Audi Sport is no stranger to a performance-oriented EV taking into consideration the original R8 supercar spawned an EV version in 2009. While that one never made it to production, a second-gen R8 E-Tron followed in 2015, only to be discontinued after fewer than 100 units were sold. Why did it fail? Well, the $1-million price tag certainly didn’t help, and we could say the same thing about the limited 279-mile range in the overly optimistic NEDC cycle.
But while the R8 E-Tron was unquestionably a sales flop, that didn’t deter Audi from pursuing EV tech with an emphasis on performance. With Porsche’s help and access to the J1 platform, the RS E-Tron GT will ditch the supercar recipe for a more practical four-door shape in the same vein as the Taycan. Don’t go into thinking it will be slower than the R8 E-Tron as even though it will be a family-oriented sedan, carwow’s video shows the RS E-Tron GT will be impressively quick.
Gallery: Audi RS E-Tron GT Prototype Vehicle
While the defunct R8 E-Tron did 0 to 60 mph in a still-impressive 3.9 seconds, it pales in comparison with the upcoming zero-emissions sedan. Carwow’s Mat Watson launched the RS E-Tron GT and the near-production vehicle only needed 2.88 seconds to hit 60 mph and 6.86 seconds to reach 100 mph (161 km/h) before completing the quarter mile in 10.94 seconds.
It’s important to point out the RS E-Tron GT is actually heavier than the R8 E-Tron, tipping the scales at around 4,600 pounds (2,086 kilograms) in this dual-motor Quattro-equipped configuration. As a refresher, the electric supercar weighed about 4,056 (1,840 kg). It just goes to show the advancements made in EV tech in recent years and how a sedan can outperform a full-blown supercar in an acceleration test.
Porsche’s equivalent in the range-topping Turbo S is even quicker thanks to the extra power, with real-life tests showing a 0-60 time in 2.4 seconds and a quarter-mile in 10.5 seconds per Car and Driver. Rumors say Audi is plotting a tri-motor RS E-Tron GT, which although would still have less punch than the Taycan Turbo S, its performance should get closer to Porsche’s range-topping EV.
Meanwhile, the regular RS E-Tron GT will go on sale in the United States in the second half of 2021.