Audi Malaysia To Sell e-Tron EV Models From Mid-2023

The brand with the 4 rings electrifies in Malaysia

Audi is the latest brand in Malaysia to electrify, with 2 fully electric models (in multiple variants) to go on sale from mid-2023. The range will consist of the Q8 e-tron in SUV and Sportback versions, and e-tron GT quattro/RS e-tron GT. Malaysia will be among the first markets in the region to introduce the Q8 e-tron.

As the shipments have not arrived yet, PHSAM (PHS Automotive Malaysia), the Audi distributor, can only offer estimated prices for the models. Pricing for the Q8 e-tron is estimated to range from RM369,000 – RM476,000, while the e-tron GT quattro will have a price range estimated to be RM550,000 – RM643,000 for the two versions to be offered. The RS e-tron GT is estimated to have a price range from RM749,000 – RM769,000.

Besides the RS e-tron GT, Audi Malaysia will also offer two versions of the e-tron GT quattro.

The prices don’t include insurance and will also be duty-free until the end of 2023. PHSAM would be hoping that the government will extend its provision to give duty-exemption to battery-electric vehicles (BEVs) as Audi would certainly not be planning to assemble the e-tron models locally (for which an additional period of tax exemption is given).

Accompanying the announcement of Audi Malaysia’s intention to offer BEV models was a preview of the RS e-tron GT, winner of the World Performance Car award in 2022. The sleek 4-door coupe, which is a technical twin of the Porsche Taycan, made its debut in early 2021 as the fourth electrified model in Audi’s BEV range.

The shape of the RS e-tron GT is based on the Prologue design study of 2014. Sleek and sculpted, the form is extremely aerodynamic, with a drag coefficient of just 0.24 Cd and a frontal area of 2.35 square metres. This slipperiness is vital for cars, and more so for BEVs that can’t afford to waste electric energy on overcoming wind resistance.

The electric motors have two levels of power output – 476 ps and 598 ps – and from the product presentation, it appears that PHSAM will import the one with the higher output that also comes with 830 Nm of torque. If the driver is in a great hurry, there’s also a boost mode which increases output by 8% to 646 ps for short periods.

2021 Audi RS e-tron GT

800V technology enables fast DC charging up to 270 kW, minimising time spent at the charging station. The motors get energy from an 83.7 kWh lithium-ion battery pack which can provide a range of almost 500 kms. Depending on the power supply, charging time is claimed to be 22.5 minutes from 5% – 80%. AC charging is also possible at up to 22 kW – if you can find or install such a power outlet.

The drivetrain employs a 2-speed automatic transmission which sends power to all four wheels via an electric all-wheel drive system. Like the original mechanical quattro system developed by Audi years ago, the electric continuously adjusts torque between the two axles in a fully variable manner, within fractions of a second.

The RS e-tron GT also comes with a controlled rear axle differential lock which is integrated into the control operations of the electronic chassis platform. When used, torque distribution is more specific and improved traction and stability allows better lateral acceleration.

The strong acceleration also means that the chassis needs to be responsive and this is ensured by all-wheel steering and 3-chamber adaptive air suspension. The air suspension can vary the ride height by up to 22 mm, depending on the speed. At low speeds, like when driving along uneven roads, the underside can also be raised 20 mm for extra clearance.

Needless to say, there’s strong stopping power, with 6-piston calipers installed (finished in red or orange) and large 410 mm steel brakes with tungsten carbide coating to enhance hardness.

The interior also corresponds to that of a classic gran turismo and this being an Audi, premium finish and top-quality materials would be expected. Typical for a sportscar, the front seats are set low and at the back, the legroom is fairly decent for this type of car.

The wide centre console between the seats is quite clean, with just a few switches as most of the operations are done on the MMI touchscreen. Unlike conventional dashboards which run in a straight line from one side to the other, the dashboard in the RS e-tron GT is tilted slightly with the  upper section drawn away from the driver in a large arc.

All information appears on two large displays and the driver operates the Audi virtual cockpit plus mostly from the multifunction steering wheel. The freestanding Audi virtual cockpit plus ahead the flat-bottomed steering wheel has a high resolution of 1920 x 720 pixels and can be switched between 3 screens (classic, sport, and e-tron).

Given the price of the car, customers would be able to get some degree of personalisation when they order it. These would include things like a lightweight roof instead of the standard glass panel overhead, or the type of upholstery (which includes eco-friendly materials).

 Additionally, PHSAM is developing various aftersales service and warranty programmes specifically for the e-tron models. Service technicians at Audi dealerships are already having hours of training and certification so that when the cars go on sale, the support network will be ready.