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More is enough: The new 2024 Audi e-tron GT facelift

Updated: Jun 19

Facelift Audi e-tron GT family

Audi has updated their striking electric flagship with more power, more range and more technology. Ken Pearson reveals all.

The refreshed Audi e-tron GT has shed its camouflage and emerged with tweaks to the styling, powertrain and model offering ahead of hitting the roads later this year. The four-door GT, which shares its platform with the Porsche Taycan that was facelifted earlier this year, benefits from the tech that has gone into its sibling from Stuttgart.

Three flavours of the car are available and all of them have prefixes from the Audi Sport range; the S e-tron GT is the new “entry level” offering with a very reasonable 584 bhp on tap from its pair of electric motors. The RS e-tron GT returns with 671 bhp, while the range is topped by the RS e-tron GT Performance that brings 738 bhp to the party. But there’s more to it than that…

Revised electric motors are found on all models, with the S and RS e-tron GT sharing a 236 bhp / 225 lb ft (305 Nm) unit on the front axle, while the Performance model can extract more from it thanks to a modified pulse inverter. The rear motor has also been tweaked, with 556 bhp and 431 lb ft (605 Nm) on call at a moment’s notice. I can hear you doing the maths already, dear reader.

Audi RS e-tron GT performance, Bedford green

The RS models gain an overboost feature which delivers an extra helping of power for 10 seconds with the press of a button on the steering wheel. All three models have power-raising launch control as standard, with the S e-tron GT able to raise its output to 671 bhp and return a 0-62 mph sprint of just 3.5 seconds. The RS peaks at 845 bhp, taking 2.8 seconds to reach 62 mph, while the RS e-tron GT Performance delivers an incredible 912 bhp, and requires just 2.5 seconds to complete the same acceleration run. This makes the Performance model the most powerful and quickest accelerating production Audi. Even with all this performance on tap, the manufacturer says that the drivetrain of the e-tron GT facelift is much more efficient than its predecessor.

The motors are fed by a 97 kWh capacity battery which uses an 800 volt architecture. This allows for incredibly fast public charging with a maximum input of 320 kW DC, returning a 5-80% recharge in just 18 minutes. To put it another way, 10 minutes is all that’s needed for an extra 174 miles of range. A full charge at home using a 7 kW wallbox will take 16 hours from flat to full, and 22 kW charging capability will be an option that should be ticked to take advantage of the faster AC charging stations that are appearing in town centres. As before, there are two charging sockets to be found with one on either side of the car.

Audi S e-tron GT charging

Fully charged, Audi quotes driving ranges of up to 375 miles for the S, 369 for the RS and 365 miles for the RS e-tron GT Performance respectively, marking useful increases over the 300-ish mile range of the pre-facelift models. As well as increasing the outright capacity, the energy density of each of the 33 cell modules, meaning that more charge can be stored in an equivalently-sized battery. High outputs require a lot of cooling, so Audi have also revised the battery cooling system to allow for more power to be delivered for longer. The battery weight has been reduced by 9 kilos, bringing it down to 625 kg.

Air suspension is standard, with dual-valve dampers working with dual-chamber air springs that promise improved driving dynamics while maintaining a good degree of comfort - letting the e-tron GT live up to the latter part of its name. Standard on Vorsprung equipment levels is the intelligent active suspension which is able to counteract the pitching and rolling caused by cornering, accelerating and braking. There is a curve tilting function which allows the car to lean into corners like the Pendolino and Super Voyager tilting trains that run along the West Coast Main Line. 

Having experienced systems like this before and they do take a bit of getting used to as the mind is expecting a certain amount of movement when turning the wheel, but once mastered the inherent smoothness and stability that the system delivers cannot be overstated. If, like me, you are what my short friends would consider to be tall yet insist on folding yourself into low-slung cars, the suspension can help further by raising the entire car when the door is opened.

Audi S e-tron GT, driving
Audi S e-tron GT, driving forwards

The changes under the skin have been extensive, but the bodywork itself has only been lightly fettled, which is a good thing in my eyes; the e-tron GT is one of the best looking cars on sale today. It retains the same striking silhouette with brilliantly flared wheel arches, highlighted by strong creases to the metal. The four-door coupé shape is one of my favourites - you can blame my love of the Mercedes-Benz CLS for that. 

The new S e-tron GT looks the most elegant, with triangular bumper inserts that surround the air channels in the grille. New 20” multi spoke wheels can be found on all four corners and the launch car is nicely devoid of black exterior trim, save for the rear diffuser which now features four vertical elements rather than six. Either way, subtle hints of performance are what Audi S-models are all about, right?

The changes to the RS models are more noticeable, with L-shaped bumper inserts, honeycomb grilles and enlarged outer inlets, new 21” 6-twin-spoke wheels and a restyled RS-specific diffuser at the rear, complete with a vertical reflector panel in the centre - apparently inspired by motorsports. RS models get black exterior trim as standard, with darkened badges, grille inserts, diffuser detailing and mirror caps, although these can be switched out for carbon fibre if desired. The classic weave texture is available, but the Performance model can have a “carbon camouflage” design which…is interesting. It’s similar to the look of the carbon parts on the Lamborghini Huracán Performante which gives it an interesting texture compared to the weave we’re all used to.

On the whole, there wasn’t much that needed to change in terms of the design; the e-tron GT makes me double-take without fail, four years on from its release. The tweaks put a greater degree of separation between the “base” S model and the RS twins which is a good thing in my books. The only missed opportunities are the lights - they remain identical to the pre-facelift version - and the lack of an Audi performance hallmark on the bodywork. No, not silver mirrors - there’s no S or RS badge in the grille. Shame. It doesn’t appear on the recently facelifted S3 either.

Audi RS e-tron GT front detail
Audi RS e-tron GT rear detail

Another area that has been tweaked rather than totally reworked is the interior. The double-display setup for the infotainment remains and mercifully there are physical controls for the air conditioning, car settings and most importantly, for the ventilated seats…these are an essential piece of kit in my book. The seats have been redesigned and there are more non-leather options available for the upholstery; Dinamica microfibre looks and feels like suede, but is partly made from recycled polyester. The Cascade fabric mimics natural fibres while being composed of the same recycled polyester. Who’d have thought that we’d be considering non-leather interiors as upmarket, when they used to be the sign of a base model not so long ago?

The most important change for the driver is the new steering wheel. With a flat top and bottom section, it may be more of a steering hexagon but it is home to regen-adjusting paddles and a boost button on all models. RS variants also get an RS button to quickly select a preconfigured driving mode, along with a stitched 12 o’clock marker. Another RS-specific touch can be found behind the steering hexagon on the updated digital driver’s display, where white dials can be presented - a nod to the Audi RS 2 Avant which had white analogue dials.

A piece of technology shared with the new Porsche Taycan is the optional smart panoramic roof, which uses electrochromic witchcraft (otherwise known as polymer-dispersed liquid crystals) to turn a blind-less glass roof from transparent to opaque at the touch of a button. Dispensing with the need for a roller blind, the roof can be set to partially transparent with bars appearing in the glass, or fully “open” if you want to let all the light in. Is it more complex than a tinted pane with a roller blind? Yes. Does that matter one bit? No.

Audi RS e-tron GT cabin
Audi S e-tron GT cabin

Elsewhere in the cabin, there are new trim elements on the dashboard with the e-tron GT wordmark being illuminated with the multicolour ambient light. Another pointlessly cool feature in my eyes. The car has room for five passengers and largely avoids the EV-pitfall of having a ridiculously high floor in the rear, owing to the footwell dropping into a vacant part of the battery pack. There’s a boot to be found at both ends of the car, with 405 litres available in the rear and an extra 85 litres in the front boot. 

Strangely, Audi have elected not to move the button to access the front boot, so it remains bizarrely placed on the door trim, meaning the door must be open to press the button. That aside, I’ve sampled the cabin before in pre-facelift guise and it is a lovely place to be with excellent materials and build quality throughout - some may say the dashboard is too fussy but the cabin looks less clinical than the one found in the Taycan.

Reading between the lines of the Audi UK Press site and website, the model line structure of having a standard, Carbon and Vorsprung equipment level looks to be continuing. Prices have already been announced with prices starting at £108,680 for the S e-tron GT, £127,280 for the RS and £143,780 for the performance model. I’ll have to wait and see what a Ken-spec version will look like when the configurator goes live, but of the three on offer, the “entry level” S e-tron GT with “only” 584 bhp before overboost is the most appealing to me.

Audi e-tron GT facelift family rear

The model will go head to head against the Mercedes-AMG EQE 53, the related Porsche Taycan and the upcoming Polestar 5 which is set for a full reveal this year. With its raft of updates, it looks as though the newly facelifted Audi e-tron GT is going to continue turning heads on the road, and coming pretty close to snapping necks with its 2.5 second 0-62 mph time in top-rung RS e-tron GT performance guise. With the 2024 model, the e-tron GT has more of everything; more style, more tech, more power, more performance, more battery, more range…more everything. For the mission to create an EV that lives up to the RS and GT parts of its name, it seems that more is enough. 



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