WHAT IT IS: A close relative of the Porsche Taycan, the E-Tron GT RS is Audi’s new all-electric sport sedan and the flag-bearer of their electric E-Tron lineup. With styling clearly inspired by the RS7, this big, beautiful four-door takes on the Tesla Model S and other all-electric supersedans like the Lucid Air.
WHY IT MATTERS: Three things stand out about the Audi E-Tron GT RS: its drool-inducing styling, its zero-emission all-electric drivetrain, and its blistering performance. Audi claims a 0-60 time of 3.1 seconds, but in our drive of a German-spec prototype, what knocked us out (almost literally) was the E-Tron GT RS’ ability to rapidly introduce its driver’s noggin to the headrest from any speed. Where the GT RS falls down is range, with an estimated 232 miles from its 93-kWh battery pack. The general consensus is that a performance EV needs at least 300 miles of range to be a serious player. Tesla is already offering more than 400 miles, and Lucid is promising upward of 500.
PLATFORM AND POWERTRAINS: The Audi E-Tron GT RS rides Volkswagen Group’s J1 platform, which it shares with the Porsche Taycan (and possibly other future vehicles from VW Group’s luxury brands). The E-Tron GT RS employs two electric motors, one at each axle, with the rear motor using a two-speed planetary transmission that shifts without the need for, or possibility of, driver intervention. Power output is 590 hp, with bursts to 637 hp via an “overboost” function. Audi will offer a lesser two-motor GT version with 469 hp. Both versions share the same 93-kWh battery pack, so taking advantage of all that power (which is nearly impossible not to do) is bound to shorten the Audi’s range even further.
ESTIMATED PRICE: The E-Tron GT RS will be priced at $141,540 to start, and it will be possible to option the car to well beyond $165,000. The non-RS models will be more reasonably priced: $100,945 for the E-Tron GT Premium Plus and $108,145 for the GT Prestige.
EXPECTED ON-SALE DATE: Summer 2021
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