Audi has launched its first true electric sedan in the United States. The E-Tron GT officially went on sale today, according to Electrek. But it’s not cheap, with a starting price at $99,900 before any customizations or other optional extras.
The E-Tron GT is an all-wheel-drive, four-seater sedan that’s designed to perform well on daily commutes and weekend road trips alike. It represents a flagship car for the Volkswagen sub-brand, which plans on selling 20 fully electric cars by 2025.
Ramping up its EV roster — Audi already sells an E-Tron SUV in the United States, and VW has the ID.4. But heretofore Audi hasn’t sold a sedan here. Porsche, meanwhile, which is another sub-brand of VW, has found success with its Taycan electric sports car.
In terms of performance, the E-Tron GT is unmistakably a sports car. The base model packs 522 horsepower with a 0-60mph speed of 3.9 seconds. If you swing for the pricer RS model, you’ll see 590 horsepower and 0-60mph speeds of 3.1 seconds. Top speeds are about 155mph.
Electrek reports that interested buyers can now find local dealers where the E-Tron GT is available.
VW’s green plan — With its steep price, the E-Tron GT isn’t going to be what it takes to kill off the gas engine for good. But Audi can probably get away with the steep price for now, because there are always going to be Audi customers who want Audi cars, especially the latest ones. And a luxury car serves as an aspirational vehicle and an advertisement for what the brand is capable of, and what it would like consumers to believe it represents.
And if it gets more people buying electric vehicles who otherwise wouldn’t have, then it’s a win. For those who don’t want to shell out six figures, there are other more affordable options out there including from VW itself, whose ID.4 starts at $40,000.
Volkswagen has big plans to push into electrified vehicles, with a goal to produce 1.5 million zero-emission cars by 2025. In Europe, its ID.3 and Audi E-Tron vehicles have already made it the most popular manufacturer of battery-electric vehicles there.
Whereas automakers were initially slow to make electric vehicles, as the cost of engineering fundamentally new cars would be time-consuming and expensive, regulation around the world is starting to force their hands. Prices of electric vehicles will continue to decrease as the technologies mature and manufacturing output increases.