The suspension is one of the elements that play a crucial role in shaping the harmonious overall character of the Audi e-tron GT quattro and the RS e-tron GT. It is a congenial partner to the dynamic drive, while always remaining confident and relaxed no matter how much strain is put on it. The gran turismo philosophy becomes a perfect experience here, too.
The wheel suspensions are designed as a sporty double wishbone construction. It has a classic design on the front axle, while the upper wishbones in the rear are divided into individual links. Almost all parts, including the links and subframes, are forged or cast from aluminum. The electromechanical steering has a sporty and direct ratio of 15.4:1 but without any excessive sharpness. Audi supplies all-wheel steering as an option. A spindle drive turns the rear wheels by a maximum of 2.8 degrees here– in opposite directions up to about 50 km/h (31.1 mph) to increase agility and handling, and in the same direction from about 80 km/h (49.7 mph) to maintain stability. Between 50 (31.1 mph) and 80 km/h (49.7 mph), depending on the driving situation, there is a continuous transition between a steering angle in opposite directions and a steering angle in the same direction. When maneuvering, the all-wheel steering reduces the turning circle by roughly 0.6 meters (2.0 ft).
Up to 21 inches and 420 millimeters (16.5 in): wheels and brakes
The portfolio of alloy wheels starts with the 19-inch format for the Audi e-tron GT quattro and with the 20-inch format for the e-tron RS GT. A choice of two designs in different colors are available for this format. A new production process used for the aluminum from which these wheels are made reduces net CO2 emissions considerably. Almost all tires are optimized in terms of rolling resistance; for the 21-inch format, performance-focused tires for the RS model are available as an alternative.
There are also differences between the brakes in the two models. The e-tron GT quattro comes as standard with steel disks with a diameter of 360 millimeters and six-piston calipers on the front axle. The RS model is also fitted with six-piston calipers, which are available in red or orange as an option, and 410 millimeter (16.1 in) cast-iron disks with a tungsten carbide coating (optional in the e-tron GT quattro ). This Audi carbide brake system increases the braking performance and reduces wear and therefore brake dust. At the same time it prevents flash rust, a typical phenomenon seen in many electric cars that do not use their wheel brakes very often. The top-of-the-line offering for both models includes brake disks made of carbon fiber ceramic, which are especially lightweight, powerful, and durable. They have a diameter of 420 millimeters (16.5 in) on the front axle, and their ten-piston calipers are painted in gray as standard, or in red or blue as an option.
Precision-controlled: air suspension and damping
While the adaptive air suspension is optional in the Audi e-tron GT quattro, it comes as standard in the RS model. Its compressor generates a working pressure of up to 19 bar, and the three-chamber air suspension on the front and rear axles enables comfortable basic suspension. The chambers in the bellows are activated and deactivated depending on the driving situation. During smooth driving, all three of them contribute to the suspension, while only one or two chambers are active in the case of dynamic requirements such as heavy braking or high transverse acceleration – this strategy reduces the movement of the body.
The air suspension can adjust the body to different heights. It lowers the body by up to 10 millimeters (0.4 in) at a speed of 90 km/h (55.9 mph), and by another 12 millimeters (0.5 in) at 180 km/h (111.8 mph). When driving at a speed below 30 km/h (18.6 mph), the driver can set a lift mode that raises the body by 20 millimeters (0.8 in), for example when driving into underground parking garages. The adaptive air suspension works closely together with the controlled dampers (standard) that adjust to the circumstances at millisecond intervals. Both systems are managed by a central control unit, the electronic chassis platform (ECP). This connection ensures maximum precision.
Four driving modes: Audi drive select
In the Audi drive select dynamic handling system (standard), the driver can specify how the dampers, electric motors, two-speed transmission, and controlled rear-axle differential lock are to operate. They can switch between the “comfort,” “efficiency,” “dynamic,” and “individual” modes via a physical switch. In “efficiency” mode, the body is lowered to the low level to promote better airflow and the top speed is limited to 140 km/h (87.0 mph); however, the driver can override this limit by stepping heavily on the accelerator pedal. In “dynamic” mode, the electric all-wheel drive, the suspension systems, and the active aerodynamics are set to a sporty mode.
For dynamic handling: rear-axle differential lock
The controlled rear-axle differential lock, which is integrated in the ECP control operations, is available as standard with the RS e-tron GT and as an option with the e-tron GT. The multi-plate clutch is its core element. It can be actuated fully variably, and the locking range extends from zero to 100 percent. The driver can perceive this on slippery road surfaces and during maximum full-stop braking in particular: In this case, the lock opens up completely, allowing the Electronic Stabilization Control (ESC) to brake each wheel with great precision. It improves traction and stability, increasing lateral acceleration and reducing load change behaviour through targeted torque vectoring. The rear wheel on the inside of the bend is braked in a targeted manner as the car enters a sharp corner – resulting in the car turning slightly into the bend.
All terms marked in the text are explained in detail in the technology lexicon at www.audi-mediacenter.com/en/technology-lexicon. The equipment, data and prices specified in this document refer to the model range offered in Germany. Subject to change without notice; errors and omissions excepted.