric vehicle that doesn’t look like an electric vehicle. The Audi eTron GT Concept looks like a “normal” sedan, except with sharper styling than any other four-door in the company portfolio today.

Provided that the production version of the Audi eTron GT looks like the concept while providing the performance numbers being discussed, this car will easily knock the Tesla Model S out of the top spot in the premium EV segment.

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"Before I was old enough to walk, my dad was taking me to various types of racing events, from local drag racing to the Daytona 500," says Patrick Rall, a lifetime automotive expert, diehard Dodge fan, and respected auto journalist for over 10 years. "He owned a repair shop and had a variety of performance cars when I was young, but by the time I was 16, he was ready to build me my first drag car – a 1983 Dodge Mirada that ran low 12s. I spent 10 years traveling around the country, racing with my dad by my side. While we live in different areas of the country, my dad still drag races at 80 years old in the car that he built when I was 16 while I race other vehicles, including my 2017 Dodge Challenger SRT Hellcat and my 1972 Dodge Demon 340.

"Although I went to college for accounting, my time in my dad’s shop growing up allowed me the knowledge to spend time working as a mechanic before getting my accounting degree, at which point I worked in the office of a dealership group. While I was working in the accounting world, I continued racing and taking pictures of cars at the track. Over time, I began showing off those pictures online and that led to my writing.

"Ten years ago, I left the accounting world to become a full-time automotive writer and I am living proof that if you love what you do, you will never “work” a day in your life," adds Rall, who has clocked in time as an auto mechanic, longtime drag racer and now automotive journalist who contributes to nearly a dozen popular auto websites dedicated to fellow enthusiasts.

"I love covering the automotive industry and everything involved with the job. I was fortunate to turn my love of the automotive world into a hobby that led to an exciting career, with my past of working as a mechanic and as an accountant in the automotive world provides me with a unique perspective of the industry.

"My experience drag racing for more than 20 years coupled with a newfound interest in road racing over the past decade allows me to push performance cars to their limit, while my role as a horse stable manager gives me vast experience towing and hauling with all of the newest trucks on the market today.

"Being based on Detroit," says Rall, "I never miss the North American International Auto Show, the Woodward Dream Cruise and Roadkill Nights, along with spending plenty of time raising hell on Detroit's Woodward Avenue with the best muscle car crowd in the world.

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