Review: Audi RS e-tron GT, a real driver’s EV with flagship performance

Review: Audi RS e-tron GT, a real driver’s EV with flagship performance

The Audi RS e-tron GT leads Audi’s efforts to electrify its lineup and now having driven their flagship as my daily for a week, the future at Audi looks promising. Head to their website and you’ll find this car prominently splashed across the front page, along with a dedicated Electric link in the main menu. This reflects how seriously the company is taking electrification.

Transitioning vehicles from ICE to EV is a process that needs to include all vehicles across all segments and that includes the premium and performance end of the market.

Right now, the RS e-tron GT offers the fastest performance of an Audi currently on sale in Australia.

The car features a dual-motor, all-electric powertrain, built on a similar platform to the Porsche Taycan, but having driven both, I can definitely say I prefer the Audi.

Audi designers and engineers have taken some bold and different decisions in the construction of this vehicle and they pay big dividends for anyone who owns this vehicle.

Having driven it a couple of thousand kilometres, over the course of 7 days, I understand the vehicle in a way that a test drive simply can’t, so if you’re at all considering buying this vehicle, strap in and enjoy the full review, because there’s a lot to unpack.



The Audi RS e-tron GT features a really unique look which is an absolute head turner. Not since the original Mustang have I had this much reaction to a car (and this one wasn’t red). I think Audi design has done a spectacular job of the look of the car, it’s low, and wide and looks fast while sitting still.

There’s a real opportunity as brands make the lap from ICE to EV to reset and rethink the design of the vehicle, largely thanks to the change in components, no longer is there a need for a front air intake to feed the engine cool air, instead the front bar is an aerodynamic and styling opportunity for a major rethink.

Audi’s design language across their vehicles, particularly their RS range is fantastic, it’s strong, bold, grown up and aggressive, like the car could eat the open road for breakfast.

My review vehicle was dressed in Florett Silver, a really nice metallic paint finish that reacts differently in different lighting conditions. Audi offers the car in Blue, Silver, Gray, Black, Green, Red and the top of the colour lineup is the Daytona Gray Pearlescent.

The front end of any EV is critical to the aerodynamics and ultimately the efficiency of the car. The front bar is unmistakable Audi, while featuring a visually interesting geometric 3D pattern on the leading surface, behind the plate. This is flanked by the black surround section, almost like a muzzle on a fighting dog.

The outer sections of the front are all about functionality, with winglets and intakes that guide the air into the wheel wells to keep the brakes cool. The lower section of the bar is perhaps the most interesting. This not only directs cool air into the radiators that feed the battery cooling system but also houses the technology, radar and laser which is used in conjunction with the camera in the windscreen for Advanced Driver Assistance.

The rear features 2 main attributes, the massive full-width light bar which is rapidly becoming popular on EVs. Audi uses an arrow design in their lightbar, which animates during its light show animation each time you unlock the car.

The lower section of the rear bar is adorned with a large black diffuser to guide the airflow from under the vehicle, ensuring the drag is minimised and downforce increased. Further increasing downforce is an active rear spoiler that raises at high speed to keep the car planted to the ground.

The large 20″ rims feature a design that serves two purposes, not only do they look good with a black/silver alternating design, but the rims strike a balance between being aerodynamically efficient, and great for range, while also allowing heat to escape from the massive brakes.


Inside the car, Audi interiors are always nice, but the black stitched seats, carbon fibre dash and Alcantara door and headliners result in a seriously premium feel inside the e-tron really premium.

There are options for some alternate colours and finishes when you order this car, but to be honest, I’d probably choose the same as the choices here. The combination of black on black works incredibly well and the subtle RS badges on the bottom of the steering wheel and the door sills remind you that you’ve spent the money to get the best version of this car.

Personally, I think the wheel is a little larger than I’d like, shrinking it by around 10% would deliver a more sporty feel. The wheel is electronically adjusted and offers a great range of motion, for those taller customers, the wheel, in combination with the seat adjustments offers a seriously comfortable seating position.

Speaking of the seats, these buckets do a great job of holding you in around the corners and are perfectly matched to the performance of the car. During more relaxed drives, you can use the massaging function to relax while you drive. The seats aren’t just comfortable, they’re luxurious, heated and cooled, along with a heated wheel to match.

The wheel features a range of buttons, which tend to be a little plastic feeling and clicky, which lets down the rest of the premium feel in the interior.

On the left of the wheel, you’ll be able to configure the driver display, choosing from range and battery data, to entertainment and navigation options. I really love the range of options Audi offers drivers to personalised the driving experience.

On the right of the wheel, you’ll find the call and media controls, along with a voice command button. Pressing the voice button allows you to command Audi’s built-in infotainment. There is an option in settings to allow activation without pressing the button, just say “Hey Audi” and “Alexa”.

Pressing the voice button twice will allow you to command smartphone auto systems including Android Audi and Apple CarPlay.

When you peak over your left shoulder into the back row, you’ll see some very comfortable-looking seats, 2 buckets and a middle bench and while they look good, there really isn’t a heap of legroom back there.

Unlike other EVs that feature a flat floor, Audi has a battery tunnel that consumes the foot space of any passengers in the center of the rear row, for this reason, along with a lack of leg room, this should be considered a 2+2 seater, which often means the rear seats are used or groceries and not people.

This is a shame, given the view from back there is fantastic, with a brilliant glass roof, enabling a feeling of space above and appropriately tinted to keep the sun away.

For those looking for charging options, there are 2x USB-C ports in the front of the center rear seat, along with another 2x USB-C ports in the center console. I give Audi a lot of credit for leaning forward into the new standard.



Charging the Audi e-tron can happen on both sides of the vehicle. This presents a great opportunity at home in the garage, allowing you to really park on either side and be close to standard AC charging.

With a Model 3 and Model Y regularly in our garage and a charging port on the rear left, it leaves one of us having to walk the charging cable across the back of the car to connect the charger to the charging port.

Audi’s solution to having charging ports on both sides is a good solution to the problem, although this obviously comes with additional costs. The charging port on the right supports AC only, while the charging port on the left supports both AC and DC charging.

Being in the front quarter panels, I did find that some DC Fast charging cables can be stretched to reach this location, but the majority are fine.

Drive modes

When you get in the car, you’ll always be put back into the comfort drive mode which I found annoying, particularly when other driver preferences are stored against your profile, your drive mode should also be retained.

If you’re looking to optimise range then Eco mode is your best option, great for highway drives. Day-to-day you may like Comfort, but in my mind you buy this car, particularly the RS spec, to get to your destination in an exciting way, which is best served by the Dynamic mode.

Each drive mode adjusts the driving dynamics including steering wheel weight, suspension firmness and the internal manufactured sound. There is a 4th drive mode which is individual, this allows you to customise the setup to your preference. Perhaps you like firm, responsive steering, but want to turn soften up the suspension and turn off the fake noise, in this mode, you get to choose which is a great feature.

Seat massage

Something I’ve never experienced while driving is a seat massage. After having driven this car, I can now tick that off the bucket list. Along with heated and cooled seats, this car offers the ability to have the car massage you across a range of modes.

It’s certainly a different feeling, something that takes a little to get used to, but ultimately a very nice luxurious feature, let’s just hope you don’t get too relaxed. This is located in a strange place in the OS, first, you need to enter the Vehicle settings, then select Seat Massage. I feel like this needs a menu option of its own.

Active aerodynamics

It’s hard not to notice the aerodynamic attributes of the e-tron, with big vents in the front bar, to large vents on the backside of the wheel arch, allowing brake heat to escape. On the back, you’ll find a massive diffuser to direct air as it fires out from under the floor, but it’s on the top of the boot which is perhaps a subtle aero touch that you may not notice on first look.

At higher speeds, a rear wing will energy from the trunk lid. The spoiler is controlled by a computer that monitors the speed, driving style, and other factors. The spoiler helps to improve fuel efficiency and handling at high speeds. It also helps to reduce lift, which can improve stability.

This functions in two positions, at around 90 km/h the first position (Eco) kicks in, while on track, the second position (Performance) arrives at around 170 km/h and above.

While it may seem simple, this can improve fuel efficiency by up to 3% at highway speeds, and reduce drag, which can improve handling and stability at high speeds. Again, a very cool feature, one that’s probably underrated and does come at a cost.


There’s no doubt about it, the performance you get with this car is out of control fast. The acceleration is as good as I’ve experienced and almost nothing else on the road will beat it.

On the open mountain roads, the car absolutely shines and anyone who buys this car, has to take it out of the city and drive it as it was intended. Only when you lean into the performance of a vehicle like this can you truly appreciate everything that went into designing and building it.

As impressive as the acceleration is, it is matched by the stopping power of those large brakes that never had a sense of fade regardless of how many times you called on them to perform.

Around a curvy, mountain road, the car shines brightly and you completely forget about how hard it tips the scales, you simply enjoy an engineering marvel. The simplicity in go, stop, turn driving afforded by the EV powertrain absolutely shows itself to be brilliant, letting you as the driver focus on just one thing, enjoying yourself.

The sporty suspension provides a comfortable ride on the highway and a more engaging driving experience on winding roads. This is helped by the battery pack being located close to the ground, helping to lower the center of gravity and improve handling.

The car has four drive modes Comfort, Dynamic, Efficiency, and Individual. Being a real driver’s car, you’re likely to spend most of your time in Dynamic. I did try Individual and disabled the artificial sounds pumped into the cabin when you smash the right pedal, but quickly realised I actually missed it. This is a great feature and other automakers that offer a purely digital experience are leaving something on the table.

As you accelerate in the RS e-tron GT, you’ll feel the car move underneath you, it feels like Audi built their traction control system, then dialled it back in an effort to deliver more feeling to the driver. At no time did I feel out of control, but you certainly have to hang on to this if you ask for all 475kW and 830Nm of torque.

I doubt many will take their pride and joy to the track, but those that do, in theory, could go all the way to a top speed of 250 km/hr. These are supercar numbers.


ADAS or Advanced Driver Assist Systems save lives and are something that you should consider seriously with any new vehicle purchase. These safety and often convenience systems are developed very differently between automakers. While some use an 8-camera array and computer vision + inference computer to offer semi-autonomous features, Audi opted for a single camera in the windscreen, combined with radar, laser and ultrasonics to create their ADAS offering.

As you travel along the highway, the car will do its best to keep on between the lane lines and adapts to the speed of the vehicles ahead, but there’s no lane centering as there is with Autopilot. This inevitably means you can’t rely on it as much, which means you have a higher level of cognitive load when operating this vehicle than others.

The technology doesn’t stop there, with many other attributes contributing to the overall vehicle experience for owners. Something I will point out that isn’t immediately obvious is vehicle hold. When stopping at a set of lights or stop sign, the vehicle wants to creep forward, similar to a ICE car. If you press the brake firmly, it will actively hold and only then accelerate when you choose to do so.

Something I really enjoyed about Audi’s lane-keeping is that you could move the steering wheel to avoid a pothole in the road, without the system disengaging. You could also indicate to change lanes then after turning it off (unfortunately this doesn’t happen automatically), the system then picks up the new lane automatically. In the case of base Autopilot in a Tesla, you have to disengage, change lanes, and then re-engage the software which is only solved by paying more money to upgrade to EAP or FSD.

Audi Pre Sense Front

Monitors the traffic in front of the vehicle for potential collision hazards. The system provides multiple levels of driver support. The first is a warning signal, and the second a warning jerk caused by brief braking.

Audi driver assistance systems work only within system limits and are intended to assist the driver. The driver remains responsible for driving the vehicle and is required to remain attentive at all times.

Park Assist

When activated, park assist searches for suitable parking spaces along the road by means of ultrasonic sensors, calculating the ideal parking path.

Once the suitable parking space is identified, the system prompts the driver to select the relevant gear and performs the steering automatically, with the driver responsible for the acceleration, gear changes and application of the brake. 

The system supports the driver with:

  • Parallel parking in reverse
  • Exiting a parallel parking space, driving forward
  • Bay parking, both reverse and forward

Audi driver assistance systems work only within system limits and are intended to assist the driver. The driver remains responsible for driving the vehicle and is required to remain attentive at all times.

Head-up display

Projects the vehicle speed, warning messages or driving-related information from navigation and assistance systems in full colour onto the windscreen in the driver’s direct field of vision, giving the driver faster access to information. The display is adjustable in height and can be customised to display only some or all of the available content. 

360 degree cameras

4 wide-angle cameras cover the entire area immediately around the vehicle – front, rear and side view cameras allow the MMI system to display a 360° view of the space around the vehicle to assist the driver in manoeuvring and parking. Choose from multiple views; including reversing camera, corner, birds eye view and panoramic view.

Intersection crossing assist

In complex junction situations, the intersection crossing assist can warn the driver of approaching cross traffic. The system monitors the area in front of and at the side of the vehicle on junctions and exit roads using the sensors built into the vehicle. Within system limits, the system detects approaching objects such as cars. The system can also assist the driver at junctions and exit roads with poor visibility and provide a warning of a potential collision with approaching cross traffic.

A multistage warning is initiated in situations that are deemed critical, first with a visual and acoustic warning, and if the driver fails to react, a warning brake jolt follows. The system operates at speeds up to 30 km/h, brake jolts are performed up to 10 km/h.

Audi driver assistance systems work only within system limits and are intended to assist the driver. The driver remains responsible for driving the vehicle and is required to remain attentive at all times.

Blind Spot Assist

Lane change warning helps the driver monitor the blind spot and traffic behind the vehicle. Additionally installed radar sensors in the rear record vehicles approaching at the side from behind or vehicles driving alongside and measure the distance as well as the difference in speed. In the event of a situation deemed critical for a lane change, the system warns the driver by means of LED displays in the relevant exterior mirror.

If the driver starts to change lanes by activating the indicator in a situation deemed critical by the system, the warning LEDs flash brightly four times. In conjunction with the lane departure warning, corrective steering intervention is initiated in critical situations. During turning manoeuvres, the system can also warn of critical objects within system limits.

Exit warning

When a passenger opens a door while the vehicle is stationary, Exit warning alerts the passenger of any possible collision with traffic approaching from the rear. Within system limits, the system uses the radar sensors to monitor vehicles to the rear and side. The system detects moving objects such as cars approaching from behind.

If the door handle has been pulled and an approaching road user has been assessed as a potential danger, the warning strip in the door and the LED display on the exterior mirror light up on the affected side. At the same time, there is a slight delay in the door opening.

Cross traffic assist rear

Cross-traffic assist rear can warn passengers about a potential collision with approaching cross traffic when reversing at speeds up to 10 km/h. Within system limits, the system uses radar sensors to monitor vehicles to the rear and side when exiting a parking space.

The system detects approaching moving objects such as cars. The system provides the driver with a visual warning and when reversing in particularly hazardous situations can provide an acoustic warning and a brake jolt.

Audi driver assistance systems work only within system limits and are intended to assist the driver. The driver remains responsible for driving the vehicle and is required to remain attentive at all times.


The audio system in the e-tron may have been made by Bang & Olufsen but I was seriously underwhelmed by it. Firstly the audio controls in the software are really undercooked. For some strange reason, Audi locks you out from making any changes to treble, bass or fade (location of the sound) while driving. I’ve never experienced this in any other car and I hope this gets resolved in a software update (updates appear to require a trip to the dealer and to be done via USB drive).

When it comes to sound performance, I guess I’ve been spoilt, with Tesla offering some of the best audio on the market in the Model 3/Y and listening to the same songs between vehicles, it’s really night and day. The e-tron may have a sub, but the sound just doesn’t feature an immersive, satisfying beat and when you increase the volume, you quickly find the limits of the speakers.

In terms of media options, you have access to Wireless Android Auto + Apple Carplay which will tick the ‘must have’ box for many buyers, along with DAB+ Digital radio, FM radio, USB and Bluetooth support.

MMI navigation plus with MMI touch

Audi’s operating system is known as MMI which features a high-resolution 10.1″ colour touchscreen display, Voice control with natural speech recognition, 3D map display including places of interest and city models.

Of the OEM systems it’s not the best, but also not the worst default platform when you get into the vehicle, but I suspect many owners will do what I do which is connect to your smartphone and live 99% of your time there. One downside is that the heads-up display only shows turn-by-turn navigation guidance from destinations set in Audi’s MMI, not through phone platforms. This is a real limitation of the HUD, given Google Maps and Apple Maps are far superior.

MyAudi App

Unfortunately, I wasn’t able to test the mobile app, due to a 10-digit vehicle code being required and somewhat elusive. In theory, you have access to remotely monitor your car’s charging levels, lock/unlock the car, along with controlling the climate.

Range, efficiency and Charging

When I first picked up the Audi, it was fully charged and the range estimate shown was 370km. This is an acceptable range but is certainly a long way short of the industry’s best efficiency.

The vehicle is heavy, tipping the scales at a massive 2,420 kg, some 600 kg more than my Model 3 Performance and has a smaller 82 kWh battery and a real range of 450km+.

What I learned about Audi’s range figure is that it’s based on the current drive mode selected. Having switched to Eco mode to travel up the Hume, the range moved closer to 400kms. Proving this was a very practical range, I travelled from South Melbourne, all the way to Wodonga without charging.

Arriving home with 28km of range remaining, it was time to plug into a standard AC charging. The time estimate to charge the large battery was 56 hours and 35 minutes.

When it comes to efficiency, the best energy consumption I have seen is 21.3kWh/100km. By comparison, my Model 3 has an average of 17.8kWh/100km.

Effectively Audi threw batteries at the problem of range and that comes at a cost.

Audi’s charging technology uses an 800-volt architecture, which is still fairly rare in the industry in 2023. This helps the car charge from 5% to 80% in just 22 minutes, assuming you can find charging infrastructure that can support it.

The battery pack in the Audi RS e-tron GT is 93kWh in capacity and given that large capacity, would typically require longer charge times, but Audi has included a max charging speed of 270kW.

Just outside Wodonga is the Barnawartha Chargefox site (now RACV-owned). This features 2x Ultra-fast 350kW ABB Terra HP chargers. Having connected the RS e-tron GT, the highest charging rate I saw was 153kW at 55% state of charge and the predicted time to complete the charge was 58 minutes.

Practically you are unlikely to charge to 100% SOC, so a typical charge of around 30-40 minutes will likely still get you plenty of charge to continue your journey.

I do struggle to understand why Audi didn’t opt for flush door handles on the e-tron, this is an obvious technique to reduce drag and increase range.


One of my biggest complaints about the vehicle is its inability to remember your driving preferences. Despite much of the car’s OS being digital, it lacks the sophistication to remember something as simple as which driving mode you prefer which annoyingly forces you to manually select it every time.

These items are certainly not massive issues but are things I noticed after spending a week with the car. When moving at speed, you can’t fold the mirrors. If you do fold the mirrors, you lose the ability to see beside your car. The 3D visualisation of your car also turns off after you exceed ~30km/hr.

Not being able to fit my Pixel 7 Pro in the charging slot of the console while its case remained on was an issue. There’s also only 1 wireless charging spot and if you have a larger phone, there’s no way to connect it via a cable and close the arm rest lid.

Price & Availability

The Audi RS e-tron GT offers a powerful design and performance and for that, you’ll pay a premium price tag. The cost is a reflection of the capabilities of the car, but also positions the vehicle as the flagship in the Audi lineup. With a 0-100km/hr time of 3.3s, Audi couldn’t undercut the price of many of their other vehicles or risk destroying the market for those performance-focused vehicles.

The Audi RS e-tron GT starts at 264,888.30 drive away in Victoria. This includes $5,000 of a recommended dealer delivery fee, $37,856.08 of Federal Government Luxury Car Tax and $10,642.80 VIC Government Stamp Duty and finally another $870.50 State Registration.

The fees and chargers here are enormous with the Manufacturer’s List Price starting at $210,518.92.

These numbers are eye-watering for most, but are just the start, with options specced in this taking the price tag much, much higher.

In the online configurator, I added the options the review vehicle was optioned with.

  • Floret Silver Metallic paint
  • 21″ alloy wheels in 5-double-spoke concave module style with graphic print, Black, with 265/35 and 305/30tyres
  • Perforated leather combination with honeycomb stitching, Interior trim colours – seats: Black-Black, dashboard: Black-Black, carpet: Black, headliner: Black
  • Sport leather steering wheel with multifunction and heated function
  • Air Quality Package

There’s a number of cars available in the Audi inventory, which range from around A$261,000 right up into the A$280k range, depending on spec.

While these numbers are massive to buyers who typically purchase vehicles under $100k, there are many who have done well in life and are prepared to spend big on vehicles. By comparison, the top-spec Porsche Taycan does 0-100km/hr in 2.8 seconds but costs $350k+. In that context the Audi feels like a bargain as many would rationalise the delta by simply saying at that speed, it’s all just bloody fast.

6-year free-charging at Charegefox DC fast charging

To ensure that you can enjoy the 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.


After spending a week living with the Audi RS e-tron GT, I was incredibly impressed with the new and different ideas Audi designers and engineers brought to this vehicle. While on paper, it offers the same performance as a Tesla Model 3 Performance, in practice, it delivers that power in a very, very different way. It’s much more of a driver’s car, with the decision to let the wheels slip under heavy acceleration, the decision to inject some artificial sound into the cabin, these aspects make the driver feel more connected to the car and the road.

These decisions are likely to be very welcome by the target demographic here which will be existing Audi or performance buyers. The transition from let’s say an R8 to a RS e-tron GT will be an easier one for people given these decisions and a simple decision to use physical buttons in more places, rather than a touch-first approach.

So many times during my week with this car I stopped and just smiled at the fun and joy this brings to you as a driver. Easily the best experience was driving it on the roads it was made for and after remembering to breathe again, the adrenaline hits you as it subsides you just appreciate what an amazing opportunity it is to climb behind a piece of engineering that afforded these kinds of experiences.

This car is a lot of money, more than 2.5x what mine cost, and when you look at performance and range comparisons, you’d scratch your head to really understand how anyone could justify these numbers. The reality is buying cars isn’t always a logical decision, often it’s heavily based on the look of the car and the way it makes you feel.

The Audi RS e-tron GT is a seriously impressive product that gets me excited about the future of Audi in a brave new electric world, while other OEMs are really struggling to make the transition, I think Audi will be just fine, as long as they can take this technology and make it affordable to more.

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