Audi RS e-tron GT test: our full review

After our test drive of the “small” 476 horsepower version, we got behind the wheel of the more powerful 598 horsepower version. If such a power boost might seem pretty pointless today, the Audi RS e-tron GT doesn’t encourage driving the knife between your teeth.

In the category of electric and sports sedans, models are still not very numerous, but the segment has quickly filled up in recent years. If the Tesla Model S, even in its ultimate Plaid version, cannot be considered a true sports sedan, this is also the case with the Porsche Taycan and other Audi e-trons, its two main competitors. They are certainly more dynamic compared to the American sedan, yet they still maintain unfailing versatility with a high level of comfort.

On Audi’s side, the band’s electric and sports sedan is the RS e-tron GT. After our testing of the “smallest” model, we took control of the more formidable one, with nearly 600 peak horsepower, performance almost on par with a Porsche Taycan Turbo S, all in pretty amazing comfort. Iron fist in a velvet glove, did you say?

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Audi RS e-tron GTdata sheet

Model Audi e-tron GT (2021)
Category

sedans

power (horses)

476 horsepower

Power (kw)

350kW

0 to 100km/h

4.1 seconds

Level of autonomy

5

Maximum speed

245 km/h

Apple Car Play

Yea

Android-Auto

Yea

main screen size

12.3 inches

car side sockets

Type 2 Combo (CCS)

Length

4990 mm

Length

1960 mm

entry price

99,800 euros

Product sheet See the test

Audi RS e-tron GTProject

Contrary to what one might think, the Audi RS e-tron GT is a big car, really big, as it is about 5 meters long and almost 2 meters wide. The e-tron GT is Audi’s second electric model and derives from the concept car eponymous performed at the Los Angeles show in 2019.

The production version uses almost the same lines as the concept, for a spectacular final render. If, aesthetically, the affiliation with the Porsche Taycan is not obvious, technically it is, in some detail, the same two cars.

Habitability

On board, the Audi RS e-tron GT might be 5 meters long, but it’s not really a benchmark in terms of space. In the front seats we felt a little cramped, with a rather prominent center console that reduces onboard space.

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In the back, the seats are very tight and the head height is perfect for an adult. Knee room is moderately acceptable for such a large car. Regarding the trunk, it offers a capacity of 405 liters, which isn’t bad in itself for an electric car, but the second 81-liter trunk at the front probably won’t be too much.

Audi RS e-tron GTEmbedded technologies

Technically similar to the Porsche Taycan, the cabin is quite different. If the Taycan wants to be more refined, mainly thanks to the presence of three screens (or even four), the cabin of the Audi e-tron GT has two touchscreens and some physical controls.

Ergonomics are generally very good and hotkeys, like an airplane cockpit, are excellent additions to the touchscreen. The display benefits from sleek graphics and fairly well-ordered menus, as usual with the branding of the rings. It brings together the entire infotainment system and controls related to the use and energy of the car. Of course, the set is compatible with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto.

Audi RS e-tron GTConduct

For the first few kilometers driven, the difference with an e-tron GT quattro, its younger sister, is clearly not obvious. Looking like a senator, the e-tron is aptly named a GT, with a pretty noticeable smooth ride and damping tuned to tiny onions. It’s comfortable, even in the rear seats, and the road’s roughness is smoothed by a controlled, well-tuned suspension.

With an RS badge, of course, it’s more the sporty aspect that interests us. And overall, like the small GT quattro version, the RS e-tron GT is a notch below the Porsche Taycan Turbo in terms of dynamism. Our model maintains a very pleasant degree of comfort, even in “Dynamic” mode with 600 horsepower under the right foot. The Taycan Turbo is still a notch above in terms of driving sensations at a sustained pace, Audi preferring to have both and not sacrifice comfort on the altar of sportiness.

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On the other hand, the speed settings have nothing of a comfortable car. When you press the right pedal, the trigger is impressive. Acceleration from 0 to 100 km/h takes 3.3 seconds, the time of the best supercars on the market.

When the Taycan is riveted to the ground, the RS e-tron GT is paradoxically a little more fun, even if the Michelin Pilot Sport 4S tires provide better grip than the Goodyear tires we had during our first test over a year ago. ‘ one year. Something to be a little more relaxed on wet surfaces.

The Audi is less incisive on the front axle, but more readily embarks on the rear axle. The e-quattro all-wheel drive allows for the distribution of up to 100% of the torque to the rear axle only, which also makes that small side oversteer a lot easier.

Then there is another phenomenon to take into account in this type of car, it is inertia. And despite all the technological paraphernalia that equips our Audi (rear wheels, Sport differential controlled at the rear, etc.), the empty 2,347 kilos of our test model should not be forgotten.

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Audi RS e-tron GTAutonomy, battery and charging

The Audi RS e-tron GT quattro has two electric motors; one fixed to the front axle and one to the rear axle. It develops 598 horsepower (646 horsepower with Overboost) and 830 Nm of torque. The 0 to 100 km/h is announced in 3.3 seconds and the top speed in 250 km/h.

The powertrain is the same as a Porsche Taycan, only the power management is modified. The Audi RS e-tron GT has a two-speed gearbox, allowing you to have power at all times, even at indescribable speeds. These two gears are based on three driveshafts, while the rear axle also has a controllable differential lock.

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Audi advertises a charge of 5 to 80% in 22.5 minutes with a maximum power of 270 kW. It will take about nine hours on an 11 kW AC outlet to go from 0 to 100% and about thirty hours on a traditional outlet.

On the battery side, the car has an architecture of 800 volts, not 400, which allows for a more consistent distribution of performance. The battery contains 33 modules, which themselves consist of 12 cells, ie 396 cells in total, with a total capacity of up to 93.4 kWh (including 86 useful kWh). Each module has an internal control unit to manage voltage and temperature. This is integrated into the cooling circuit via a heat pump, the battery can be cooled or heated to remain permanently within a suitable temperature window.

As for autonomy, Audi announces 472 km on a single charge. Overall, this is data that can be kept in general use, the car not having much of an appetite for 600bhp and 2.3 tonnes on the scales. It must be said that its excellent Cx (the drag coefficient) of 0.24 allows you to gain some precious kilometers compared to SUVs and their cinder-block aerodynamics.

Over the course of our 700 km test, we noticed an average of 23.5 kWh / 100 km, with usage not very representative of everyday driving. Between sporty driving on small departmental roads and motorways with more than 400 km, we thought its consumption would skyrocket, but overall it’s still good for a car of this size. In foundry driving, we managed to go below 18 kWh / 100 km. On the road, at 130 km/h and with all the comfort systems activated, the Audi RS e-tron GT can travel around 330 km with a load, according to the on-board computer.

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Audi RS e-tron GTPrice

The Audi RS e-tron GT is available from €140,700, almost €40,000 more than the base price of the e-tron GT quattro. Certainly, the equipment endowment is not the same, but the “small” version does not deserve it in terms of performance with 0 to 100 km/h in 4.1 seconds.

Hierarchy obliges, the Porsche Taycan Turbo is more expensive and is traded from 156,334 euros, with no option. On the other side of the Atlantic is the Tesla Model S Plaid that promises hair-raising performance at an almost “gift” price. The 0 to 100 km/h is announced in 2.1 seconds, the top speed at 322 km/h and the price is 119,990 euros.

Photos: Marius Hanin

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