New Audi RS e-tron GT 2021 review
The new flagship Audi RS e-tron GT boasts 590bhp and a 3.3-second 0-62mph time
The Audi RS e-tron GT's stunning powertrain and performance, combined with a smooth ride and plenty of refinement, make for a great all-electric GT car. However, the more affordable and better driving Porsche Taycan 4S - which uses the same underpinnings - is arguably more appealing, especially as the Audi's interior should be better for the money. Make no mistake, it's still a very accomplished electric performance car, though.
Audi’s RS e-tron GT ups the ante by some considerable margin over the regular GT quattro. With a 238bhp electric motor on the front axle driving by a single gear transmission and a meatier 456bhp unit hooked up to a two-speed gearbox on the rear axle, complete with Audi’s e-diff technology, the RS is Audi’s answer to Porsche’s Taycan Turbo.
With 590bhp and 830Nm of torque it makes light work of its 2,347kg kerb weight, with instant acceleration getting you to 62mph in a claimed 3.3 seconds with Dynamic mode selected and overboost kicking in (you’ll have to wait 3.6 seconds to reach 62mph in normal mode. We know, what a drag).
Of course, as with any electric car range is an issue, and with the RS e-tron GT’s performance the maximum distance you can travel on a full charge drops to 283 miles, which is still a respectable level, even if you might have to drive very conservatively to get close to that figure.
Charging is strong though - it takes 23 minutes to rapid charge the 93.4kWh battery using a 270kW feed, or a less speedy 14 hours using a 7kW home wallbox. A 350-litre boot and enough space inside rounds of its practicality.
As per the GT quattro model, Audi has maintained much of the Porsche DNA it inherits from using the Taycan’s J1 platform, providing a driving experience that puts the likes of the RS 7 to shame.
There’s a crispness to its controls, although the steering still has that Audi remoteness - but unlike other Audi Sport models it’s more precise and easier to place on the road as well as going into a corner. There’s also a velvet-like touch to how it rides, smoothing the surface rather than trying to crush it into submission, with the ratio between body control and suppleness unsurprisingly very Porsche-like given its underpinnings.
Being an Audi RS model the performance can dominate when you allow it too, and when you do it’s a remarkably cohesive experience that plays to an electric car’s strengths. That is the instant response to the throttle matched by a smoothness no petrol RS Audi could hope to match.
At this price point the interior is a let down, especially for an Audi, and while it’s one of the best super saloons the German brand has ever made, there would always be that nagging doubt that you could have the sweeter Porsche Taycan 4S for less.
|Model:||Audi RS e-tron GT|
|Battery/motor:||93.4kWh/2x electric motors|
|Transmission||Two-speed automatic, four-wheel-drive|
|0-62mph:||3.3 seconds (with overboost)|
|Range:||283 miles (WLTP)|
|Charging:||270kW (0-80% 23 min)|