This is the all-electric Audi E-Tron GT, which most will recognise for one or both of two main reasons. Firstly, it was Tony (Iron Man) Stark’s ride in 2019’s Avengers Endgame, and secondly, this is essentially Audi’s version of the Porsche Taycan. It’s entirely subjective whether you prefer the more swoopy clean look of the Porsche, or the sharp-suited detail lines of the futuristic E-Tron GT, although it wasn’t quite the head-turner in Northwest London that might have been expected. Despite being based on the same jointly-developed J1 platform, the Audi is also lightly longer but narrower than the Taycan.
The drivetrain is similar too. The E-Tron, being a Quattro has a motor each for the front and rear axles with power delivered through a two-speed – yes that was two-speed – transmission at the rear (well this is electric).
You get a 93kWh battery pack and the high-performance RS version packs the equivalent of 590bhp, or upto 637bhp on boost mode, giving it a 0-62mph acceleration of just 3.1 seconds and a limited top speed of 155mph. Stark probably had that version.
But the ‘regular’ car tested here, is no slouch either. It provides 469bhp resulting in a 0-62mph acceleration time of 4.5 seconds or just 4.1 in launch mode (when the power output is amped up to 523bhp). You also get a fake spaceship-style engine noise, enhanced in Dynamic mode, with two speakers inside, and outside. All this and it has ‘tron’ in the name – remember the sci-fi movie Tron?
The electric-only range is quoted at 280 miles for the RS, though it’s slightly better on the lower powered version at 295 miles. As for the price, there’s no question you’ll need pockets nearly as deep as Stark’s as it starts at over £105,000, and the car as tested, with options including the 21-inch alloys, leather pack and locking rear diff, is over £108,000.
The window on the sloping rear boot doesn’t come down as far you’d think, and below the black panel is an automatic spoiler. Beneath the huge tailgate is 405-litres of boot space with an underfloor compartment useful for storing cables. The rear seats are 60:40 split folding, and if you still need more space there’s an 80-litre compartment in the front, with two smaller storage boxes for the tools and first aid kit.
Despite setting the front seat for my six-foot two-inch long-legged frame, it’s easy to get comfortable in the luxurious rear compartment, and don’t wear a hat as headroom is a little tight, plus watch yourself getting in and out because of that low sloping roofline. Keep in mind too that the front seats are massive, and that the headrest and seat is one piece, obscuring the view ahead for rear-seaters. So, if you’re a little claustrophobic, try it out as a passenger first.
Up front, you sit low as befits the car’s ‘four-door coupe’ status and it’s refreshing in its familiarity, with Audi resisting the temptation to turn everything into a giant screen, although Stark would have had holographic interfaces custom-fitted for sure.
On the move you get a background hum as if the Millennium Falcon is just cruising a few parsecs quietly through Empire space, thought the external noise does alert pedestrians to your presence. Despite its size, it feels manageable around town and besides the cameras help. And the automatic braking is over-eager at low speeds. Even with full regen activated, where the braking recoups power, it doesn’t do one-pedal drive. Perhaps to retain a normal car driving feel.
The ride is smooth but retains some lower stiffness that can be felt, and there is occasionally some lateral movement over bumps, as if it’s trying to dissipate the energy thus so as not to trouble the occupants of the cabin.
In terms of performance, it can be explosive, but only in a controlled manner. Most of the time, normal use of the throttle won’t suggest anything other than decent executive-car level acceleration. Push past a certain point though and it’s like you’ve put the Iron Man suit on and taken off, probably due to the response of the two-speed gearbox. And that’s without even using the launch control. It’s proper laugh-out-loud.
Its acceleration feels relentless. But of course, beware, as you’ll drink up that mileage range very quickly if you indulge in the intoxication of quick EV thrust too often.
The size of the thing starts to become evident on tighter narrower roads, particularly at speed, conversely, it’s settled gait is sublime on the motorway. Quiet and refined just as you’d expect.
If you’re looking for a discreet, smart, sophisticated and rapid luxury EV that will make you feel like a superhero, look no further.