The list of Tesla Model S alternatives will officially grow to two this summer when the Audi E-Tron GT becomes available in the US. That’s not a lot (yet) but at least Audi's latest arrival is without a doubt a good contender. But this shouldn't be a surprise because it shares the same platform the Porsche Taycan, a very impressive electric sedan and now also a wagon.
The Audi E-Tron GT will be offered in two models, the regular E-Tron GT Quattro starts about $4,000 less than a Taycan 4S (same horsepower) at $99,900, and the RS E-Tron GT starts at $139,900, $11,000 less than a Taycan Turbo (similar hp). That’s not a big difference, but as many of us know, Porsches can quickly get expensive with options and packages.
The E-Tron GT Quattro's front and rear motors have a combined output of 469 hp and 464 lb-ft of torque, but that can be increased for 2.5 seconds with overboost to 522 hp and 472 lb-ft of torque. The more powerful RS E-Tron GT produces a total of 590 hp (637 with overboost) and 612 lb-ft of torque (same in overboost) from its two motors. Audi claims a 0-60 mph time of 3.9 seconds for the GT Quattro and 3.1 for the RS.
Gallery: Audi E-Tron GT and RS E-Tron GT US Drive
Charging and Range
The battery pack for both models is 93.4 kWh (91.5 usable) and thanks to its 800-volt electrical architecture, it can charge up to 270 kW with an appropriate DC fast charger. That’s fast. Audi claims a 5-80 percent charge in about 22 minutes. The automaker says it estimates an EPA range of 238 miles for the GT Quattro and 232 miles for the RS. However, considering how far the Taycan has gone in range tests, that number will likely be higher in real-world driving.
How It Drives
Audi gave us a taste of the RS E-Tron GT with a 30-minute drive around the canyon roads of Malibu. The company had a pre-production prototype shipped from Germany for me to drive, and I had a technician driving behind me just in case anything happened (nothing happened). There was also a driver in front of me but he gave me enough room to allow for some fast-paced driving.
The RS E-Tron GT has neck-snapping acceleration just like the Model S and Taycan Turbo/Turbo S. That of course wasn’t a surprise. But the way it handled did surprise me. You see, the E-Tron GT is heavy like most EVs are, it weighs about 5,000 pounds. However, it doesn’t feel heavy when pushing it through a corner. I found myself driving through corners much faster than I anticipated. It almost felt like I was driving a 3,000-pound Honda Civic Type-R. I hate to use the term confidence inspiring, but that’s exactly how it felt driving the RS E-Tron GT. And in case you're wondering, it has a comfortable ride.
If you don't want a Tesla Model S and don't want to pony up for a Porsche Taycan, the Audi E-Tron GT is a great premium alternative.