Audi RS e-tron GT impressions –  the most powerful Audi yet

By Jameson Dow

August 2, 2021

Test Drive

Audi invited us out to Los Angeles for a test drive of the Audi e-tron GT and Audi RS e-tron GT on the scenic Angeles Crest highway to get a feel for just how ridiculously powerful and controlled their new electric car is.

Right off the bat, the Audi RS e-tron GT’s performance leaves very little to be desired. At 637 horsepower in launch control mode, Audi says that the RS e-tron GT is the most powerful vehicle they’ve ever produced, gas or electric. That’s right – even more power than the V10 R8.

This Audi is wide and low, with big fat tires (the RS has 305s on the rear, which look enormous from behind). Between that and all-wheel drive, e-torque vectoring, and rear-wheel steering, this meant that the e-tron GT handled a spirited canyon drive with little drama. I, on the other hand, didn’t – in my gradually increasing attempts to see how well the car handles, I managed to make myself carsick before I produced any drama from the vehicle. You’ve beat me this round, Audi.

Range and Efficiency

Experienced EV drivers have come to enjoy being able to control a car with one pedal, and that’s just not possible with the e-tron GT, as off-throttle regen is very weak. There are paddles behind the steering wheel which allow three levels of adjustment, but those levels are all weak.

Audi claims that this is more efficient, because coasting or maintaining constant speed is more efficient than bouncing back and forth between regenerating and accelerating. This is true, but strong regenerative braking doesn’t preclude coasting, and weak regenerative braking may lead to using the friction brakes more often, which means more energy loss.