Audi e-tron GT Review
The electric Audi RS e-tron GT has more performance than you’ll ever need and the ability to entertain on a twisty road, but Tesla still does a longer electric range.
Audi e-tron GT: what would you like to read next?
The new Audi RS e-tron GT is an electric four-door coupe with powerful motors and seats for five people. It has been teased in official photos, but we’ve also driven an early prototype car.
As the future of Audi’s RS models, the RS e-tron makes cars like RS6 and RS7 feel like morse-code machines at a Silicon Valley show.
Despite the camouflage livery, it’s obvious that the new RS e-tron GT will look very similar to the e-tron GT Concept. The prototype car is also designed to cleave the air cleanly, so all the vents are real, and aerodynamic addenda such as the diffuser and flat under-floor actually provide meaningful benefits.
Like the Porsche Taycan, the new RS e-tron GT uses two electric motors – one to drive the front wheels and a second to drive the rear wheels.
This combination produces 600hp as standard, but a two-second overboost function ups this to 650hp when you launch the car. As a result, it’ll blast from 0-62mph in just 3.5 seconds, although we managed 2.8 seconds on our early drive. Perhaps a more relevant acceleration time is the one from 30-70mph, which you tend to use when overtaking or accelerating down a slip road. The RS e-tron GT covers in a mind-boggling 2.7 seconds.
The Audi RS e-tron GT’s 93kWh battery has slightly less capacity than the Taycan’s 95kWh unit, but still serves up around 250 miles of range. That’ll be fine for most people, but it’s some way off the 400-mile range you get from a Tesla Model S.
Despite having huge wheels and rubber-band tyres, the RS e-tron GT is perfectly comfortable in Comfort mode, and even when you switch it into Dynamic it’s still fine.
The RS e-tron GT weights a portly 2.3 tonnes, which you’d think would prove troublesome on a twisty road, but it isn’t so. The Audi changes direction well, helped by the four-wheel steering, four-wheel drive and rear limited-slip differential, plus the fact that the batteries are stored in the floor, lowering its centre of gravity. It grips strongly, too, but if there’s a downside, it’s that the brakes feel a touch artificial at first.
As with most electric cars, the Audi RS e-tron GT is very quiet indeed, although you can pay a bit extra for it to make a noise. Oh yes, Audi has engineered in an optional unusual electronic ‘whoom’ noise when you accelerate. You can decide whether it’s worth shelling out extra for.
The RS e-tron GT weighs a considerable 2.3 tonnes, but you'd never know it from the way it drives.
You can charge the RS e-tron GT using rapid 350kW public fast chargers (if you can find one), which will boost its battery from empty to 80% full in just 20 minutes. A new 11kW wireless charging feature will be available in the e-Tron GT. This lets you charge your car by parking above a large charging pad – just like wirelessly charging your smartphone.
The Audi e-tron GT was co-designed with Porsche and is based on the same underpinnings as the Taycan. As a result, it looks just as wide and purposeful and has a similar sloping roofline. The rear doors blend into the wide haunches to give the appearance of a sporty coupe, despite the fact it’s a four-door electric car.
The interior of the Audi e-tron GT production model is yet to be revealed but it’ll draw inspiration from the e-tron GT Concept’s slick, futuristic cabin. The concept featured a ‘vegan interior’ that didn’t use any animal products at all, and the finished car is expected to make use of plenty of man-made sustainable materials, too.
There will be a pair of sizeable touchscreens for the infotainment system and heating controls and a large, clear digital display in place of conventional analogue dials behind the steering wheel. The Audi e-tron GT’s long body provides good legroom, but headroom is somewhat tight for tall passengers in the back. The e-tron GT Concept features a 450-litre boot and a 100-litre storage area under the bonnet – you can expect similar luggage space in the production car.
The Audi RS e-tron GT will go on sale in spring of 2021, and will set you back from around £130,000. A cheaper e-tron GT model with a bit less power will likely appear in showrooms later that year and is set to cost around £100,000 – that’s about the same as a Tesla Model S Long Range and a mid-range Porsche Taycan.
We’ll have a full review and proper score for the e-tron GT once we’ve spent time with the finished article.