The newly released Audi RS e-tron GT in a sprint race with Audi Sport’s newest Formula E race car – and there’s practically nothing in it.
16 February, 2021
It’s always quite an event when Audi takes the covers of an all-new model, but the world premiere of the Audi e-tron GT and RS e-tron GT just last week took the event to a new level. The anticipation surrounding these cars has been palpable given their importance both as new models and as a view to the brand’s future direction in terms of everything from design to drivetrain.
Given that both are high-performance, all-electric cars, plenty of attention was given to the performance figures, which while impressive, don’t fully illustrate just what these cars are capable of.
How best then, to illustrate straight off the bat, just what the brand’s electric supercars can do? For this, it was a return to an old fashioned way of doing business – with a straight sprint, a drag race, between the Audi RS e-tron GT and Audi Sport’s latest Formula E racers, the Audi e-tron FE07. The Audi Sport facility at Neuburg just an hour from Audi HQ in Ingolstadt was the perfect place to put the two cars to the test. One, specially developed to race in the coming 2021 FIA Formula E season and the other, the very first all-electric RS model, designed to be driven on the road. Behind the wheel of the Audi e-tron FE07 was Formula E champion, Lucas di Grassi, while driving the RS e-tron GT (in its prototype livery) was none other than Nico Rosberg – former Formula 1 world champion and co-founder of Greentech.
To make things really interesting, the Neuburg test track was covered in a dusting of freshly fallen snow – not exactly ideal conditions for a standing start drag race. This meant Audi Sport technicians were to left to come up with a way of carrying out the historic race despite the challenging conditions.
The solution in the end was fairly straightforward, albeit on a significant scale, as the entire eighth mile of track to be used was covered in special blankets to keep the snow at bay.
Then with a comparatively dry track at their disposal, it was down to business to see which of the two Audis would cross the finish line first.
As you can see from the video, there was precious little it, with the e-tron FE07 crossing the line first – but not by much. The blinding acceleration of the Audi RS e-tron GT, not to mention the grip was truly impressive, and subsequent trials throughout the afternoon showed that again and again it was up to the task, with no sign of power dropping off no matter how many full power launches were tried.
Ultimately it came down to the reaction times of the two highly competitive and credentialed drivers, who would no doubt still be at it had Audi Sport not called time on the test.
It was a compelling illustration of what customers can expect when the RS e-tron GT and the e-tron GT start appearing on the road. More impressive still when you remember that the RS e-tron GT is a four-door, four-seat grand tourer. So when someone says it’s ‘race car fast’, you have a better idea of just what that means.
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