RS e-tron GT Performance is Audi’s most powerful production car

19th June 2024
Russell Campbell

Audi has updated the e-tron GT EV, giving it a fresh look and a substantial upgrade in battery technology. The RS e-tron GT Performance – Audi’s first performance EV, is the most powerful car the company has ever built, with 925PS (680kW) and 0-62mph taking 2.5 seconds. 

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The updated range also comprises the 680PS (500kW) S e-tron GT and the RS e-tron GT (856PS, 630kW), which go from 0-62mph in 3.4 and 2.8 seconds, respectively. The S e-tron has a top speed of 152mph, with the rest of the range capable of 155mph. The entire range is four-wheel drive, with an electric motor on the front and the rear axle – the latter now 10kg lighter than before thanks to redesigned components and optimised cooling.

While the S e-tron gets new, bigger brakes, the RS has carbide-coated discs for improved cooling, and the RS Performance gets the full monty with a set of carbon ceramics. RS models also get a steering wheel boost button that serves up another 95PS (70kW) for ten-second acceleration boosts.

All e-tron GTs come with new two-chamber, two-valve air suspension, making the car feel more dynamic without harming comfort. Vorsprung models get active suspension with a broader spread between Comfort and Dynamic settings, can counter pitching and rolling, and drop the car to aid entry and exit. As before, rear-wheel steer is also available, reducing the turning circle by 0.6m. 

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Audi has also been hard at work on battery tech, shaving 9kg of weight (for a total battery weight of 625kg) despite battery capacity increasing from 84 to 97kWh thanks to optimised cooling, allowing Audi to increase the capacity of each of the battery’s 33 cells by 12 per cent. 

New recuperating brakes can send 400kW back into the battery (up from 290), the net result being that official range has increased from 305 to 375 miles between charges on the S e-tron GT, with no figures revealed for the rest.

Charging speeds have also increased, up from 270 to 320kW, meaning, in perfect conditions, you’ll get up to 174 miles from a 10-minute charge, or a 10-80 per cent charge in 18 minutes. Revisions to the battery mean you can get maximum charging speeds from temperatures as low as 15 degrees Celsius.

One area not in need of an upgrade were the e-trons’ looks, which made it one of the prettiest EVs on sale. Still, Audi has given the car a nip and tuck to hide the four years since it went on sale. 

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The S e-tron GT gets a luxury look with metal-look air vents on the lower bumper and 20-inch multi-spoke alloy wheels. The RS e-tron GT and RS e-tron GT Performance are moodier, with a black-out grille and gaping black lower air vents; the former gets 21-inch wheels with six split spokes, while the latter gets the same wheel in a matte finish.  

You’re welcomed inside by new light projections from the doors, and once in, you get a new flat-bottomed steering wheel and an interior covered in Dinamica, a half-recycled Suede substitute. Wood trims come as standard, and in the RS Performance, you can have them finished in matte carbon camouflage. 

Audi has also upgraded the Virtual Cockpit instrument binnacle to give information on battery temperature and charging times. RS Performance models have a white power display and speedometer that replicates those found in the old RS2. Options, meanwhile, include a new panoramic glass roof that turns opaque at the touch of a button.

The new e-tron GT goes on sale in August with prices ranging from around £100,000-£135,000, although a canny buyer would wait a year to benefit from the car’s colossal depreciation. 

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