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FIRST DRIVE | The 2022 Audi e-tron GT is shockingly quick

02 March 2022 - 11:44 By Nafisa Akabor
The Tango Red GT we sampled at Audi’s “night of progress” event.
The Tango Red GT we sampled at Audi’s “night of progress” event.
Image: Supplied

Audi’s electric e-tron brand officially launched in style last week at the Zeitz Mocaa museum in the Mother City. Referring to the event as the “night of progress”, Sascha Sauer, head of Audi SA, claimed no automotive brand had previously launched this many electric vehicles in one go. 

“By accelerating our transition towards e-mobility, we are fully embracing Audi’s global mission in transforming towards being a provider of premium sustainable mobility and in line with our global commitments towards the Paris Climate Agreement,” said Sauer.

The line-up consists of six models: three e-tron 55 sport-utility vehicle (SUV); an e-tron Sportback;  the top-of-the-line GT and; an RS counterpart. A limited first edition e-tron 55 will also go on sale, but in the second half of 2022.

The company made a global commitment to only launch full electric vehicles by 2026, and to become an all-electric company by 2033. The six e-tron models have already sold more than 52,000 units globally.   

At launch we got acquainted with the range over brief 5km drives around the city’s Silo district. Sowetan Motoring got into a Tango Red e-tron GT first, priced at R2.7m, which attracted a lot of attention.    

It is stupidly fast and extremely fun to drive. The GT can go from 0-100km/h in 4.1 seconds and has a claimed 488km range (WLTP figures).

While too short to offer anything beyond an initial impression, we have yet to try any real world testing with the revamped Audi smartphone application and what real-time charging data is provided to users.

Customers will take delivery of vehicles this month, with pricing between R1.99m for the e-tron SUV 55 Advanced and up to R3.3m for the RS GT. The first edition SUV comes in at R1.745m.

The cars will be backed by Audi’s charging network of up to 70 stations across the country, including 150kW ultra-fast chargers, 80kW fast chargers and 22kW AC chargers. This complements an existing network of more than 200 charge points rolled out by Grid Cars for other manufacturers around the country, which all use a Type 2 connector.

Asif Hoosen, head of retail at Audi SA, said the RS GT allocation is sold out without divulging figures.

He believes SA’s EV adoption will accelerate sooner than expected, citing two reasons. The first is the local market being dependent on a global product portfolio that is migrating to an electric transition, thus combustion engines will be phased out in a few years. 

The second being that the export customers that SA produces vehicles for have committed to not selling more combustion engines.   

Hoosen posed the question: “Who will SA sell to if component manufacturers for engines and gearboxes become redundant?"


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