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Audi e-tron GT: Cool enough for Iron Man to drive

Tony Stark (aka Iron Man) drove the Audi e-tron GT concept car in Marvel Studios' "Avengers: Endgame," and now you can command -- with superhero acceleration and handling -- the real all-electric gran turismo yourself. Hang on to your helmet. The dual-motor 2022 Audi e-tron GT (up to 522 hp) and RS e-tron GT (up to 637 hp) with will go on sale this summer.

Details are still slim, but here's what we know so far. The low, wide, and long four-door coupe comes in two main flavors: e-tron GT and top-of-the-line RS e-tron GT. Standout design touches include an inverted single-frame grille with reinterpreted honeycomb elements, distinctive quattro blisters above each wheel, and a flat greenhouse with sloping roofline. Standard for RS e-tron GT models is a lightweight, high-strength, five-layer carbon fiber-reinforced plastic roof -- a first for an Audi vehicle and a segment-exclusive feature. HD Matrix-design headlights are available with Audi laser light for greater high-beam visibility.

Standard shoes are 20-in. double-spoke alloy wheels with gray accents. The RS version comes with 20-in. AERO wheels or available 21-in. wheels.

All Audi e-tron GT models in the U.S. will sport a 93.4-kWh lithium-ion battery pack, with a unique integrated cooling structure underneath it. This draws heat away from the battery pack and allows the battery to be housed within an aluminum frame designed for structural rigidity and to protect occupants.

With an 800-V electrical architecture, the e-tron GT comes standard with the ability to charge at an industry benchmark 270 kW using DC fast chargers. This allows it to replenish its battery from 5% to 80% in just 22.5 min., which is among the quickest charging rates currently available of any EV. Preliminary manufacturer's estimated ranges based on approximation of EPA test cycles for a full charge are 238 miles for the e-tron GT and 232 miles for the RS e-tron GT (EPA estimates are not yet available).

Permanently excited synchronous motors -- one in the front axle and one in the rear axle -- are the key to giving the e-tron GT ample and instant torque from a standstill (just like in some top-end roller coasters).

The e-tron GT produces 235 hp from its front motor and 429 hp from its rear motor, with a combined output of 469 hp, or up to 522 hp with overboost for 2.5 sec with launch control and 464 lb-ft of torque (472 lb-ft with overboost). This allows the e-tron GT to accelerate from 0 to 60 mph in 3.9 sec on the way to a top track speed of 152 mph.

The RS e-tron GT shares its front motor with the entry e-tron GT but has a more powerful rear motor capable of producing 450 hp. Together, the front and rear motors in the RS produce a net 590 hp and up to 637 hp with overboost. Total system torque is 612 lb-ft. As a result, the RS e-tron GT can accelerate from 0 to 60 mph in 3.1 sec and has a 155-mph top track speed. This acceleration is on par with the V10-powered Audi R8 supercar.

A unique feature in contrast to much of the Audi electric grand tourer's competition is its two-speed transmission, which provides the e-tron GT with rapid acceleration when it is needed and a taller second gear for sustained highway stretches.

e-tron GT is made in Germany right alongside Audi's R8 supercar and boasts an impressive array of super tech on its own, including radiator and brake duct air inlets that can close when not needed to optimize aerodynamics. This feature keeps the car's drag coefficient to a low 0.24.

The car also sports three-chamber air suspension and all-wheel steering.

Audi says that compared with the air suspension found in the e-tron and e-tron Sportback models, the e-tron GT's new air suspension has a 60% greater capacity to help it achieve a wide variation in spring rates between the softest and firmest settings. The air suspension enables comfortable basic suspension and can adjust the body to different heights from 22 mm (0.9 in.) downward and 20 mm (0.8 in.) upward. The chambers in each spring can be activated and deactivated individually to suit the driving situation, and they work closely together with the controlled dampers (standard). Both systems are managed by a central control unit, the electronic chassis platform (ECP).

Available in e-tron GT models and standard in RS e-tron GT models, all-wheel steering provides a maximum of 2.8 degrees in the rear in the opposite direction up to a speed of around 30 mph to increase low-speed agility, and in the same direction above 30 mph to aid stability at speed.

A standard rear differential lock with fixed locking values assists during various thrust and traction scenarios. It is designed to improve traction and stability and help reduce load-change reactions. The controlled rear-axle differential lock is available as an option on e-tron GT and is standard in the RS e-tron GT. The multi-plate clutch is its core element, according to Audi. It can be actuated variably, and the locking range extends from zero to 100%.

Inside, the cockpit is cool and sporty, featuring a leather-free interior as standard with man-made and recycled materials including Dinamica and Alcantara. Nappa leather is also available. The "monoposto" cockpit angles the 12.3-in. Audi virtual cockpit and 10.1-in. MMI touch-response displays toward the driver. Also standard is a full-circumference, flat-bottom steering wheel wrapped in Alcantara. A perforated, leather-wrapped steering wheel and capacitive hands-on detection are also available.

Pricing for the main models is: e-tron GT quattro Premium Plus ($99,900) and RS e-tron GT ($139,900). There is a middle-of-the-road trim option available called the e-tron GT quattro Prestige ($107,100).

Learn more at audiusa.com/us/web/en/models/e-tron-gt/e-tron-gt-family.html.

Source: Audi

Published February 2021

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