Audi is undergoing a transition. Late last month, the automaker announced that it would only introduce electric vehicles starting in 2026 while phasing out combustion-powered models by 2033. This puts engines like the RS3’s 2.5-litre five-cylinder on the chopping block, with its immediate future uncertain.
It’s a formidable powertrain that car propels the model down the drag strip with ease, and it should remain a favourite of enthusiasts for the time being. However, a taste of the future is already available from Audi in the form of the E-Tron GT, the brand’s new all-electric saloon. A new video from the Car YouTube channel pits these two siblings against each other in a drag race to see which car is the superior racer.
Gallery: 2022 Audi E-Tron GT: Review
The Audi E-Tron GT packs a dual-motor setup that gives the saloon all-wheel drive. The powertrain also produces 489 bhp (360 kilowatts) and 464 pound-feet (630 Newton-metres) of torque. The RS 3 uses the automaker’s turbocharged 2.5-litre five-cylinder engine that makes 394 bhp (294 kW) and 368 lb-ft (498 Nm) of torque. The Audi channels the power through a seven-speed dual-clutch transmission with launch control to its Quattro all-wheel-drive system.
The RS3 might be down on power compared to the E-Tron GT, but it is lighter, weighing 1,655 kilograms (3,649 pounds) and giving it at least one advantage in the battle. With its portly battery pack, the E-Tron GT tips the scales at 2,326 kg (5,127 lbs).
The E-Tron got a stunning launch off the starting line in the video above, exploding ahead of the RS3. The E-Tron’s extra power helped keep it in front of the other Audi to the end, completing the quarter-mile race in 11.6 seconds. The RS3 did not finish far behind, needing just 11.9 seconds to complete the race.
EVs continue to demonstrate their performance prowess when they feature the right configuration. An EV’s performance capability often comes at the cost of its range, with more energy needed for the motors. Battery and motor technology should lessen this tension as automakers make improvements.