New pride of the Audi fleet puts the heat on Porsche

Peter Atkinson |

The Audi RS e-tron GT will hit 100km/h in just 3.3 seconds.
The Audi RS e-tron GT will hit 100km/h in just 3.3 seconds.

When is a Porsche not a Porsche? When it’s an Audi, of course (of course).

But not just any Audi. This is the German maker’s stunning, all-new, all electric RS e-tron GT –  the new pride of the Audi fleet. 

It’s not quite a Porsche, but it’s as close as any EV has got to matching the silent assassin, the range-topping, tarmac-tearing Taycan Turbo S.

Trying to tell them apart is a bit like deciding which of the Hemsworth brothers is the best looking. All in the eye of the beholder.

They deliver similar, ballistic performance that makes these EVs among the fastest “domestic” road-going vehicles on the market.

The Taycan has become a regular sighting on city streets and winding rural runs.

The Audi is a more recent arrival. And rest assured, if you see one in the flesh, it will stick in your memory.

So how did the two cars become so similar?

Because they are siblings of sorts – both members of the giant global Volkswagen clan that also numbers Lamborghini and Bentley among its myriad models.

Audi RS e-tron GT
Audi’s RS e-tron GT puts out 440kw and 830Nm of thrust to the ground. (HANDOUT/AUDI IMAGES)

The RS and its corresponding Taycan are full of surprises – some more secret than others. Both are surprisingly big, impressively comfortable and, of course, staggeringly fast.

Tested is the RS e-tron GT – the most fiery of two models to carry the GT badge, as well as the four rings of Audi.

For a substantial $246,875 (plus onroads), the RS relies on electric motors driving the front and rear axles (the rear has a two-speed transmission) to put its 440kw and 830Nm of thrust to the ground. 

The acceleration is instant and a bit frightening, with 100km/h arriving in 3.3 seconds – which leaves it about half a second behind the Taycan Turbo S.

Not in that much of a hurry? Try the $178,875 e-tron GT, with a rather humble 350kW and 630Nm, which will get you to the speed limit in a leisurely 4.1 seconds.

That might not sound all that quick if you happen to drive a Formula One racer, but for the rest of us it’s only barely slower than a ballistic missile.

To put that into perspective, consider that the RS has a moveable spoiler on the lip of the hatchback, that deploys at speeds of 170km/h and above. Yes, that’s right – at least 60km/h faster than any legal stretch of Aussie tarmac.

Yet all of that power and fury is encased in the most elegant and etherial pieces of automotive design you could hope to see.

It’s not over-styed but its gorgeous silhouette, the classy interior and the sense of being firmly planted in the ground pervades.

So this Audi looks like a Porsche. And sounds like a Porsche (silent, in this case). Not to mention performs like a Porsche, into the bargain.

Which begs the question – why wouldn’t you just buy a Porsche Taycan and be done with it?

There are a couple of reasons.

The flagship Porsche cuts a half a second off the Audi’s 100km/h sprint in (a blurry 2.8 seconds compared to 3.3), enough to dust any V8 supercar you might like to mention. Advantage Porsche.

On the other hand, the top-line Audi is $100,000 cheaper than its Porsche equivalent.

But enough of the Porsche. 

If the Audi isn’t quite fast enough, it offers an overboost function that can be used in bursts of 2.5 seconds – with Audi claiming it adds an additional 35kW and 30Nm. Which technically makes it the most powerful vehicle built by Audi.

And what about the big question: range? Not too bad, all things considered.

Audi says the GT it will travel 455km between charges, which is adequate. 

If you run low on spark, a fast-charger will have you back to 80 per cent of full charge within 22 minutes.

The Audi appears to have adopted a slightly more sci-fi appearance than the surprisingly elegant Porsche. Among the long and inviting list of inclusions and extras there’s the aforementioned moveable rear spoiler which can be manually called into action if you just want to pose.

The GT’s performance is effortless and pulverising all at the same time.

There should be laws against having this much fun in a motor car. Oh wait, there are.

Which means that operating within Australia’s fairly draconian speed limits is quite a task.

The GT has a stunning low, sleek profile, which means getting in and out of the car is not for those who are not so supple.

It also means the undercarriage of the Audi is sometimes prone to scrape on driveways and the likes with any kind of decent camber. 

The Audi is a desirable and stunningly quick thing, despite being a rung behind its corporate compatriot. 

The arrival of the RS in Australia means that Audi effectively has three performance flagships – the RS e-tron GT; the RSQ8 high performance SUV, and the company’s pure sports car, the mid-engine third generation of Audi’s two-seat fireball (not yet available Down Under.

Almost enough to make a Porsche-driver jealous. Almost.

And think of all the money you’ll save by not buying the Porsche.

AUDI RS e-tron GT


It’s almost 5m long and weighs nearly 2300kg – but is impressively agile and not as spacious as you might imagine. 


It will hit the speed limit in 3.3 seconds. The far-away sound of a traffic cop on his motorbike is the only sound you’ll hear.


Officially its range is 455km.


The Audi RS e-tron GT has an official price tag of $246,875 – but the test car’s options included RS design package ($4550); sensory package ($8400) and gloss black Audi badges ($700) pushing that number to $260,525. Add the Treasurer’s take and it’s well over the $300,000 mark.