The 2022 Audi RS e-tron GT is the high-performance variant of Audi’s first all-electric sedan, the e-tron GT. It’s also closely related to Porsche’s all-electric Taycan Turbo. According to the EPA, the RS e-tron GT should be capable of cruising 232 miles on a full battery charge before needing to plug in again. That’s 20 miles more than the EPA projects for the 2021 Taycan Turbo — and 6 miles fewer than the standard e-tron GT.
Although we’ve yet to test the Turbo variant of the Taycan, the 2020 Taycan 4S outperformed its EPA range in our testing by a wider margin — 120 miles — than any other EV to date. Its official range for 2020 was 203 miles, yet it covered a remarkable 323 miles on our test loop.
A few weeks ago we tested the standard Audi e-tron GT wondering if we’d see similar results, but that car “only” exceeded its EPA estimate by 35 miles. That means the RS e-tron GT shouldn’t beat the EPA by more than about 30 miles, right? You’d think so, but of course we had to test one and find out. Here’s what actually happened.
Testing the Audi RS e-tron GT in the real world
Edmunds tests every new electric vehicle on the same real-world driving loop to see just how far it can travel from a full charge down to zero miles remaining. If you scroll through our EV range leaderboard, you’ll see that most EVs have matched or exceeded their EPA range estimates in our testing. Much of that has to do with our ability to test in near-ideal conditions year-round.
Over the course of our eight-hour stint behind the RS e-tron GT’s wheel, the average temperature was a balmy 79 degrees, slightly warmer than the 70-degree average we saw when running the e-tron GT. As a reminder, we keep the climate control set to 72 degrees in every vehicle.
At the end of the day, we had traveled a total of 285 miles in the 2022 RS e-tron GT. That’s 53 miles, or 22.8%, better than its EPA estimate — and 12 miles farther than the non-RS e-tron GT could manage. This range was achieved despite the RS e-tron GT’s larger wheels and tires and its 42 extra pounds on our scales.
What do we think happened here?
Some might point to the warmer weather, but 70 degrees seems to be the optimal temperature for EV trip efficiency, so if anything, the RS e-tron GT had a tougher row to hoe. Our best theory has to do with the RS model’s recommended tire pressures — which we always ensure are followed during testing — and its optional carbon-ceramic brakes.
While the regular e-tron GT’s recommended pressures are 36 psi for the front tires and 33 psi for the rears, the RS e-tron GT calls for 41 psi all around with the 21-inch wheels. We suspect the higher pressures for the RS offset the increased rolling resistance of its larger tires.
As for our RS model’s optional carbon-ceramic brakes, they’re significantly lighter than the standard steel rotors. Since the brake rotors rotate with the wheels, lighter rotors would likely reduce the energy needed to motivate the car.
Overall, the RS e-tron GT’s range performance puts it in 12th place overall, tied with the Kia Niro EV.