2021 Audi RS e-tron GT: The Taycan Turbo’s Sexy Cousin

Strong points
  • Fantastic styling
  • Sophisticated aerodynamics
  • Amazing performance
  • Great handling
Weak points
  • Outrageous price
  • Expensive options
  • Heavy weight
  • Limited rear-seat space
Full report

The Audi e-tron GT is basically a clone of the Porsche Taycan as a result of the close collaboration between Volkswagen AG’s top brands. In Canada, the latter is available in three trim levels including 4S, Turbo and Turbo S, while the former offers two: the standard e-tron GT and the sportier, more powerful RS e-tron GT.

Continuing with the comparisons, the Audi e-tron GT delivers similar performance to the Porsche Taycan 4S, while the RS e-tron GT is on the same level as the Taycan Turbo. Sitting alone at the top is the Taycan Turbo S.

Photo: Gabriel Gélinas

Familiar Audi Styling

Styling is truly what separates Audi’s electric sedan from its Porsche cousin. The super-modern RS e-tron GT boasts a number of signature Audi design cues including the Singleframe grille (obviously sealed off to improve aerodynamics).

A very interesting detail that is a testament to Audi’s exceptional design and build quality is the muscular shoulder line that flows from the front fenders, disappears in the middle of the doors and reappears on the rear fenders. Achieving that on an aluminum body is quite a technical feat. The taut silhouette of the RS e-tron GT is further emphasized by the flat underbody and ultra-wide rear diffuser.

Photo: Gabriel Gélinas

Inside, the extraordinary fit and finish is the first thing that you notice. Audi’s Virtual Cockpit facing the driver and the centre touchscreen providing access to the various car functions are complemented by tastefully arranged controls for the HVAC system, drive modes and more. Part of the interior is dressed in synthetic materials including the headliner in Dinamica (a fabric made from recycled plastic bottles) and floor mats in Econyl (using recycled nylon fibres).

The heated/cooled front seats in the RS e-tron GT are beautifully supportive and feature a massage function. The steering wheel includes several controls as well as paddles giving the driver control over the regenerative braking system. Just so you know, even the most aggressive setting doesn’t allow one-pedal driving, so you must still rely on the conventional brakes.

Photo: Gabriel Gélinas

Feels Identical to the Taycan Turbo

Hitting the road with the Audi RS e-tron GT is a sweet affair. As a matter of fact, it feels exactly like driving a Porsche Taycan Turbo. Acceleration and passing manoeuvres are absolutely electrifying thanks to the 637 horsepower and more importantly the 612 pound-feet of instant torque.

Simply floor the throttle and you’ll be forcefully thrown forward in no time (0-100 km/h in 3.3 seconds, actually). What’s more, Audi engineers have developed a special sound for this electric car, and the result is particularly pleasant. Since the sound comes from the speakers inside the cabin, it’s possible to turn it up or down (three pre-set levels). That’s cool.

Photo: Ryan O'Dowd

What about handling? The Audi RS e-tron GT is extremely similar to the Taycan Turbo. The suspension is a bit softer, but the ride is still firm. Cornering performance is great, the only limitation coming from the heavy weight (over 2,300 pounds).

When the battery is fully charged, you get 440 kilometres of range, give or take 5 percent. Obviously, just like with a conventionally powered automobile, your driving style has a lot to say about that.

The 93.4-kWh battery (83.7 kWh usable capacity) takes 8-10 hours to charge completely using a Level 2 charger. However, when plugged into a DC fast charger, the car goes from 5-80 percent charge in just 22 minutes.

Photo: Gabriel Gélinas

Exceptional… Just Like the Porsche

The 2021 Audi RS e-tron GT is an exceptional EV. It does have a few drawbacks, none bigger than the $179,900 price tag. The various options and packages can be quite expensive, too, as evidenced by our tester costing $194,535.

Rear passengers have limited room and so does cargo in the trunk. Plus, as mentioned earlier, the weight affects agility. At the end of the day, though, the RS e-tron GT will easily make you forget about all that.

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