Having hit the market for the 2022 model year, the Audi RS e-tron GT, the brand’s first battery-electric grand tourer, soldiers on as a fun, fast, and foxy four-door sedan.
Despite being an all-electric GT of the highest order, it does have stiff rivalry when compared to its American competition, namely the Tesla Model S and Lucid Air, as well as Volkswagen Group’s own Porsche Taycan, with which it shares a platform and has a similar price.
But for those on love with this scintillating sedan, such quibbles don’t matter.
Offered as the Audi e-tron GT in Premium Plus or Prestige trim, as well as the RS e-tron GT, Audi’s flagship EV sedan has few changes for 2023. A Bang & Olufsen sound system is now standard, as are 20-inch wheels with anti-theft bolts and all-season tires, while the RS e-tron GT now wears carbon matte exterior trim while offering a Ceramic Brake package with Anthracite brake calipers and 21-inch wheels. For 2024, all e-tron GTs receive revised LED headlights with laser high beams along with a faux suede headliner, LED interior lighting and illuminated doorsills.
We tested a 2023 Audi RS e-tron GT for a week, which is why we’re smiling so much.
With purposefully bulging fenders, a swoopy greenhouse and low overall ride height, this four-door exudes a sportiness that’s fetching. That said, the front end seems needlessly cluttered, lacking the simple visual haiku that makes the rest of the car so appealing. Then again, it has to be differentiated from its platform stablemate, the Porsche Taycan, so there’s that.
Bit it does little to mar this car’s innate fashion sense and immense presence with a low stance and wide doors with narrow openings. Yeah, it does make getting in and out of the car somewhat difficult, particularly for large corn-fed Americans, but such is the price paid for high style.
Our test vehicle was fitted with the $6,450 Carbon Performance Package, adding carbon fiber side sill and door sill inlays, rear wheel steering and Audi laser light, which includes animated headlights and taillights as you approached or left the car – a true surprise and delight feature.
The feeling of intimacy doesn’t disappear once inside, where sporty seats with aggressive side bolsters impart a snug, sporty seating position. That said, like the Porsche Taycan, rear seat legroom is somewhat dear considering the length of the car, and dependent on the kindness of those in front. But this is a sporty GT; such compromises are to be expected. But somehow, such a concession seems more appropriate in a Porsche than in an Audi.
Interior quality is very, very good, even if it lacks the over-the-top indulgent feeling you receive in a Lucid Air of the same price. Consider its look functional, not flashy, one that sports a new twist in electronic shifters. It’s a small slab that slides back and forth to select gears. It’s odd, but effective, and it takes up little space.
Our car was also fitted with the $1,495 Panoramic fixed glass roof. Given the current heatwave that’s broiling the world, the e-tron GT’s lack of a sunshade ensured its occupants were thoroughly baked. Oh, and pack lightly. Cargo space measures a mere 9.2 cubic feet.
No matter which e-tron GT you opt for, it comes equipped with an 83.7-kWh lithium-ion battery that generates 522 horsepower unless you plop for the RS, which boosts output 637 horsepower.
Unexpectedly, the extra juice doesn’t have a huge impact on range, as the former boasts 238 miles, the latter 232 miles. While that’s adequate for a performance EV, the Lucid Air and Tesla Model S provide greater range. The e-tron GT comes with a single-speed transmission in the front and a 2-speed transmission in the rear for fast off-the-line speed and a top gear for highway cruising — unusual among EVs.
Running from 0-to-60 mph takes 3.9 seconds in the e-tron GT and 3.1 seconds in the RS e-tron GT, according to Audi. And, once done driving, recharging from 5% to 80% takes 23 minutes using a DC fast charger.
Safety and Technology
Neither the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration nor The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety has crash-tested the 2023 Audi RS e-tron GT. Audi PreSense with lane-departure warning, blind-spot assist, surround-view camera and rear cross-traffic warning come standard. Other systems are optional.
A digital instrument cluster and center-mounted 10.1-inch touchscreen found on other Audi models comes standard, the latter working every bit as intuitively, thanks to Audi’s MMI software. Unlike other Audi models, however, the HVAC controls are a combination of toggle switches and buttons, proving far easier to use than a haptic touchscreen.
Fast and furious, the 2023 Audi RS e-tron GT provides many smiles per mile in incredibly quiet comfort. Like other high-end EVs, the Audi RS e-tron GT’s regenerative-braking effort can be adjusted via paddles mounted on the steering wheel. That said, it never felt intrusive, as it does on some others, so don’t look for the one-pedal driving typical of so many EVs.
This is a very wide car, measuring 85 inches wide with mirrors. But its low 55.6-inch height and rear-wheel steering lend it both impressive stability in corners and the maneuvering agility of a much smaller car. Being a GT., you’ll find the Audi a bit easier to deal with as a daily driver compared to the comparable Porsche Taycan — no surprise given their respective nameplates. And the cabin’s functional simplicity makes it a breeze to use while driving fast.
Interior quality is very good, but just don’t expect the over-the-top luxury trappings of its rivals. This is an Audi, so restraint in interior finishes is the order of the day, which is what Audi aficionados prefer.
2023 Audi RS e-tron GT Specifications
|L: 196.4 inches/W: 77.3 inches/H: 55.6 inches/Wheelbase: 114.2 inches
|Dual permanent magnet motors, 2-speed transmission and all-wheel drive
|EPA estimated range: 232 miles
|637 horsepower and 612 pound-feet of torque
|Base price: $143,900; As tested: $152,440 including $1,450 destination charge
Few sedans deliver the excellence that the 2023 Audi RS e-tron GT does. It’s exciting and amusing, as the electrons provide the instant-on rush that only EVs seem to offer. And it does so while ensconced in typical Audi environs, one that shuns ostentation for a sublimely contemporary, low-key approach without the starkness of a Tesla Model S.
With a sublimely confident demeanor, rock steady stability and incredible stylistic presence that make it an unmistakable reward for a life well-played. It’s elegant, eloquent and fun-to-drive. And what more does anyone require?
2023 Audi RS e-tron GT — Frequently Asked Questions
What is the range of the e-tron GT 2023?
The Audi e-tron GT has a 238-mile range, while the Audi RS e-tron GT has slightly less, at 232 miles.
What’s the fuel economy for the RS e-tron GT?
The 2023 e-tron GT is rated at 82 MPGe combined; the RS model is rated at 81 MPGe in combined driving.
Does Audi e-tron GT qualify for tax credit?
It did in 2022, but no longer does.