By on October 8, 2020

With Porsche having secured itself an all-electric vehicle, the laws of trickle-down manufacturing dictate that Audi is the next on Volkswagen Group’s docket for performance-focused electrification. Using the J1 performance platform that underpins Porsche’s Taycan, the Ingolstadt-based automaker has reported that its own E-Tron GT is nearing completion  assuring us that it’ll will meet the bar in terms of “quality and progressiveness” in a handful of announcements on Thursday.

Probably the most important of these was that Audi would be ready to commence production at the end of this year at Böllinger Höfe, near Neckarsulm, alongside the R8. However the company leaked a few additional details, including that the E-Tron (which the brand stylizes in all lower-case letters, bleh) will come in an RS variant.

While we have no clue on how hardcore the RS trim will be on the E-Tron GT, Stuttgart’s Taycan ranges between 522 and 750 horsepower. Audi will presumably slot the RS tastefully below the Porsche’s maximum output, leaving it with similarly mental 0-to-60 times in the 3 second (or less) range. It’s also likely to get a bunch of exterior touches not found on the standard trimmed GT and some unique flair on the inside to give further distinguish it from the more plebeian examples.

Marc Lichte, head of design at Audi, had previously confessed that it was difficult to distinguish EVs from each other in terms of their innate character. But he’s been confident they’ve managed to pull it off by giving the duo “completely different driving dynamics.”

“It’s not like today with an [internal combustion] engine, where the flat-six or the turbo V6 provides the character. The challenge is to develop that kind of identity for the EV vehicles,” Lichte told Car & Driver in 2018. “Audi has a rich history, and we need to marry our past to the future.”

Since then, we’ve gotten a healthy look at the E-Tron GT Concept (above)  which has some overt badge engineering but enough unique touches to differentiate itself from the Taycan. Despite the two obviously sharing plenty of industrial DNA, the Audi is more angular. Even the production model, which Audi has teased using close-up shots of a heavily camouflaged model, appears to retain some of the creases we saw on the concept that the Porsche lacks.

Another item keeping the two apart will be the soundtrack. While the Taycan has an “Electric Sport Sound” option that adds a synthesized rumble that provides some depth to the standard EV whizzing EV (for an extra $500), the E-Tron GT will be getting its own unique noises. All the manufacturer has said thus far is that the car “sounds powerful and progressive  just as an Audi should.” But it has provided a couple of teasers indicating the E-Tron will likely be offering fewer audio-engineered burbles for something more akin to the THX introduction.

[Images: Audi]


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13 Comments on “Audi Confirms RS Variant for E-Tron GT Sports EV, Teases Soundtrack...”

  • avatar

    “we need to marry our past to the future” Parker shotgun?
    “synthesized rumble” :-/

  • avatar
    SCE to AUX

    I don’t get Audi’s obsession with the sound of a new EV. Methinks they really just can’t leave the past behind.

    That Audi $ound will be expen$ive, and I can’t imagine it’s much better than the other EVs I’ve driven. Fact is, I prefer the sound of silence in an EV.

  • avatar

    I was passed by a Taycan the other day and I have to say, the noise that it produces is super cool and futuristic.

  • avatar

    IMO, the “silence” of BEVs is probably one of the least appealing things about them. That said, I’m not sold on the fully synthetic sounds that manufacturers are using right now either. I’m surprised there is no way to induce a more “natural” sound from a battery or electric motor.

    Yes, I know that ICE sounds are often specifically “tuned” to be a certain way but I think that is like the difference between preparing a turkey with different cooking methods versus just giving me a picture of a turkey.

  • avatar
    el scotto

    Can exhaust sounds be patented? I see a possible growth industry here, and credit it to green tech, an external speaker and a USB drive with ICE sounds piped out? Ferrari GT-40? Shelby Mustang? Big block Corvette? International Farmall? All those sweet sounds to warn the public.

  • avatar

    Can they imitate ICE exhaust too? Some nice smelling CO2 coming out of eTron will be welcomed.

  • avatar

    That was a hyperbolic waste of two and a half minutes.
    Artificial sound effects for a silent drivetrain? I guess so, otherwise engineering a car for some sort of sonic personality by tuning road and wind noise is all they automakers have left to play with. No more exhaust, induction, cylinder count, or mechanical distinctiveness. Welcome to the future: the boredom of uniform, universal silent smooth perfection.
    While they are at it, maybe they could cause the drivetrain to bump and hesitate while accelerating so it feels like a “normal” transmission, just like Subaru does with its CVT trannies.

  • avatar

    [Feeling all techy after that tediously didactic video, so….]

    Physics question for the B&B:

    A layer of plexiglass is impenetrable to the coronavirus (particle size maybe 0.1 micron), yet a fly (on the order of 6,000 microns) goes right through. How is this possible?

  • avatar

    Can someone enlighten me what the point of these electric ‘performance cars’ is that will quickly delete their meager battery power supply after a few moments of fun while offering zero emotional feedback in the form of real addictive engine noise?

    To me, the EV fits the category of ‘soulless appliance’ perfectly.

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