The Audi RS e-tron GT is a technical tour de force, with mind-numbing acceleration, impeccable overtaking ability and smooth highway cruising

The Audi RS e-tron GT might be its best electric vehicle to date, but it certainly was not its first. Audi introduced the e-tron moniker to denote their electrified (hybrid) vehicles back in 2009 but Audi's first fully electric vehicle for mass production was launched in 2018 as an SUV and was just called the e-tron. 

The latest RS e-tron GT is the top-of-the-range model of the newly introduced e-tron GT model line. As its name implies, it is a Grand Tourer and this particular model shares the same development platform as Porsche's Taycan. It is a sleek four-door, coupe-styled, all-electric saloon that has become the new icon for the marque.

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With a massive 646 hp from the dual motors of the RS e-tron GT, its acceleration is blisteringly quick, akin to being shot out of a cannon. The benchmark 0-100 km/h is dispatched in a scant 3.3 seconds and even knowing that statistic it still surprises me just how fast this beast is. Given enough road, it should reach an electronically governed top speed of 250 km/h. For those who are less concerned with sheer performance there is the base e-tron GT with 476 PS and even with the ability to reach 100 km/h in 4.1 seconds, it is still amazingly quick. Its top speed is just 5 km/h shy of the RS e-tron GT.

There is no doubt the RS e-tron GT is the more extreme, edgier version with its greater power, larger tyres and sporty suspension. The quoted peak power of 646 hp is only available in Dynamic mode, during launch-control where all that power is expended to sling this RS e-tron GT  to 100 in 3.3 seconds but most of the time it has "just" 598 hp which delivers 100 km/h in a slightly slower 3.6 seconds.

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If you must have the very highest performing model in the Audi line-up then do not settle for anything less than the RS e-tron GT. But if you need a bit more civility in day to day driving, then the e-tron GT is still an impressive car. It has a more supple suspension set-up, and it suits the Grand-Tourer label better. Sometimes it is not about how much grip or how much power, but how well the package is melded together.

The base e-tron GT also shows impressive poise through the bends and engages the driver more because the brilliant chassis can shine through the more modest grip of the smaller tyres on the base model. Rather than solely depend on the sheer grip of the tyres the driver is allowed to participate in the drive process, influencing just how the e-tron GT scythes its line through the corners.

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Like most EVs, the RS e-tron GT is a rather heavy car weighing close to two and a half tons so while the electric motors make short work of the weight, what goes fast has to slow down some time. Most of the time, slowing down is accomplished by the electric motors regenerating power by converting speed back into electricity. But to seriously wipe off speed Audi has equipped the RS e-tron GT with huge Tungsten Carbide infused brakes that can do the job of ceramic brakes without the cost and complication. 

To give this rather lanky car improved manoeuvrability in car parks, especially in the sharp turns, Audi has equipped the RS e-tron GT with a rear-wheel steer system. At higher speeds the same system helps improve its agility to mitigate the heft of this car by steering the rears by a minute amount to help the rear keep in sync with the front.

There is no doubt the Audi RS e-tron GT is a technical tour de force. There is no way it could be any less. Mind-numbing acceleration, overtaking ability and highway cruising are its strong suits. But as I discovered, it is also good at slow speeds, as the RS e-tron GT is a true head-turner whenever it saunters by the crowds.

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Car: Audi RS e-tron GT

Price: From SG$620,000 without options/COE

Engine: Dual electric motors

Transmission: 2-speed on rear motor

Max Power: 646 hp

Max Torque: 830 Nm

0-100 km/h: 3.3 seconds(with overboost) 3.6 seconds (normal)

Top Speed: 250 km/h (governed)

Fuel Consumption: 19.3 kWh/100km (NEDC)

Range: 472 - 433 km (WLTP)

Agent: Premium Automobiles Pte Ltd.

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