FIRST LOOK: Audi RS e-tron GT in Australia

The Audi e-tron GT and Audi RS e-tron GT was on show to the press in Sydney today. While the car won’t be on the streets of Australia until September, the performance-focused sedan features a striking design.

The large investment required to engineer a new car, was made easier with Audi (who makes the Taycan) and Porsche teaming to share the electric vehicle platform. This means the battery, battery management system, the electric motors are common between the two, but when it comes to the rest of the design of the vehicle, each team developed their vehicles to suit their audiences.

While both versions offer some nice inclusions like air suspension in the Australian market, it’s the top trim RS that really gets me excited for the future of Audi.

Design

The RS e-tron GT, which I think will often be shortened to just RS GT, offers many of the familiar tricks in Evs including aero-dynamically focused wheels, a new front end designed to reduce drag, rather than force air down the throat of the engine.

The front bar of the RS GT is certainly aggressive, matching its performance focus and I’m about to eat any road you throw it at look. This is complemented by sleek laser headlights.

Audi has opted for more traditional door handles, which like in the case of the Polestar 2, feels like they had some leftover in stock, rather than do a complete re-think and offer flush door handles often seen with Evs.

If you’re ever following this car, there’ll be no mistaking it, with the massive full-width light bar on show. While the front is very aggressive with lots of sharp angles, the rear is much more smooth and aerodynamic conducive, allowing the disturbed air to fall off effortlessly.

Performance

The RS badge at Audi is reserved for their most performance-focused vehicles, so to see Audi use it on their first ground-up EV sedan, shows you the direction the company, and industry are going. We also seen Ford take a similar approach in using their Mustang brand on the Mach-E.

With up to 475kW and 830Nm of torque, Audi certainly isn’t messing around here, that’s enough power to have loads of fun on mountain roads, in a straight line, or on the track.

The performance numbers on the RS e-tron GT are really competitive, the impressive 0-100km/hr time matches the market leader (in terms of sales), the Tesla Model 3 Performance, but is a little slower than the best Porsche Taycan Turbo 4S at just 2.8s. If you to drop that extra 0.5s, it’ll cost you a lot more, the best part of $345,000.

The Audi RS GT is capable of hitting a top speed of 250km/hr and for those looking to take it to the track, this will be an important number.

Technology and software

Audi doesn’t yet offer OTA software but says they are working towards it. Over time, they do expect to ship updates but would require a visit to the local service center.

By way of technology, the e-tron GT offers all the best from Audi’s technology suite. The e-tron GT features a suitable advanced array of the latest Audi infotainment and safety technology, such as Virtual cockpit plus, Audi Connect plus, wireless smartphone interface and charging, DAB+ digital radio and a Head-up display.

An incredibly powerful 16-speaker sound system by Bang & Olufsen also ensures an audio oasis throughout the cabin. A full suite of driver assistance systems include side assist, adaptive cruise assist, active lane assist, intersection assist, pre-sense, 360-degree cameras, and a tyre pressure monitoring system. 

Charging and Range

Those who purchase an Audi RS e-tron will benefit from a partnership with 3rd party charging network, Chargefox, with 6 years of free fast-charging included. This is a great way to kick off EV ownership, enhancing the already lower cost of ownership.

Charging is done through a CCS2 charging port in the front quarter panel, also something it shares with the Taycan. The car will be capable of charging at a rate of 265kW, while down from the 350kW possible on the best Tritium, or ABB chargers in Australia, it does exceed many on the market and should make for faster stops during road trips.

On a single charge, the RS e-tron GT can travel 433 km (WLTP), a perfectly acceptable range. As with all EVs, the vast majority of charging will be done at home, made possible thanks to an included AC charger included in the car.

Audi achieves these numbers from a 93.4 kWh battery, (85.0 kWh usable). Thanks to an 800V architecture, the car can charge to 80% in just 23 minutes and if you need a quick burst, can add 100km in just 5 minutes.

Price & Availability

The Audi RS e-tron GT will be available from September, 2022, but as we’ve seen with a number of other EV entries this year, will be available in very limited supply. Moving into 2023, Audi are hopeful to secure a steady supply of the car for the Aussie market, amid strong global demand and hopefully an easing chip shortage. 

Pricing for the e-tron GT starts from A$181,700, and the RS e-tron GT is available from A$249,700.

Overall

If you’re in the market for a new car, particularly an EV with performance close to the top of your priority list, then you have a choice to make. The Audi RS e-tron GT, or the Porsche Taycan. The reason for selecting on over the other would often come down to brand loyalty, design and a lot less about the cost when you’re buying at this price point.

It is important to know the Audi RS e-tron GT is a 4-seater, although those that buy in this segment are very familiar with having room in the back seat compromised. In this context, it’s thankfully not due to a battery tunnel, but rather a priority from Audi to make two great rear seats more comfortable, than squeezing in a middle seat in the rear.

There’s no doubt, this entry from Audi is yet another very welcome entry into Australia’s EV market, even if doesn’t attack the lowest price points, it is important that all buyers have vehicles to migrate to over the next decade.

Watch the Australian unveil in Sydney

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Jason Cartwright
Jason Cartwrighthttp://techau.com.au/author/jason/
Creator of techAU, Jason has spent the dozen+ years covering technology in Australia and around the world. Bringing a background in multimedia and passion for technology to the job, Cartwright delivers detailed product reviews, event coverage and industry news on a daily basis. Disclaimer: Tesla Shareholder from 20/01/2021