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Photo Comparison: Audi RS e-tron GT vs ALPINA B8 Gran Coupe

The ALPINA B8 Gran Coupe was just revealed and it’s immediately going to be considered one of the best looking four-door cars on the market. The standard BMW 8 Series Gran Coupe, on which it’s based, is already great looking but the ALPINA version is even better. So we thought it would be wise to compare it to Audi’s best looking four-door — the all-electric Audi RS e-tron GT.

 

While the Audi RS e-tron GT is all-electric and the ALPINA B8 is gas-powered, the two are actually quite similar. Just like the B8, the RS e-tron GT tuned to be more comfortable and more of a GT car than a proper sports car.

What’s interesting about these two cars is that, on the road, they’re designed to be high-performance GT cars, capable of being every bit as comfortable and smooth as they are fast and agile. However, on the outside, the ALPINA B8 Gran Coupe shows that GT-minded nature, while the Audi RS e-tron GT is extremely muscular and aggressive.

 

Up front, the RS e-tron GT, despite being all-electric, is very shouty and angry, with angular headlights, sharp edges everywhere, and a sort of inverse hood dome. While the ALPINA B8 is the exact opposite; it’s sophisticated, reserved, and understated. Both are great looking cars up front but, somewhat ironically, their faces are both their weakest links. I think I’ll have to give it to the ALPINA up front, simply because it’s a bit less messy.

In profile, there’s a clear winner — the Audi. Not because the ALPINA B8 is bad looking; far from it, the B8 Gran Coupe is stunning from the side; but because the e-tron GT is a breathtaking achievement. Admittedly, it has an inherent advantage being an electric vehicle, as there are almost no packaging restrictions to its design, so Audi designers could run wild. Still its muscular rear haunches, flared front wheel arches, low slung roofline, and perfectly proportioned silhouette are nigh impossible to beat in a four-door car. The B8 is gorgeous as well but, comparatively, it looks a bit tall on its wheels and even a bit boring.

 

Out back, it’s a bit interesting. The Audi RS e-tron GT features a killer rear light bar but the lack of exhausts really sort of dulls the look of the back end. Maybe that’s just me being an old curmudgeon. Still, the RS e-tron’s rear haunches give it such presence, such muscularity that it’s hard to ignore. The B8 Gran Coupe has a great looking butt; with its handsome taillights, sporty rear diffuser, and its kick-ass quad exhausts that peer through the rear bumper; but it just lacks the presence and theater of the Audi RS e-tron GT.

The Audi RS e-tron GT has to take the win here, simply because it’s probably the prettiest four-door machine on the planet at the moment. In all other company, the ALPINA B8 Gran Coupe is difficult to beat, because it’s just such a beautiful car. But the RS e-tron GT shows the inherent benefits of designing an EV, as designers have so much more freedom to create exciting, impassioned designs. Maybe when the ALPINA goes all-electric, it will have designs that can’t be beat.

Nico DeMattia

I've been in love with cars since I was a kid, specifically German cars. Now I get to drive them talk about them on the internet.