Should Audi Rethink How They Position Their RS Models and Follow the Porsche Philosophy?

RS modelsPorsche and Audi offer RS models. Both companies are under the Volkswagen umbrella. They both have a long and distinguished motorsports history. But the top-shelf RS models from each brand take drastically different approaches. The Audi RS models are extremely quick and powerful. They are wonderful cars that many people aspire to own. We love them here at Audi World. But RS means racing sport. RACING. Look at the Porsche RS models. The GT4 RS and the 911 GT3 RS. These are essentially race cars. The 911 GT3 RS has a drag reduction system borrowed from F1 for Pete’s sake. These cars are raw and wonderful and probably a bit too extreme to work as daily drivers.

The Audi RS models are different. First of all, there are a lot of them. RS 3, RS 5, RS 6, RS 7, RS e-tron GT, and RS Q8. They are powerful and quick, but none of these can be considered hardcore track weapons. Audi is not Porsche. They have different missions, and price points. But they do have a lot in common. And should Audi borrow the Porsche philosophy when it comes to producing RS models? Perhaps. You can’t argue with the market. Look at the prices of any Porsche RS in history. They are depreciation proof. And in fact, are typically worth well more years later than when they were new. The Audi RS models are desirable but don’t have that kind of market. I was offered an allocation on a new 911 GT3 RS, for $200,000 OVER sticker. No Audi commands that.

Audi GTS Models

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Electric Cars are Awesome, Charging is a Crapshoot

Electric Cars

Green machines get better every day. But when you’re relying on public chargers? Getting juiced up can be a huge pain.

Later in the day, it would actually snow. But at the moment, it was only pouring rain in Los Angeles. The battery on my electric press car was under 15 percent — and the range was dropping quickly.

To preserve juice, the small crossover had cut the climate controls, so the interior was rapidly fogging up, and I was running out of options. Two of the ChargePoint stations the car’s navigation had directed me to were broken. The janky Flo Charging station was — apparently — members-only. The instructions on the Powerflex station, located in an empty parking devoid of services, proved impossible to decipher. And the Electrify America stations at the grocery store were all in use.

Out of options, I limped back to my girlfriend’s house, and resorted to the vehicle’s 120v charging cord. It had been a miserable morning, and it would be more than 24 hours before I felt confident enough to drive this fast, expensive machine again. Unfortunately, as this recent AudiWorld thread details, my experience wasn’t all that unusual, and showed that even if you’re in an area — like Southern California — rife with charging stations, actually charging can be a crapshoot.

So if you’re going to drive an electric car, the best bet is to pony up for a home charging station, as many members have done.

Now, while I’m an old-school gearhead who loves the smell of gasoline and the feel of a clutch pedal, I happen to love electric cars. I love the silence, the lack of emissions, and especially, the incomparable feeling of thrust they deliver. But for someone who lives in an apartment? Where I can’t even hook a battery tender to my motorcycle? I wouldn’t actually consider one, because I’d always feel — whether it’s realistic or not — like I was a hat trick of broken chargers away from being marooned.

This is to say nothing, of course, about the experience of using a fully functional charger. For example, all of the ones I’ve encountered require you to download an app to use them, which is stupid. Sure, it’s useful to be able to see your state of charge while you’re walking around the grocery store or sitting in a restaurant. But it’s far from necessary, and if you’re visiting a type of station you haven’t used before, it means that you have to spend five or ten minutes slogging through a setup before you can get a trickle of juice into your car. And what happens if your phone is dead? Or if you don’t have service? At that moment, you’re screwed.

After my recent charging odyssey, I had three useless apps on my phone — all of which had access to my billing address and credit card info. It’s enough to make you want to go and buy a diesel pickup.

So I’m proposing a couple of ideas to make charging easier. First, every charger should have a credit card reader. That doesn’t mean you still can’t use an app, because heaven knows companies love apps. But you should also be able to roll up to a charger, plug in your vehicle, slide your card, and start charging. It should be no harder than using a gas pump. Second, every charger should ping out not only whether it’s occupied, which some do, but whether it’s actually functional. Given that cars already receive real-time traffic updates and the like, that shouldn’t be hard. Either of those would have saved me a bunch of grief on my little adventure.

But what do you think? Am I whining unnecessarily? Or am I on to something? And what else could be done to make charging less risky when you’re on the move? Hit me up and let me know!

Image Source: Audi, ChargePoint

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RS e-tron GT vs e-tron GT: Is the RS Really Worth an Extra $40 Grand???

Audi RS e-tron GT

The RS e-tron GT vs e-tron GT comparison is shockingly similar at times — is 115-121 extra horsepower worth a $40,000-plus premium?

Funny how timing works. Today Audi announced the new limited-edition project_513/2 RS e-tron GT, and we just wrapped up back-to-back loans with the RS e-tron GT and e-tron GT, Audi’s current flagship EV sports sedans. Since we’re a couple of years behind on reviewing vehicles that debuted in 2020 and 2021, the goal today isn’t to do a traditional review. Instead, we’d like to offer an RS e-tron GT vs e-tron GT comparison for anyone who might be on the fence between the two. Basically, is the RS really worth an extra $40,000 to $60,000 more over the base car?

RS e-tron GT vs e-tron GT Basics

Audi RS e-tron GT

As most folks know by now, the RS e-tron GT and e-tron GT are Audi’s versions of the (shared-platform) Porsche Taycan. But, where Porsche offers a whopping 10 model variants, including wagons, Audi settled on two variations. Visually, Audi’s flagship EV sedan siblings most closely resemble the A7, S7, and RS 7 and the e-tron’s six-figure pricing is in line with the RS 7, RS 6 Avant, and S8.

Audi e-tron GT

On the inside, the e-tron GT siblings mostly resemble the 6 and 7 series Audi products. Sporty seating for five. Optional fine Napa leather. A full digital gauge cluster. However, the e-tron GTs forgo Audi’s dual-screen approach for the infotainment and HVAC systems that one finds on the A6, A7, S8, and the original e-tron SUV. Instead, the more expensive e-tron GT’s physical buttons more resemble the lower trim Q4 e-tron. To be clear, we generally applaud physical HVAC buttons, but the layout and materials lack a certain premium one looks for in higher-end Audis.

e-tron GT

Here’s a breakdown of the two models’ features —

RS e-tron GT

Audi RS e-tron GT

  • Boost Mode: 637 horsepower & 612 lb.-ft. of torque
  • Standard Power: 590 horsepower & 612 lb.-ft. Of torque
  • 0-60mph: 2.9 seconds (with Boost, as Tested by MotorTrend)
  • Quarter mile: 10.3 seconds
  • Top Speed: 155mph
  • Sport Adaptive Air Suspension
  • Curb Weight: 5,151 lbs
  • Dual Electric Motors — single speed (front); 2-speed transmission (rear)
  • 93.4 kWh Battery Pack (83.7 kW of accessible capacity)
  • 240V 0-100% Charging: 10.5 hours
  • 270 kW DC 5-80% Fast Charging: 22.5 mins
  • Range: 232 miles

e-tron GT

audi e-tron GT

  • Boost Mode: 522 horsepower & 472 lb.-ft. of torque
  • Standard Power: 469 horsepower & 464 lb.-ft. Of torque
  • 0-60mph: 3.6 seconds (with Boost, as tested by MotorTrend)
  • Quarter Mile: 11.9 seconds
  • Top Speed: 152mph
  • Sport Adaptive Air Suspension
  • Curb Weight: 5,060 lbs
  • Dual Electric Motors — single-speed (front); 2-speed transmission (rear)
  • 93.4 kWh Battery Pack (83.7 kW of accessible capacity)
  • 240V 0-100% Charging: 10.5 hours
  • 270 kW DC 5-80% Fast Charging: 22.5 mins
  • Range: 238 miles

Similarities Abound

e-tron GT (left); RS e-tron GT (right)

Debadge an Audi RS e-tron GT and e-tron GT and, shockingly, it’s nearly impossible to tell them apart inside and out.

Typically, RS Audis benefit from aggressive body styling over the standard A/Q or S models. But not so in the e-tron GT family. Without the subtle differences that only enthusiasts notice — RS badge, brightly colored brakes, and different wheel options — they’re the same car. Especially if one swaps out the standard carbon fiber roof on the RS for the glass moonroof that’s standard on the e-tron GT.

e-tron GT (left); RS e-tron GT (right)

The inside is equally similar, although Audi fans will likely recognize the RS model’s bright stitching and seatbelts. Plus, you can order up a lot more carbon fiber on the RS model. But both can be optioned with fine Napa leather interiors and heated, ventilated, and massaging front seats (that should be standard on a car this expensive, but I digress). Even the base model Premium e-tron GT comes with Alcantara everywhere.

Again, it’s so shocking to see an RS Audi that’s this similar to a base model, which had me seriously wondering…

Is the RS e-tron GT Worth a $40K to $60K Premium?

Audi RS e-tron GT

Would you pay $40-grand-plus for roughly 115 to 121 extra horsepower and to shave 7/10ths of a second off your 0-60 mph acceleration runs?

We were honestly prepared to say no until we drove both and spent a good deal of time debating power-to-weight ratios. Audi LOVES to tell the world about the peak power of these two EVs. But the e-tron GT can only hit 522 horsepower for 2.5 seconds when one enters into Dynamic Mode, comes to a stop, and holds the brake and accelerator for 1-second to engage launch control. The rest of the time, you’re cruising at 469 horsepower. Which, to be fair, isn’t exactly slow. But it’s not exactly fast either when your vehicle weighs over 5,000 pounds and you can buy lighter, almost 600-horsepower twin-turbo V8 Audis.

e-tron GT

In short, the e-tron GT is a quick car, and a lovely-driving car, but unless you activate boost mode, it’s not exactly fast. (In Boost mode, however, please be careful, the launches are serious.)

The RS e-tron GT is a different beast altogether. Those extra 121 ponies — going from 469 to 590 horsepower — in normal driving conditions are a MASSIVE improvement. A power band that feels more like driving the Audi S8 without turbo and transmission lag. The RS e-tron GT is, quite honestly, one of the most exhilarating Audi driving experiences available today that we can best sum up thusly…

Zipping onto a highway one day, we were stuck behind a truck going 45 miles an hour. So, when a gap opened up, we floored it and doubled our speed in the time it took to take a single breath. (Before, you know, slowing back down.) And, again, that wasn’t a boost-mode moment. It’s just an electrifying (haha, get it?) way to drive.

Not a One-Trick Pony

RS e-tron GT

For those concerned about EVs being one-trick we-accelerate-quick ponies, the Audi driving experience you probably know and love is all here as well. You might as well be driving an RS 7 in terms of the suspension damping in a vehicle that weighs a little more than the S8. But thanks to its lower center of gravity, the RS e-tron GT corners impressively as well. Not to mention the optional carbon fiber brakes which reduce speed quickly and quietly without as much dust as the steelies.

And, of course, you can also drop into Dynamic mode, come to a stop, hold the brake and accelerator for 1-second, and blast off like a rocket ship. An experience that’s literally like driving a roller coaster… or one of the other insane road-going EVs on sale today… all while sitting in a ventilated massaging bucket front seat listening to Apple CarPlay.

Is the RS e-tron GT worth paying a 40% premium over the e-tron GT?

Every single penny.

RS e-tron GT Image Gallery

e-tron GT Image Gallery

Photographs by Michael S. Palmer

Father. Writer. Photographer. Auto enthusiast.
Current Stable: 2013 Ford Mustang Boss 302, 2013 Cadillac ATS-4 3.6, LS3-Swapped 1992 Buick Roadmaster Wagon, 1987 Mercury Cougar XR-7, and usually a Press Loaner.

Onboard the Audi RS e-tron GT: Video

Audi RS e-tron GT

If you can’t wait to get you hands on the Audi RS e-tron GT this video might help — or make the wait worse.

With internal-combustion development stopped, and Ingolstadt saying that new Audi vehicles will be all-electric starting in 2026, it’s no question that RS e-tron GT represents the future of the Four Rings. Fortunately with 637 horsepower and 612 lb-ft of torque being piped to all four corners, it’s sure to a blast to drive. And while it shares much of its DNA with the Porsche Taycan? From the pictures and videos I’ve seen, it appears to be way better looking than its corporate cousin from Stuttgart.

Of course, there’s only so much you can tell from the spec sheet and images. The true test of the new green machine will be what it’s like when you’re behind the wheel. Unfortunately, no examples of the RS e-tron GT have arrived in my local press fleet as of yet, meaning I haven’t gotten to flog it and see how the Audi compares to competitors like the Mercedes EQS. So this point-of-view video from YouTuber Tedward is the closest I’ve gotten to that experience. As you can imagine, watching it made me even more excited to get my hands on it.

Just as it is with other electric cars, it’s a little surreal to see it ripping up entrance ramps in complete silence. And given some of the speeds Tedward is hitting here, the lack of wind and road noise is impressive. Since this is supposed to be an executive sedan, and not a bare-knuckle sports car, that’s to be expected. But that doesn’t make the demonstration in this clip any less impressive. For what it’s worth, Tedward seems to be impressed with the acceleration, the steering feel, and — particularly — the natural progression of the brakes, all of which are key metrics.

But while I was watching the clip, a big question popped into my head. Namely, why is max power only available for 2.5 seconds, when the Audi will scoot from zero to 60 in 2.9 seconds. Wouldn’t it make sense to be able to give this big baby the beans until it hits 60 mph, so it can totally slay even harder on tests? After all, we’re talking about less than half a second of additional thrust. Am I missing something here? Hit me up and let me know!

Photos: YouTube

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RS e-tron GT vs AMG E 63 S in EPIC Electric vs Gas Battle!

Audi RS e-tron GT vs Mercedes-AMG E 63 S

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?

Audi RS e-tron GT vs Mercedes-AMG E 63 S

“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.

Audi RS e-tron GT vs Mercedes-AMG E 63 S

“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.

Audi RS e-tron GT vs Mercedes-AMG E 63 S

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.

Audi RS e-tron GT vs Mercedes-AMG E 63 S

“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.

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Cameron Aubernon’s path to automotive journalism began in the early New ’10s. Back then, a friend of hers thought she was an independent fashion blogger.

Aubernon wasn’t, so she became one, covering fashion in her own way for the next few years.

From there, she’s written for: Magazine, Insider Louisville, The Voice-Tribune/The Voice, TOPS Louisville, Jeffersontown Magazine, Dispatches Europe, The Truth About Cars, Automotive News, Yahoo Autos, RideApart, Hagerty, and Street Trucks.

Aubernon also served as the editor-in-chief of a short-lived online society publication in Louisville, Kentucky, interned at the city’s NPR affiliate, WFPL-FM, and was the de facto publicist-in-residence for a communal art space near the University of Louisville.

Aubernon is a member of the International Motor Press Association, and the Washington Automotive Press Association.