(Pocket-lint) - When the Audi e-tron GT Concept was shown off at the LA Auto Show in 2018 it was clear that it wasn't a bit of fanciful future gazing. To onlookers, the car seemed very much like a production model - something that designer Marc Lichte then went on to confirm.
As a result, the Audi e-tron GT doesn't come as much of a surprise. It's familiar, a car we've been waiting for these past few years, but only getting its global launch on 9 February 2021.
That's not to take anything away from the GT: long, low, sleek lines frame this sports saloon, a hint of Audi TT, a hint of A5 and A7. It's exquisitely Audi, everything you expect and unique enough to stand out. There's seating for five occupants, too.
Importantly, the design strikes a difference between the e-tron GT and stablemate Porsche's Taycan. The new e-tron is also the first electric car to wear the RS badge - and given how Audi loves to apply quattro to all its powerful cars, it's doubtful whether there will be a rear-wheel drive version. Even Audi's R8 only saw rear-wheel drive as a special edition.
The Audi e-tron GT uses a flat floor design, packed with a 93kWh battery, of which 85kWh is indicated for use, the spare capacity usually reserved to ensure long-term battery health.
Audi is using the 800V system we saw in the Taycan, allowing charging at up to 270kW, which will get you up to 80 per cent in under 23 minutes; you'll be able to add 100km of range in just over 5 minutes, making shorter pitstops possible, if you can find that breed of fast charger on the the roads.
There are two versions at launch, with the e-tron GT offering 238PS from the front motor and 435PS from the rear, while the RS e-tron GT's rear motor increases that to 456PS. This can be boosted via launch control on both cars for approximately 2.5 seconds, to increase total output briefly, perfect for those ad hoc street races you'll never be a part of.
That will see the e-tron GT hit 62mph in 4.1 seconds and the RS e-tron GT hit 62mph in 3.3 seconds. We're expecting to see plenty of Audi vs Tesla videos in the near future. The top speed is limited to 152.2mph and 155.3mph respectively.
To give a smooth drive, the default on lift off is to let the car coast, rather than have recuperation swing in and immediately start slowing the car down. The driver has steering wheel controls to adjust the level of recuperation on braking to put charge back into the battery. There will be three driving modes, as common on Audi cars, so you get a little more control over how the car behaves.
The range comes in at around 300 miles, although this will vary wildly depending on the conditions and driving style.
As you'd expect, there's a huge amount of technology crammed into the e-tron GT, from driver assistance systems to creature comforts for the driver and passenger, with the car also getting the exclusive e-tron GT sounds. The RS model gets it as standard, while the regular model has it as an option, to boost the in-car audio experience with a synthesised digital sound.
Apart from the two variants, there will also be different trim levels and we're expecting an extensive options list. Audi has already specified that there will be a carbonfibre roof option, saving you 8kg weight. The Audi e-tron GT quattro starts at £79,900, while the Audi RS e-tron GT starts at £110,950 expected around May 2021.