Could This EV Be The Most Beautiful Car Of The Decade?
We indulge the power and beauty of the e-tron GT RS, the first full-electric Audi to sport the famed badge.
To be 100 percent honest, this is perhaps the least important car review you’ll read this year. In fact, feel free to stop right now and just drink in the imagery. Because let’s be real for a moment, it almost doesn’t matter how the Audi e-tron GT RS drives, or how far it can travel between charges, or even how much it costs. When you look this good, the rest just pales into insignificance.
This is not simply “the most beautiful EV’ or a “stunning performance car”. No, it is honestly one of the most gorgeous vehicles launched in recent memory, full stop, no qualifiers. And it looks even more potent and powerful in the metal than it does in its associated imagery.
So again, feel free to jump off the bus and just stare at it for a while. Still here? Okay, then let’s go deeper.
The Audi e-tron GT RS represents the first time the brand’s performance badge has been applied to an electric vehicle. In fact, Audi describes it as its new flagship—a halo once reserved for the R8, which was powered by a stunning V10 and oft dubbed “an affordable Lambo”. As if to further prove the new halo point, Audi builds the GT RS in the same factory that was once responsible for its petrol-powered supercar.
The newcomer is also (very closely) related to sister-brand Porsche’s Taycan, adopting under-the-skin things like its high-tech 800-volt architecture, its huge battery, and even its two-speed gearbox which allows for faster take-off (most electric vehicles use a single-speed box).
While there are mechanical similarities, the looks are all Audi. This is a vehicle described by the company’s head of design, Marc Lichte, as “the most beautiful car I’ve ever designed.” It’s a bold statement, sure. But also one we struggle to disagree with.
Low-slung sportiness meets mega-crisp body lines to create a vehicle that looks both polished and potent, flawless and ferocious. All of which is perfectly bookended by sizeable 21-inch wheels that hide race-style tungsten carbide brake discs.
That’s the style. The substance comes from twin electric motors delivering up to 475 kW and 830 Nm to all four wheels. That means a flat-footed sprint to 100 km/h in just 3.3 seconds, and a flying top speed that’s limited to 250 km/h. Providing the energy for such performance is a big 93.4 kWh battery that Audi says will deliver a driving range in excess of 500 kilometres and, when plugged into an ultra-fast charger, will see 100 kilometres of distance added in just five minutes.
But there’s another, less obvious perk to having several hundred kilograms of battery placed in the lowest point of the vehicle. And that is that body roll is absolutely non-existent, with the heavy Audi sticking low and hard to the road surface below its tyres, as if attached by powerful magnets.
This, in turn, inspires confidence from behind the wheel—important when you’re driving something that accelerates like a Shinkansen bullet train, and in which you often find yourself arriving at the entry of another corner while your mind is still processing the last one.
It also allows the e-tron to fully live up to and rightly carry the RS badge, even if it can’t entirely hide its significant weight in tighter corners.
Admittedly it’s a strange, and sometimes disconcerting, feeling though, watching the world around you speed up to a scenery-warping blur in the near-silence of the e-tron GT RS’s cabin. It’s one of only two times you’ll really miss the theatrics of a snarling, snapping exhaust and the dramatic rise and fall of a traditional gearbox. The other being, of course, while you’re plugged into a public fast charger. Even the quickest recharging cars aren’t quite speedy enough … yet.
But again, does any of that matter? Wouldn’t you buy the $248,200 GT RS just to gaze upon it in the garage? Yes, you would. But it’s nice to know it can do all the other stuff well, too.
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