In space, the Neutron star is one of the most extreme objects present, with all the energy of a once giant star crushed into something the size of a city. They are formed when the star has reached the end of its evolutionary journey and it runs out of fuel and collapses.
This Audi RS e-tron GT is just as extreme and rather than being at the end of an evolutionary journey, it’s at the beginning of one. The e-tron GT is the first fully electric super car offered by Audi and this RS version is Audi flexing its sportscar muscles and showing just how brightly EV driving can shine.
Powered by dual motors, this e-tron star has enough torque to warp the spacetime continuum, a thumping 830Nm! This torque, combined with 2.5 seconds of boost from the launch control system that delivers a maximum of 475kW from the drive system, will move you from 0-100km/h in just 3.3 seconds. But it’s not so much the time that is extreme from the launch, rather than the sheer ferocity that the RS e-tron delivers its power. The first time I pressed hard on the not-so-loud pedal I actually hurt my neck because I wasn’t ready for what was about to happen. On subsequent occasions I knew what to expect and I would warn my passengers to brace themselves before lift off.
When I accelerated hard I felt the sensation that the front of the e-tron pitched up, which is really impressive when you consider that the unladen weight of the RS e-tron is 2,420kg. Despite its mass the RS e-tron still performs through the corners and you have to be pushing very hard to upset the dynamics of this sportscar. You can provoke the fat 305/30R 21-inch rear tyres to lose traction, but this requires a lot of effort to do so. Stopping power on this RS e-tron was supplied by the optional ($12,500) ceramic brakes with red callipers.
Of course, driving in such a manner does result in high energy use from the 93kWh Lithium-ion battery, the maximum I recorded was 14% of battery use driving for just 32kms. Audi don’t shy away from this and quote the power consumption of the RS e-tron at 20.2kWh/100km and for my week I averaged 28.8kWh/100km. At that level of energy use my range would have been 322km, but in saying that I don’t really mind what the range is because this is the most fun electric car I have ever driven.
The RS e-tron GT is packed full of Audi’s technology like adaptive air suspension, all-wheel steering, and e-quattro fully variable all-wheel drive. There are four drive modes that you can select from depending on your mood, Efficiency, Comfort, Dynamic, and Individual. Under the Individual mode you can customise the Drive System, Suspension, and Sound Profile of the e-tron. I happily spent the week in Dynamic mode and didn’t find the suspension to be too firm for my liking even on our bumpy Sydney roads.
This is actually quite a vocal EV even in the subdued sound profile, the gentle whine increases in pitch as you reach higher speeds and when you brake you can hear the motors winding down. This is also when you notice the 2-speed transmission ‘shift down’ as you come to a stop.
Conveniently the e-tron has a charge port located on either side of the vehicle just behind the front wheels, so one less thing you have to think about when you pull into charge. E-trons come standard with a 4.5m Type 2, Mode 2 charging cable including domestic and industrial plug with up to 7.2kW (AC) single phase charging capability at home and my e-tron also came with the optional 22kW AC charger ($6,900). This charger allowed me to record the amount of kWh of electricity I used to charge the e-tron at home, around 122kWh in total for the week.
To ensure that you can enjoy the extreme capability of your e-tron, it comes with a complimentary 6 year Chargefox subscription which provides Audi e-tron customers with 6 years’ of free, unlimited charging at all Chargefox ultra rapid charging stations and at participating Chargefox managed fast charging stations. The RS e-tron GT can charge at up to 270kW from a DC charger taking the battery from 5% to 80% in a claimed 23 minutes. Under the search criteria on the e-tron’s sat nav you can search for AC and DC charging stations and it displays numerous providers, but no details if they are available or not.
The interior of the RS e-tron GT is not as futuristic as you might expect and I like that. There are actual buttons for the climate controls combined with Audi’s high-resolution 10.1 inch infotainment system and the 12.3 inch driver’s virtual cockpit. The one feature I do not like in the cockpit is the gloss black on the centre console and dash as this attracts dust and fingermarks. The panoramic sunroof is nice, but I would have been even better if it had electrochromic glazing so that it could be darkened, if desired.
The wireless Apple CarPlay/Android Auto connected almost instantaneously and by pressing the voice control button with the feminine looking silhouette on it I was able to make a phone call, change the radio station and set a destination on the sat nav with voice commands only. The wireless pad is mounted on the side of the cubby under the arm rest along with two USB-C ports and a 12V socket.
The Bang & Olufsen 3D Sound System that comes standard in the e-tron befits this exceptional EV. With 16 speakers including 3D sound speakers, centre speaker and subwoofer, 15-channel amplifier with a total power of 710 watts the sound emitted from the speakers is exquisite. The media sources you have available include DAB/FM radio, Bluetooth, USB, and your phone.
This e-tron is fitted with the optional RS design package in Red ($4,550) that adds fine Nappa leather covering on the upper dashboard, centre console and door armrests in, black with stitching and the centre console surround, door inserts and instrument panel cover in black Dinamica. The steering wheel is also covered in Alcantara (heating function removed) and the seatbelts are red. The ambient lighting display at night is also a highlight of the e-tron’s cabin.
The sporty front seats are covered in fine Nappa leather with honeycomb stitching, giving off the familiar Audi aroma when you sit down in them. Both front seats are heated and ventilated, but annoyingly the ventilation is noisy when you use it. Both have power adjustment on the side of the seats for recline, forward/back, seat height front and rear, front extension and 4-way lumbar support. Under the seat menu on the infotainment screen, you can also adjust the side bolster on the seat back and base. The driver’s seat can be lowered down further than the passenger seat and has two memory positions to save your perfect setting.
The outer rear seats also have a lovely sculptured shape also and there was ample head and leg room for me, but taller individuals may find the rear seats tight. There are two ISOFIX/three rear tether child seat restraint points or the centre seat can be folded down as an arm rest with two cup holders in it that have grippy sides. The shallow cubby in the rear doors is not suitable for drink bottles.
Rear passengers get digital temp control with two central air vents that have individual direction and manual on/off controls. The two rear USB-C ports are located at the front of the rear seats in the middle, therefore avoiding the cords becoming a potential tripping hazard in the foot well. Even though this is an EV the e-tron still has a thick transmission tunnel between the two rear seats and children stepping on this will cause the carpet to wear as it is not covered with a mat.
The RS e-tron GT shows it’s practicality as a family vehicle by the size of its boot space on offer and the convenience of gesture open and close operation for the boot lid for when you have your hands full of shopping or children or both. You will definitely need to latch the cargo net over your shopping or you may find it spread all over the boot thanks to the G forces the e-tron produces. If extra space is required the rear seats have a 60:40 split fold mechanism or the centre seat can be folded down for longer items. There in a 12V socket in the boot space and a tyre repair kit should you get a flat tyre or you can call the 24-hour roadside assistance to assist you. At the front is another boot space that you can use for the charge cord storage and the button to open the front boot is located on the inside of the driver’s door.
The Audi e-tron GT does not have an ANCAP safety rating, but does come with front airbags for driver and passenger, side airbags for front and rear side passengers, head level curtain airbag for front and rear. Active safety features available include Audi pre-sense basic with pre-sense rear, Audi pre-sense city with Autonomous Emergency Braking, pedestrian detection and cyclist detection, blind spot monitoring and adaptive cruise control that it operated using a stalk behind the steering wheel.
The 360-degree reversing camera utilises four wide-angle cameras cover the entire area immediately around the vehicle, providing a range of different views and you have front and rear parking sensors as well. For convenience you also get auto lights with high beam assist and auto wipers.
All new Audi vehicles sold come with a 5 years/unlimited kilometres manufacturer warranty and the Lithium-ion battery has an eight year, or 160,000km warranty, whichever comes first. The e-tron also comes with complimentary six years Audi scheduled servicing and six years Audi Roadside Assistance. The service interval for the e-tron is every two years or 30,000km (whichever comes first), so that’s less time you will need to spend waiting around at a service centre.
The immensely impressive Audi RS e-tron GT is priced from $248,200 plus on-road costs and as tested my Daytona grey e-tron was $273,950 plus on-roads. If you purchase your e-tron between now and 30 September 2023 from participating Audi e-tron dealers you will receive a complimentary Audi driving experience voucher (valued at $1,395), a JET Charge Wallbox charger and home installation in addition to the standard e-tron inclusions of 6 year Chargefox public charging subscription, 6 year Audi scheduled servicing, and 6 year Audi Roadside Assistance. You can Build and Price your RS e-tron GT online or visit your preferred Audi e-tron dealer for more information.
|The straight-line acceleration experience||Hard acceleration results in rapid depletion of the battery|
|Six years Chargefox access is included in the purchase price||Panoramic sunroof needs electrochromic glazing|
|The Bang & Olufsen Sound System||No ANCAP safety rating|
Photographs by Driven Women Magazine.