It’s stylish, and despite the rakish roofline pretty spacious in the front with good enough head room, and adequate head room in the rear. Even though the floor is what’s filled with batteries there’s still a big centre console, aping a transmission tunnel, but that helps generate the individual cockpit sort of feel that’s probably right for this kind of driver’s car. There are a good many physical buttons too, which helps, though I did like the old rotary dial of Audi’s multimedia interface – still there to supplement a touchscreen it’d be bang on, but I don’t want to grumble about a car that retains so many physical buttons.
One of them changes the drive modes, which adjust comfort and steering weight but the general character of the E-tron GT remains the same. And Audi has set it apart from the Porsche.
Not in terms of performance, you understand. There’s not a lot they can do about that. A motor makes its motory power and although there’s noise augmentation, the sci-fi whoosh isn’t enough to separate the Audi and Porsche apart. As with the Taycan, it’s very fast – and there’s not a real-world scenario in which the 60 car’s 4.1sec-to-62mph standing start acceleration would feel like a poor relation to the RS E-tron GT’s 3.3sec.
Power is delivered impeccably smoothly and quietly. And on the rare occasions the car does select first on the rear gear (standing start or at low speeds in its more dynamic modes), you’ll be pushed to tell.
You can pull a left steering-wheel paddle to increase throttle-off retardation, though it never gets anywhere near one-pedal driving. I’d like the option of greater braking on lift-off, even though I like the current default, which is to be able to coast or sail so it feels like an automatic internally combusted car.
I think Audi has worked to make the rest of the dymamics feel as ICE-Audi-ish and un-weird as possible too, for those coming to the E-tron GT from another Audi. And here’s where those initial fears about character have been allayed. Although who would be more fearful: Porsche that their car felt like an Audi, or Audi that theirs felt like a Porsche? Probably Porsche.
Anyway, the way in which the E-tron GT steers could only be from Audi. It has a lightness off of straight-ahead, a real directness early on, and a remoteness that the Taycan avoids that just goes to show they must mean to make all Audis like that on purpose.