RS e-tron GT proves its worth against AMG, proves electric vehicles can have style, performance on par or better than ICE machines.
There’s no doubt the New ’20s will likely be the last time ICE machines have the higher ground in all aspects of motoring. As more automakers enter the roadway to electrification, new EVs continue to improve their standing away from egomaniacs and their playthings. Audi is among them with their e-tron family, including its high-performance RS e-tron GT fastback sedan.
How far has the electric road come along over the past few years? Why not see by pitting the RS e-tron GT against one of the old guard. Carwow‘s Mat Watson and Yianni Charalambous (a.k.a. Yiannimize) turned up on the runway for a good battle between the Audi and the gas-powered AMG E 63 S. Can the EV hold its own against a V8?
“I’m sitting in a Mercedes E 63 AMG,” said Watson. “Next to me is an Audi RS e-tron GT. This may seem like a bit of an odd match-up, but I’m going to explain why I’m doing it. You see, [the Audi] is now the most powerful RS model you can buy. Yet, every time I’ve raced an RS car against this E 63, the Mercedes has come out on top. So can that new, electric-powered RS car regain some honor for Audi?”
Of course, it’s not just about regaining honor for Audi. It’s a demonstration of how far EVs have come along in just a few short years as being as good, if not better than, their ICE counterparts. Though manufacturers like Toyota and Porsche have either put their weight behind alternatives like hydrogen and synthetic gasoline (the latter which could keep ICE machines on the road for a long time to come, per Donut Media), there’s no doubt the EV is not only here to stay, it’s here to overthrow the old order.
“I think this [Audi] looks great,” said Charalambous. “I really, really like this a lot. I’ll be honest with you, when I saw the lineup, I was so surprised you gave me this car. I personally don’t think you got a chance. But, I could be underestimating that vehicle.”
Right off the bat, Charalambous proves the RS e-tron GT is the wave of the future. In the drag race, he uses his perfect launch to leave Watson in dust by around two car lengths. After all, his Audi’s pair of electric motors deliver their combined 620 ft-lb of torque all at once. Meanwhile, the AMG’s torque takes a while to come up, just as the Audi’s 630 ponies have long already gotten the job done.
That instant torque shows up even harder on the roll races. On the first with both cars in their respective comfort modes, the RS e-tron GT immediately pulls away, crossing the mile-mark by four car lengths. In their performance modes, though, the duo cross the same line in a dead heat. However, it did take the AMG a while to reach the Audi.
“For a car that’s so fast,” said Charalambous, “it doesn’t brake well. I assume you got no ceramics on this?”
Despite the AMG winning the brake test, it did so by about a third of a car. Part of this could be due to the RS e-tron GT’s battery pack contributing to the overall 2.3 tons it weighs. It also, as Charalambous believes, could be due to the lack of the right sort of brakes for such a machine.
However, the weight issue could resolve itself once the infrastructure is in place. As Audi CEO Markus Duesmann told Roadshow in February, the long-range packs of today could shrink amid a denser infrastructure. In turn, charging times also shrink, placing EVs finally on par with fueling times for ICE machines. And, of course, shorter stopping distances for brake tests like the ones carwow performs due to less weight overall.
In short, races like these demonstrate where the EV lines up with ICEs. Looks like the latter has finally met its match, and its fate.