Can electric performance cars be as exciting as sporty petrol-burning vehicles? According to Top Gear’s Chris Harris, the answer is no, but models like the Audi RS E-Tron GT get pretty close and you can still have plenty of fun around a track in one - Harris even says the hottest E-Tron GT is even more tail happy and fun than the Porsche Taycan it’s closely related to.
The Audi RS E-Tron GT is comparable in terms of performance with the Porsche Taycan Turbo, with 590 bhp (or briefly 637 bhp thanks to an Overboost function) and 830 Nm (612 pound-feet). It sprints to sixty in 3.1 seconds and has a 250 km/h (155 mph) top speed.
Those power, torque and acceleration numbers make it a great match for what is widely acknowledged to be the best midsize super saloon, the BMW M5 CS. Its 4.4-litre V8 makes 627 bhp, while peak torque comes in at 750 Nm (553 pound-feet), and thanks to all-wheel drive, it sprints around two tenths quicker than the electric Audi.
Harris argues that even though the Audi is definitely comparable in terms of straight line performance, and even crazy tail-out action around the corners, he’d still have the BMW just because it’s a dying breed and soon you won’t be able to buy such cars new. But the main takeaway from this is that even though the E-Tron is not quite as fun around a track, it’s definitely comparable both in terms of performance and enjoyment levels with the mighty M5 CS.
There's a strong chance that the current M5's replacement will be a plug-in hybrid, and the vehicle after that will be fully electric, if trends continue along the same path as today.