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Old 02-09-2021, 02:18 PM   #2
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Preview: 2022 Audi E-Tron GT arrives with stunning looks, RS flagship

It seems like the E-Tron GT has been in the works forever, but Audi on Tuesday finally revealed its battery-electric super sedan.

It's due at dealerships this summer as a 2022 model, and there's both a standard model and extra-spicy RS E-Tron GT coming. The standard model is priced to start at $99,900 and the RS E-Tron GT at $139,900. Both figures exclude the destination charge.

All E-Tron GTs come with a 93.4-kilowatt-hour battery that should deliver around 200 miles of range (an EPA rating will be announced closer to launch). Charging at up to 270 kilowatts is possible, meaning owners are able to charge from 5-80% in about 22 minutes. And Audi is now expecting a 238-mile EPA range (232 miles for the RS).

Liquid cooling makes performance repeatable and help preserves the performance over the life of the vehicle. Four liquid cooling circuits are connected by valves. One circuit is dedicated to the high-voltage battery, and another handles the electric motors and power electronics. Another system conditions the interior.

Speaking of the interior, the E-Tron GT comes with a 12.3-inch digital instrument cluster and a 10.1-inch screen serving as the infotainment hub. Thankfully, Audi has also included multiple physical buttons for frequently used items. No one wants to tap on more screens after tapping away on a phone the whole day. Audi also includes a flat-bottom steering wheel and some Alcantara trim as standard.

For the United States, all versions of the E-Tron GT feature a dual-motor powertrain forming an all-wheel-drive system. The standard E-Tron GT delivers 469 hp (522 hp with temporary overboost using launch control) and 464 lb-ft of torque. This is enough for 0-60 mph acceleration in 3.9 seconds and a top speed of 152 mph.

The RS E-Tron GT delivers 590 hp (637 hp with overboost) and 612 lb-ft of torque, or enough for 0-60 mph acceleration in 3.1 seconds and a top speed of 155 mph. In both cases there's a two-speed automatic transmission at the rear axle and a single-speed at the front, a setup that should aid efficiency in highway driving.

Although the E-Tron GT is based on the same J1 dedicated electric-vehicle platform found in the Porsche Taycan, Audi has implemented numerous changes to make its sedan feel unique. For instance, both EVs use a three-chamber air suspension and adjustable, adaptive dampers at each corner. However, Audi engineers have tuned the E-Tron GT's suspension to make the car feel like an Audi, with softer Comfort mode settings and firmer Dynamic settings.

The air suspension is also able to raise and lower the car. From its normal ride height, the suspension drops 0.4 inches in Dynamic mode, and 0.87 inches in Efficiency mode. The car also raises 0.8 inches in Comfort mode.

Audi has also added rear-axle steering that makes the car turn sharper at speeds less than 31-37 mph, depending on the driving mode, by turning the rear wheels up to 3 degrees opposite of the fronts. At higher speeds, the rear wheels turn with the fronts to improve stability.

The standard wheels are 20 inches but a 21-inch set is available. The standard brakes are steel but carbon-ceramic brakes are available. A rear-locking differential is also fitted as standard and buyers can upgrade to a multi-plate clutch unit with a locking range that extends from 0-100% (standard on RS E-Tron GT).

Audi has also crafted unique sounds for the E-Tron GT, not only to add to the emotional experience but also to warn pedestrians. There's a standard external speaker setup to meet safety regulations for EVs, but Audi, depending on the market, will also offer a more emotional package as an option.

Production of the E-Tron GT is being handled at Audi's specialist Böllinger Höfe plant in Neckarsulm, Germany, where the R8 supercar and various racing models are built. The plant is unique at the Volkswagen Group in that it is the first to build two technically different cars on the same line, one a battery-electric sedan and the other a V-10-powered, mid-engine supercar.
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