Audi's new e-sports car in comparison: This is how the e-tron GT differs from the closely related Porsche Taycan

  • Audi’s new e-tron GT electric sports car takes its platform and drive technology from the Porsche Taycan.
  • However, the relationship is hardly noticeable from the outside. And the Ingolstadt company is also going its own way in the interior.
  • The Ingolstadt hopeful has slightly less power than its platform brother from Porsche. But it gets a bit further on one battery charge and is less expensive.
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It’s rare for a carmaker to adopt almost the exact same design used in a study for series production. However, Audi has now dared to do just that. The e-tron GT, which was unveiled yesterday and will be available in May, only differs visually from the concept car of the same name, which was already presented in 2018 as part of the LA Auto Show, in terms of the modified door handles. Marc Lichte, the chief designer of the brand with the four rings, described the chic electric hopeful at the time as the most beautiful car he had ever drawn.

Underneath the elegant bodywork, much of the technology is already familiar. The e-tron GT was developed in collaboration with Porsche and, like the successful Taycan model that has been on sale since the end of 2019, is based on the J1 electric platform of the Stuttgart-based sports car brand. A large part of the drive technology, as well as the battery, is therefore identical. And yet Audi’s futuristically styled and somewhat more comfortably tuned Gran Turismo is said to have a completely separate personality. We take a look at the differences between the two technology brothers.

More aggressive design than Porsche

In terms of dimensions, the two give little to each other. The e-tron GT is only about three centimeters longer (4.99 meters) and higher (1.41 meters) than the Taycan. And yet Audi’s design team has managed to implement completely different lines on an almost identical footprint. While the Porsche has a minimalist look typical of the brand and dispenses entirely with unnecessary elements, the Audi radiates a certain urge to move even when stationary thanks to the beads and edges skilfully placed on the sheet metal and the muscular shoulder line. A 12 kilogram lighter carbon roof can be ordered exclusively for the e-tron.

In addition, there is the aggressive front end with the narrow headlights and the wide, implied single-frame grille. The Taycan, on the other hand, has a more neutral look and, in typical Porsche fashion, does without a fake radiator grille altogether. At the rear, both have a continuous light strip. In the case of the Audi, however, the band is significantly wider at the sides and integrates an arrow-shaped illuminated graphic. Incidentally, the cleaner styled Taycan is somewhat more streamlined. Its drag coefficient is 0.22, while the e-tron GT’s data sheet states 0.24, which is still a very good value.

Classic operation in the Audi interior

The differences are most serious in the interior. Whereas in the reduced Taycan cockpit inspired by the original 911 virtually all functions are operated by touch or voice control, in the e-tron GT there are even additional classic buttons with which, for example, the air conditioning or the driving modes can be set – quite unusual in the luxury electric car segment. As with Porsche, digital instruments and the centrally positioned main screen are standard, but you won’t find the additional touchscreen for the front passenger in the Audi. The Ingolstadt company relies on vegan materials in the interior, such as imitation leather or microfiber made from recycled plastic. The trunk capacity of 450 liters and the additional storage space under the front hood (81 liters) are identical in both models. Both Porsche and Audi are currently working on a more practical Shooting Brake variant.

The e-tron GT always has all-wheel drive onboard

Since the e-tron GT and the Taycan share the same basic technical framework, the differences under the sheet metal are rather marginal. Both models have a permanently excited synchronous motor on the front and rear axles. The main difference in the hardware: The electric Audi always has the brand’s typical all-wheel drive, while the base model of the Taycan has to do without the front electric motor and is thus only driven via the rear wheels. Since the e-tron GT was designed as a fast touring car, the optionally available and adaptive three-chamber air suspension has been tuned to be somewhat more comfortable overall. The latter is fitted as standard on the top version RS e-tron GT. The active differential for the rear axle and the reinforced brake system does not cost any extra on the RS either.

Audi’s engineers have kept the 93 kWh battery in the vehicle floor unchanged. The technology brothers also benefit equally from the 800-volt electrical system. Modern technology enables a charging power of up to 270 kW. This means that the battery can be charged up to 80 percent in around 23 minutes at a fast-charging station.

Less power and more range

In terms of performance and price, Audi maintains a certain respect distance to the sports car brand from Stuttgart, which is positioned higher within the VW Group. In the 99,800 euro base model of the e-tron GT, the electric motors deliver 476 hp and 630 Newton meters of torque to all four wheels in normal operation. Overboost can briefly increase the power output to 530 hp, enabling a sprint from zero to one hundred in 4.1 seconds. The normal e-tron GT is governed at 245 km/h. Even more power-hungry customers can reach for the top model Audi RS e-tron GT, which is visually almost identical and produces 598 hp. When the boost is activated here, the e-motors let a brute 646 little horses gallop. This reduces the sprint time to 3.3 seconds. The top speed of the RS is 5 km/h higher than that of the normal e-tron GT. On the other hand, the entry-level price rises to a hefty 138,200 euros.

These are all figures that the Porsche Taycan easily surpasses in the upscale versions. The Taycan Turbo and Turbo S, which are also all-wheel drive, normally offer an output of 625 horsepower. The difference in performance between the two variants is only noticeable in overboost. Namely, the Turbo then benefits from 680 horsepower, which is enough for an acceleration from zero to one hundred 3.2 seconds. The briefly available 761 horsepower of the Taycan Turbo S even catapults it to the generally applicable highway speed in just 2.8 seconds. However, even the most powerful electric Porsche is limited by the software at 260 km/h. The electric Porsche has a slightly weaker engine.

The somewhat weaker electric sports car from Ingolstadt is ahead in terms of range. The normal e-tron GT quattro manages 488 kilometers with one battery charge according to the WLTP standard. Despite its better aerodynamics, the Taycan 4S with identical performance and a maximum operating range of 464 kilometers (with optional heat pump) is narrowly beaten in this discipline. Porsche offers the basic Taycan with rear-wheel drive “already” starting at 83,000 euros. In this version, however, its 408 hp is slightly less than the entry-level version of the Audi, which starts at just under 100,000 euros. The Stuttgart equivalent of the e-tron GT quattro is the Taycan 4S, which also has all-wheel drive. However, this is significantly more expensive with a base price of 106,487 euros. Naturally, with Porsche you pay a premium for the prestigious brand name.

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