Audi e-tron GT | PH Used Buying Guide

Audi e-tron GT | PH Used Buying Guide

Key considerations

  • Available for £45,000
  • Twin electric motors, all-wheel drive
  • No shortage of performance (ICE Audi RS level) 
  • No shortage of problems either
  • Softer drive than its close relative the Taycan
  • Loses value at a similarly horrific rate as the Taycan

Right then, who wants an all-electric five-seat saloon for a hundred grand or so? That was the question Audi dealers nervously found themselves asking their customers in the early spring of 2021 when the first e-tron GTs went on sale. Built at the R8 plant in Neckarsulm, it was the first German-made electric Audi. The production e-tron GTs went on sale just two years after the concept reveal, the normal prototyping stage having been completely skipped – another first for Audi. 

Even so, Audi was late to this particular market, Tesla having long since established the template for pricey four-door EVs. In one way though Audi’s late arrival to this market gave them an advantage. It meant they could add some Audi USPs to the fast electric saloon proposition, stuff like excellent build quality, lovely cabin ambience and strong brand heritage. Plus, Tesla’s UK operation had dropped the standard Model S in 2020, leaving the somewhat extreme Plaid as the only remaining model, and one with a steering wheel (or yoke) on the wrong side.

As per the normal manner of things nowadays the e-tron GT was a platform-sharer, in this case with the Porsche Taycan with which it shared a two-motor floorpan and 40 per cent of its components. The e-tron GT was less sharply focused than the Taycan in terms of its driving dynamics, having been set up with softer suspension and lighter steering than the Porsche. However, it also had a bigger battery pack than the Taycan’s at 93kWh vs 79kWh. 

In base spec, the Audi’s motors produced 235hp at the front and 429hp at the rear, where its two-speed transmission was located. That gave it a combined total output of 469hp and 465lb ft, with 523hp available for 2.5 seconds in Dynamic boost mode via launch control. These numbers provided the e-tron GT with RS-level acceleration even before you ticked the box for the actual RS version of the e-tron, which was even faster. The RS had 21-inch wheels and an extra 70kg to cart around but its more powerful rear motor helped to lift the boost mode peaks to 636hp and 612lb ft, reducing the 0-62mph time from 4.1 seconds to 3.3 seconds and taking the top speed up by 3mph to 155mph. 

The range of e-tron GT models and prices began in 2021 with the e-tron GT quattro at £79,900. Next up was the Vorsprung version at £106,000. As per custom, this was the lavishly equipped model that included stuff like laser Matrix LED lighting and posh audio. The next step up took you into the RS range. The base RS e-tron GT cost just under £111,000, then there was a big jump to £124,500 for the RS Carbon Black and another hike to over £133,000 – £53,000 more than the base model – for the RS Carbon Vorsprung. 

All e-tron GTs had adaptive damping (electronic on the base model, three-chamber air on the RSs and the e-tron GT Vorsprung), along with all-wheel steering. In addition to the standard self-locking centre differential, RS models had a multi-plate clutch rear diff that could lock at any point between zero and 100 per cent. Vorsprungs and RSs had 710-watt 16-speaker Bang & Olufsen audio. Carbon Blacks had roofs that were made of carbon-fibre reinforced polymer to reduce the overall weight and lower the centre of gravity.  

Rivals for the e-tron GT in the de luxe electrified 5-seater market included the 81kWh/300-mile range BMW i5 in either single- or twin-motor guise and the Mercedes-AMG EQE which offered between 476hp and 687hp and a big claimed range of over 380 miles, depending on the version. The Merc was arguably quite a bit uglier than both the BMW and the Audi though.

Whatever, the e-tron GT won the World Performance Car award at the 2020 World Car Awards, although the electronic elephant in the premium performance EV room has been residual values. Taycan values (especially of the high-spec models) have been absolutely tanking through a combination of high prices when new and less than stellar reliability. The rumour mill says that quite a few Taycan owners only signed up to buy full-priced Taycans in order to move themselves up the queue for more desirable (and much harder to get) Porsche models. 

We wouldn’t know about that, but what we can tell you is that these Audi e-tron GTs are being haunted by the same spectre of rotted-parachute depreciation as Taycans. At the time of writing (April 2024) Audi dealers were still asking as much as £133,000 for new RS e-tron GTs in Carbon Vorsprung spec, which is not a million miles off the cost of a Taycan Turbo S, and the pattern of value loss for these top-spec e-trons has had the same grimly familiar look to it. 

Nearly-new 1,000-mile Carbon Vorsprungs are typically being advertised for £104k, a near-£30k drop, but even at that price it’s not clear how many are being sold. Things get really scary when you add mileage. 20,000-mile Carbon Vorsprungs from 2022 are up for as little as £67k on PH Classifieds, and you could probably chip quite a bit off that with a bit of research and some mild haggling. That’s over 50 per cent of the original asking price gone in under two years.

Non-Vorsprung RS Carbon Blacks were around £125k new. The cheapest used one we found on PH was just over £75k. A fifty grand loss on a £125k car sounds bad enough over any time period, but when it’s happening in just one year – this was a 2023 7,000-miler – it makes you wonder. 

Losses are lower in pure cash terms on cheaper models but the percentage drops aren’t much different. Brand new basic (non-RS, non-Carbon, non-Vorsprung) GTs were being advertised in April ’24 from around £86,000. The wonder of posh EV depreciation – for the buyer at least – is that it will give you access to a 23,000-mile example for £47,000 or less. 

SPECIFICATION | Audi e-tron GT (2015-on)

Engine: two electric motors, one per axle
Transmission: 2-speed automatic, all-wheel drive
Power (hp): 523 (boost mode)
Torque (lb ft): 465
0-62mph (secs): 4.1
Top speed (mph): 152
Weight (kg): 2,351
Range (official max): 295 (RS 280)
Wheels (in): 20 (21 option)
Tyres: 245/45 (f), 285/40 (r)
On sale: 2021 – now
Price new (2021): £79,900 (RS from £110,950)
Price now: from £47,000

Note for reference: car weight and power data is hard to pin down with absolute certainty. For consistency, we use the same source for all our guides. We hope the data we use is right more often than it’s wrong. Our advice is to treat it as relative rather than definitive.


The e-tron had a two-speed gearbox, but first gear only came into play when launch control was activated in Dynamic mode. It took the car to between 44mph and 68mph before second kicked in. When decelerating in this same mode it would drop back into first at a speed conditioned by how the car was being driven, but not above 44mph. 

Three levels of synthesised sport sounds were standard in RS models and an option in lesser e-trons. They were broadcast both inside the car and outside it for ‘pedestrian safety’.

Full-time engagement of electric all-wheel drive was the default setting in all but Efficiency mode, where a greater proportion of power went to the front wheels. Tapping off the throttle-engaged Sailing mode unless you were in the Dynamic drive setting when up to 265kW of energy could be recuperated on the overrun. Some owners complained about not being able to access the launch control overboost function, though that could often be down to something as simple as not having the steering wheel set to the straight-ahead position.  

On superfast DC charging the e-tron GT could refill itself at up to 270kW, which was rapid. Charging times from a 7.4kW home charging point would be 14hrs for a full charge or 1hr 23mins for a 30-mile top up. From a 50kW public charger you’d be waiting just over 1.5 hours for an 80 per cent charge or 11 minutes for a 30-mile squirt. Find a 150kW point and those times dropped to 40mins and 4 mins respectively. The charging ports were on both sides of the car behind the front wheels, the one on the offside having the DC connection in addition to the AC one. 

The official maximum ranges were 295 in the base model or 280 in the RS. Real-world estimated ranges of about 260 miles dropped to under 200 miles in cold weather or when travelling at high speeds. Independent testing suggested that the Audi wasn’t as efficient as the BMW i5 M60. 

At a time when BMW was doing three-year/unlimited mileage warranties and Genesis was covering you for five years in its Electrified G80, the e-tron’s normal Audi three-year/60,000-mile warranty looked a bit mean. Its main battery was separately guaranteed to maintain at least 70 per cent of its performance for 8 years or 100,000 miles, but again this was overshadowed by the Genesis’s 120,000-mile promise and the Merc’s one of 10 years/155,000 miles.  

In March 2024 a notice popped up on the myAudi app of a main battery recall on the e-tron GT. It appeared to be about potential short-circuiting of over 1,000 e-tron GT batteries from the 2022-24 model, a concern originally highlighted on the Taycan’s essentially similar battery pack. This was an ongoing issue at the time of writing. For safety, owners have been told to limit their charges to 80 per cent until the battery modules can be replaced under warranty.

Owners of at least one e-tron GT found out the hard way that there’s no manual lever inside the e-tron to lift the bonnet in the event of the 12-volt battery dying, which it could do if (for example) it was being transported and the truck driver was unaware that the alarm had been going off inside his wagon for hours. With a dead 12-volt battery you had no means of entry to the underbonnet area where the battery lived. 

Another potential consequence of the battery dying in that scenario would be having to physically drag the car out of the transporter with locked wheels because the electronic handbrake would be in the same position it was in when you last got out of it. That would usually be the ‘on’ position, especially if it was in the back of a transporter, and you couldn’t override it without power. Jump-starting an e-tron GT was a big no-no. Only Audi techs were allowed to do that. 

Addressing the decrease in 12-volt battery performance was one of a few over-the-air software updates for the e-tron GT. There were others for the battery management control unit, central electrics module and HUD. Work had to be carried out on the retrofitting of a cap on the high voltage battery connector housing, replacing the control unit for the information electronics, and the slightly scary-sounding HV battery liquid intrusion. 

There was also a notice in January 2024 about the 220V/240V compact/portable charging system cable that was supplied with many electric Audis from 2019 to 2024. At the 100 per cent charge setting this could overheat and potentially wreck a 220V/240V wall plug socket, leading to a risk of fire. Again owners have been told to limit the setting (this time to 50 per cent) when using that cable until such time as a remedy is available, which Audi thinks should be in mid-2024 sometime.  

Servicing for e-tron GTs was a three-level offering that you paid for upfront as a lump sum or in monthly instalments. Level 1 gave you a single service with an inspection, new pollen filter and brake fluid change (£456), Level 2 gave you two of those services (£912), and Level 3 added two MOT tests in ownership years 3 and 4 (£1,008). Not exactly bargain basement rates considering the supposed simplicity and ease of EV servicing. 


Unsurprisingly, all e-tron GTs could be rammed with driver assist systems, but most of them were optional in the base model. Lane departure was standard but features like traffic sign recognition, adaptive cruise, cross-traffic warning and surround-view cameras all had to be paid for in Tour, City Assist and Parking Assistance packages. Parking Assistance allowed you to park up from outside the car via the myAudi app on your smartphone. Those three packages were bundled together into an ‘assist package plus’ that was standard on both Vorsprung models, as were night vision assist, a head-up display and adaptive air suspension (which you also got in RS models – the standard e-tron GT had steel springs with electronic adaptive damping). 

The e-tron GT drove well whether you had the air suspension or not. The weight was high but it was carried low, resulting in great balance and security in bends. The steering was decent and arguably more satisfying than the BMW i5’s. The Taycan felt more chuckable and presented enthusiastic drivers with a more sophisticated ride and handling compromise, but the Audi’s everyday comfort setup was perhaps more relatable for normal users. At least one owner has seen the ‘air suspension malfunction’ warning come up on the dash, manifesting itself as what sounds like an almost total loss of damping (overly soft, overly bouncy ride). That complaint was yet to be resolved at the time of writing this guide.

20-inch wheels were standard on the regular e-tron GTs. The 21-inchers in platinum grey or gloss black that came as standard on RS models were a tempting option for those who felt the 20s were pretty boring for such a cutting-edge vehicle, but there was a noticeable increase in noise on the bigger rims. Some owners have gone up to 22s. 

Up to 0.3G of deceleration was available from the electric motors, which with good forward planning was enough to keep the physical brakes in the background even if the run-on retardation wasn’t quite strong enough to make the e-tron GT a one-pedal car. Brake discs were steel in the base and base Vorsprung cars and tungsten-carbide coated cast iron in the RSs, with a carbon ceramic option. Some owners noticed their brake pedals going ‘soft’ after some normal driving, A Tech Service Bulletin was put out to bring affected cars into dealerships for a brake bleed. This sometimes rectified matters but not always permanently for every owner. New brake boosters were fitted to some cars. This did appear to be a more robust fix, although in at least one case the booster had to be replaced twice and in another case the owner was told he needed a new ABS system. There have been quite long delays in parts supply for some e-tron fixes. Clunking noises from the front suspension when going over speed bumps were not unknown. These noises could not always be replicated by the dealers. 


The e-tron GT’s low-slung body was nearly two metres wide and a hair short of five metres long but the aero design with two-position rear spoiler, smooth underbody and controllable cooling air inlets that remained closed for as much time as possible kept the drag coefficient down to a slippery 0.24. Cabin din was reduced by the use of noise-insulating glass in the windscreen and in all the other windows of Vorsprung and RS Carbon Vorsprung models. 

The mirror housings of Carbon models were made of CFRP as well as the roof and the various glossy trim bits. Nine body colours were available, including a new one called Tactical Green, and for the first time in an Audi you could have a body-coloured grille. 

More than a few owners have had trouble with their boots opening while they’ve been away from the car. In some instances that’s caused damage to the spoiler when the lid has risen up and hit a concrete garage roof. The cause appeared to be keyfob over-sensitivity. The solution was usually a cheap fob cover to prevent accidental presses.  

Some e-tron GT charge port door latches didn’t always ‘grab’ unless you stood there holding them down for quite a few seconds. Port doors could also lock closed and refuse to open. 


For some, the e-tron GT’s cabin could have been a bit more ‘out there’, but others approved of the recognisable Audiness that might have been lost with a more radical design. 

As you might expect, the e-trons came with the latest gen-three MIB 3 infotainment platform. This was built around a 10.1-inch MMI touchscreen with real-time traffic info and smart route planning that blended the traffic data with the driver’s driving profile to work out the fastest route to the destination and the shortest possible stops at the most powerful charging stations. 

Of course, you also got Audi’s well-rated 12.3-inch virtual cockpit, here with three displays: classic, sport and a new e-tron one focusing on all aspects of electrified motoring. There was a ‘natural’ voice control too that apparently understood many everyday expressions, though we’re not sure if that included swears. 

Eight-way sports seats in a combination of real and bogus leather were standard. Vorsprung and RS cars were upgraded to 18-way ventilated and massage-function Front Sport Seats Pro in perforated Nappa leather. You could opt for a totally leather-free environment that mixed the aforementioned bogus leather with something called Cascade that was lovingly fashioned from old bottle tops. Whatever interior you chose, you had no choice about the Econyl nylon-fibre carpets that were made of old fishing nets, pensioners’ beards and suchlike. 

Back seat passengers were treated to a bit more space than they would normally get in an electrified coupe thanks to the ‘foot garage’ Audi created by putting a recess in the battery pack. Conventional boot space wasn’t great at 405 litres, or even less depending on the model, but there was another 81 litres to be had under the bonnet. Assuming the 12-volt battery was OK anyway.   

There have been MMI/Connect issues across the Audi range, not just on e-trons. In more than a few instances Audi dealers haven’t been much help in sorting them out. The emergency call function failed on early cars, another Audi problem not restricted to the e-tron. 

Early cars had poor heating. Some had none at all. That was usually attributed to a faulty air con valve. It could impact the HV battery’s fast charging speed as e-trons got their cabin heat from the main battery pack, which needed to be maintained at a certain temperature by a coolant heater, an odd-sounding juxtaposition of words. Those coolant heaters didn’t last forever. 

Cabin rattles have been experienced by plenty of e-tron owners. They usually came from the front passenger door but also from the rear passenger area, the centre console and the front part of the dash nearest to the windscreen. One maddened owner had the driver’s seat and the MMI screen replaced in an attempt to find the source of his rattles. 


It looks great, has real desirability and it goes like a scalded cat, but this guide might give you the impression that the e-tron GT is a risky buy. It could be worse than you think too as we only got to page 3 of the e-tron owners’ forum before calling a halt on detailing all the fault reports. There were 32 more pages to go. 

A skim read showed that not all of the posts on those pages were talking about problems, but quite a lot of them were. It’s hard to escape the conclusion that, while the general perception of electric cars is still very much ‘bright and shiny’, the actual tech that makes them work (or not work) is still in its infancy. That’s an issue when it comes to reliability and knowing what to do when things go wrong. Couple that with a shortage of EV-savvy technicians in dealer networks and you’ve got yourself some of the key ingredients required for a perfect storm. 

Audi as a brand has been sliding down the owner satisfaction ratings for a good while now, possibly as a reaction from serial owners who remember how good their cars once were and who now don’t take it kindly when the firm’s more modern products seem to be just as fallible as those from any other manufacturer they might want to name. Maybe we shouldn’t be surprised this is happening when the points of difference between cars are becoming so blurred by platform and component sharing. Brand erosion feels like it might be more of a problem for Audi than for many other marques. 

If the market’s apparent distrust of electric vehicles continues it’ll certainly be interesting to see what happens to the Audi brand – and its values – when they switch to all-electric production from 2026. Maybe battery tech will have developed by then to a point where electric power, and more pertinently range, will have reached the same sort of acceptance level as that currently being enjoyed by vehicles powered by internal combustion engines. 

Once that point is reached, will all manufacturers, not just Audi, hoist their prices up? Or will stiffer competition among the larger number of manufacturers who will have switched to all-electric by then manage to keep prices down, or at least attainable? Maybe some completely new motoring ownership model will have to spring into existence to make ownership of this kind of EV possible for enough people. There’ll certainly need to be more commitment to fault-proofing.  

Side-stepping all that and the teething troubles that you’d hope would be in the e-tron GT’s past by now, you might actually think that this is the moment to get into a used one. Even though Audi’s 8-year/100,000 mile battery warranty is relatively mean, it should still be enough for you to get potentially five years’ worth of manufacturer-protected use out of even the oldest e-tron. In terms of performance per pound this car was better value than the equivalent BMW or Mercedes – and as we’ve already said, depreciation is very much the buyer’s friend here. 

The most accessible e-tron GT on PH Classifieds as we went to press was this 2021 base car with 16,000 miles on it at £49,950. We won’t bore you with any more links to the wide choice of other e-tron GTs on offer. Just use PH’s rather excellent Buy tool to see what’s available and then, if you want to take the plunge, try some very cheeky offers. You might be pleasantly surprised by what happens next.