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Auto review: The Audi RS e-tron GT offers a different flavor from its Porsche sibling

Larry Printz, Tribune News Service on

Published in Automotive News

Brands hold sway, even if their products differ little. They possess a powerful hold over a purchasing decision. Consider the Audi RS e-tron GT, the automaker’s first battery-electric grand touring sedan that debuted for the 2022 model year. Given its price – our 2023 Audi RS e-tron GT test car started at $143,900 – would you choose it over the Porsche Taycan, with which it shares much of its goodness?

Perhaps, for its personality differs.

Audi's top-of-the-line EV car is available as the RS e-tron GT, as well as the Audi e-tron GT in Premium Plus or Prestige trim. Foe 2023, the RS e-tron GT now comes standard with a Bang & Olufsen audio system, 20-inch wheels with anti-theft fasteners, and all-season tires. Ceramic Brake with anthracite brake calipers and 21-inch wheels are optional. For 2024, all e-tron GT vehicles will also get fake suede headliner, LED interior lighting, and illuminated doorsills in addition to updated LED headlights with laser high beams.

This four-door RS e-tron GT boasts a sporty appeal with its purposely flared fenders, swoopy greenhouse, and a low overall ride height. Yes, the front end lacks the straightforward visual simplicity that makes the rest of the car so appealing, but it needs to stand apart from the Porsche Taycan, which uses the same platform. Yet its similar low stance and large doors with tight openings does little to detract from this car's grown-up sense of style and presence. Yes, it can be challenging to get in and out of, but that's the price you have to pay for fashion.

Inside, you’ll find a cozy, intimate driving position thanks to the seats’ aggressive side bolsters. That said, similar to the Porsche Taycan, the amount of legroom in the back seats depends on the courtesy of the people in front. However, given that this is a GT, such compromises are to be expected. But such a concession seems more fitting in a Porsche rather than an Audi.

The cabin is a modicum of restraint, lacking the over-the-top indulgent feeling you receive in a Lucid Air of the same price. Consider its look functional, not flashy, in the traditional Audi fashion. One gripe comes from its $1,495 Panoramic fixed glass roof, as it lacks a sunshade, ensuring occupants are thoroughly baked. Oh, and be sure to pack lightly. Cargo space measures a mere 9.2 cubic feet in the rear trunk, 1.8 cubic feet in the front trunk.


Standard equipment includes the 10.1-inch infotainment touchscreen, which functions just as intuitively as it does in other Audi models, and a digital instrument cluster. The HVAC controls, in contrast to those in other Audi vehicles, include toggle switches and buttons, making them far simpler to use than a tactile touchscreen.

Once snugly settled in its cabin, you’ll find the RS e-tron GT’s 83.7-kWh lithium-ion battery generates 637 horsepower and provides 232 miles of range. Opting for the less-expensive trim level brings 522 horsepower and a 238-mile range. While that may seem sufficient, the similarly-priced Lucid Air and Tesla Model S provide greater range. The e-tron GT is unique among EVs in that it has a single-speed gearbox up front and a two-speed transmission in the back for quick acceleration and a top gear for interstate driving.

According to Audi, the e-tron GT reaches 60 mph in 3.9 seconds, while the RS e-tron GT accomplishes the same task in 3.1 seconds. Once you’ve used up most of its electrons, a DC fast charger can recharge it to 80% from 5% in a mere 23 minutes.

Quick and powerful , the 2023 Audi RS e-tron GT offers up its speed while providing quiet luxury. The steering wheel-mounted paddles on the Audi RS e-tron GT allow drivers to modify the amount of regenerative braking, similar to other high-end EVs. Don't expect the one-pedal driving that so many EVs are known for. And it measures a substantial 85 inches wide. However, thanks to its rear-wheel steering, it has the amazing cornering stability and maneuverability of a much smaller car.


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