New electric cars seem to be breaking cover at an astonishing rate at the moment and here is the latest offering from Germany, welcome the 2021 Audi RS e-tron GT. This is not Audi’s first foray into the world of fully electric vehicles, you can current buy an array of fossil fuel free hatchbacks and SUVs from the Ingolstadt based manufacturer. However, although still a prototype, this is the first to wear the fabled RS badge and I really think it looks incredible.
I travelled to Greece to see what the near finished product was like to drive. The platform of the e-tron GT is shared with the Porsche Taycan – no bad thing as praise for the Stuttgart produced EV has been universal. The plan was to land and drive the RS e-tron GT under the darkness of the night, however, the Greek weather Gods had other plans and a storm scuppered the plans. The next morning I rose bright and early to experience the prototype on the tarmac of a disused military base. Being an EV it seemed rude not to put the RS into its sportiest modes and feel the instant torque of the electric motors.
The acceleration is mind blowing, unsurprising when you consider that the car has over 640 horsepower and hits 100km/h in under 3.5 seconds – supercar speed in a luxurious GT car. One element I was not expecting to be so impressed by was the sound. Engineers Rudolf Halbmeir and Stephan Gsell conceived and designed the progressive electronic sound – on the computer, in the sound laboratory, inside the moving car, and in customer studies.
As with every electric car, the e-tron GT also features the statutory acoustic vehicle alerting system (AVAS), although embedded within a broader acoustic spectrum. A loudspeaker fitted in the front of the vehicle emits the AVAS sound. Furthermore, there is an optional sound package, a second, large loudspeaker is added in the rear. In parallel, two loudspeakers in the interior provide an emotional sound experience. Two control units continuously remix the e-tron GT sound based on variables such as speed or accelerator position. The Audi drive select system allows drivers to set whether and how intensively they wish to experience the sound. This hugely impacts the driving experience as the sensation of speed and acceleration is reflected in this deeply immersive sound.
Away from the airstrip, it was time to put the RS e-tron GT through its paces on the road. This is where the prototype began to shine. The way the car handles is impressive and not just by electric car standards. It is set up to be softer than an Taycan and it feels it.
There is a pliancy and comfort to how it flows down a road. The steering well weighted and the acceleration feels endless. As daily drivers go, this would work fantastically. The cabin in spacious and is well appointed. The full details, including range and price are yet to be released but we hope to share these with you soon!