Hands On With The Audi e-tron GT (2023)

If you’ve been wondering what the ubiquitous automotive acronym ‘GT’ translates to, it’s simply ‘Gran Turismo’, or grand tourer in its less eloquent sounding English. These two letters have great meaning in the car world, conjuring up glamorous images of driving down to the French Riviera at great speed and comfort, allowing you to catch the last round of black jack at the Hotel du Paris without needing to change your dinner jacket.

In the past, you’d need to drive something from Bentley, Ferrari or Aston Martin to do the job, but in 2023 is there a better way?

Impressive grand touring experience

This is a notion Audi has tapped into with its very modern e-tron GT, a low-slung four-door electric sports saloon that’s as mechanically opposite to a decadent twelve cylinder coupe as you could possibly imagine.

The good news for Audi is that despite this, or perhaps because of it, the e-tron GT harbors one of the most impressive grand touring experiences on the road right now. Its uncannily smooth electric powertrain is both impossibly refined – most EVs are – but also brutally quick and completely effortless at almost any speed.

This supreme ease is backed up with superb ride quality on air-suspension that defies its low-profile tyres. The e-tron GT glides over the road surface with an innate sophistication, if not with a magic carpet-like ride of a Rolls-Royce. Instead it draws a finer balance between isolation and control.

Go a bit faster and the handling will remain steadfast, allowing you to carry incredible speed through corners with complete confidence, backed up by the immense traction from its dual-motor setup that powers a new-age interpretation of Audi’s iconic quattro all-wheel drive system. This helps put all the e-tron’s power down with complete control and efficiency, while the instant torque makes it feel even faster than its 530PS and 4.1 second zero to sixty time might suggest.

Striking Design

The Audi’s design is possibly even more striking, with a sleek silhouette that’s dominated by four pumped-up wheel arches and complex detailing. Its LED lighting creates distinctive signatures on the road, but also houses optional Laser beam headlights (yes, there are really lasers in there) that throw masses of bright white light in a seemingly endless trail on full beam.

These are controlled via a small camera that also directs the adaptive Matrix beams to keep oncoming traffic from being blinded. We can confirm that there are few more brilliant tools for night-time driving than great headlights – it sounds like a simple thing, but it really is a game changer.

An Opulent Cabin


The sleek body hides away a leather-lined cabin that might lack some of the opulence of a modern Bentley or Ferrari, but in its place is a sharp and sleek design that’s more Moltini C and Dada than Smallbone, if you’ll grant me a kitchen metaphor.

Material quality is top-notch, and when fitted with the optional extended leather package, it feels like every surface inside is covered with waxy, high quality leather or soft-touch Alcantara that’s synonymous with the highest level of automotive luxury.

However its cabin tech is only good, not great – especially if you’re expecting a Tesla or Mercedes-style application of massive glossy touchscreens.

A Fantastic GT

Static photo,
Colour: Kemora grey metallic

So does the £84,950 e-tron GT (or the even more rapid £115,950 RS e-tron GT) fulfill the GT brief? Viewed objectively, there are fewer competent grand tourers on sale right now, but for one giant electric elephant in the room. Both e-tron GT models have an electric range officially rated at around 300 miles in a best case scenario.

Drive at motorway speeds, as you would when on a long journey, and it’ll do less than that, which means that unless you want to play Russian roulette with the public charging network – it’ll make Paris about as far south as you might want to go before calling it a day.

If and when the public charging network dramatically improves, the e-tron will make a fantastic GT, but until then this is a long-distance cruiser on a 300-mile leash.

Learn more at audi.co.uk >

Jordan Katsianis

If there’s an interesting high performance or luxury car, chances are Jordan has driven it. With experience working for the world’s most respected editorial brands, Jordan’s eye for picking out the best new cars in the world is backed up with a past in automotive design and engineering - appreciating true innovation, while sorting out the good from the bad, and the ugly.