Review: Audi RS E-tron GT Is Best Car I’ve Driven This Year


It’s no surprise that Audi’s quickest car or truck wears an RS badge, as these two letters stand in for “RennSport” or “Race Sport” by way of English translation from the initial German. What is extra appealing is that the holder of the crown isn’t the hottest flavor of the automaker’s mid-motor R8 supercar, but fairly a thoroughly-electric powered grand tourer that provides an excess set of doors to its sibling’s spaceship aesthetic.

Far more than just a packet of consonants plastered on the back of a battery-driven interstellar rocket, the 2022 Audi RS e-tron GT isn’t just the best Audi you can currently invest in, it’s also 1 of the strongest throughout-the-board alternatives for everyone seeking prime-end transportation with temperament, style and grace. This astonishing car is evidence that the maturation of electric powered motor vehicles is upon us as luxury badges emphatically show that there are factors nicely outside of array as to why you’d want to go fuel-totally free. 

As very long as you have obtained the scratch, that is.

The 2022 Audi RS e-tron GT in red

This is how you want your $140,000 EV to search.


Light on Its Toes, A lot less Temperamental Than Tesla

Much of the original wow issue affiliated with the RS e-tron GT is derived from the dual-motor wallop delivered by its electrical drivetrain. Handling the entrance and rear axles and married to an 85-kWh battery, the technique provides a nominal 590 horsepower. On major of that, an overboost operate harnesses the entire could of the vehicle’s cooling system to perk factors up to 637 horses and 612 lb-ft of torque for 2.5 of the 3.1 seconds it formally requires the Audi to attain 60 mph when working with its launch control technique.

If people numbers feel absurd it’s because they are. When not pretty as rapid as the mightiest product Porsche Taycan (that shares the e-tron GT’s 800-volt platform), it is well in just an eye-blink in real-environment screening that drops the genuine timed run below the 3-next mark. Look at, far too, that inspite of currently being a next slower than the 1,020 horsepower Tesla Design S Plaid, the e-tron calls for none of the theatrics affiliated with that vehicle’s Drag Strip method launch regulate (which demands up to 15 minutes of battery conditioning prior to engaging). Basically hold the brake and flatten the go-pedal in Dynamic method and the Audi is away — above and above once more, much too, many thanks to the GT’s excellent thermal management.

Catapult occasion tricks ultimately have on out, but the general outcome of the RS e-tron GT’s instantaneous-on torque by no means does. Underneath the suitable shoe lies a bottomless pool of pound-toes that can be plunged into at any issue, gratifying the driver with the variety of responsive, fact-bending thrust far more often affiliated with moreover-sizing circus cannons. Combined with the vehicle’s two-speed transmission, its all-wheel travel program (which instantaneously shuffles energy shipping and delivery from one particular wheel to the a different to keep traction and stability), and the RS edition’s regular rear-axle steering, the e-tron GT betrays practically none of its 5,100 or so lbs of suppress body weight. 

Even in corners its bulk is mainly obscured, concentrated as lower as it is in the chassis (with the vehicle’s all round journey peak two inches shorter than the gas-fired RS7 sedan). It’s mostly when braking from the terrifying prime speeds simply reachable by the Audi that its legitimate heft is exposed, especially on the winter tires my check car was outfitted with. I was asked to learn a new language to talk with a car or truck whose each and every go was couched in an envelope of electrons, but which is section of the exciting of partaking with a new society — a person that will sooner or later operate its electric anthropology into the life of motorists at every rung of the pricing ladder.

Interior of the 2022 Audi RS e-tron GT

A lot more than ample comfort and ease, devoid of a fifty percent-baked “high-tech” interface.


Restraint Where by It Matters

If the Audi RS e-tron GT ended up simply exceptionally quick — a hallmark of luxurious EVs — it may not have made as powerful an effect. Luckily, the rest of the bundle is equally formidable.

Visually, the RS e-tron GT cuts a stunning profile, a lot more swish than its Taycan cousin however nevertheless adequately malevolent to convey the firepower diligently coiled under its sheet metal and glass. Furthering the sensation that the GT is anything unique: the movement-activated, context-delicate digital symphony of sound that rises and falls both of those inside the car (to tickle the auditory canal of the pilot) and outside (to retain pedestrians apprised of the Audi’s existence). It is a whirring cloud of vaguely electrified industrial pan-pipe musings, running from bass clef to treble as speeds maximize.

Inside of, the e-tron’s ecosystem is upscale devoid of getting mind-boggling. Forget about wraparound screens, gesture controls or augmented truth. Instead, the GT offers a pair of Liquid crystal display panels (driver cluster and centre stack) matched with buttons and toggles for the climate controls and steering wheel buttons that can engage with just about all the things else (with the only misstep staying the do-everything round multi-perform touch controller on the console, which is simply bypassed).

In addition to its layout restraint, the cabin by itself is at ease entrance and rear, presented your torso is shorter ample to scrape less than the car’s plunging roofline at the back again. With first rate storage space less than its hatch and a beneficial, despite the fact that brief “frunk” forward of the windshield, the e-tron GT life up to its grand touring title by offering exceptional accommodations on more time visits.

The car’s power pack also facilitates extended sojourns, furnished you can come across a station that usually takes benefit of the Audi’s 270 kW max charging speed. If appropriately plugged, the battery can incorporate just in excess of 60 miles of driving distance after a mere 5 minutes of demand time, or 23 minutes to 80% entire from in the vicinity of-vacant. Your expertise will change, but even on reasonably sluggish 7 to 11 kW chargers I had no trouble maintaining the e-tron GT topped up all around Montreal, nor navigating a 250-mile street journey in colder temperature via mountainous terrain.

The 2022 Audi RS e-tron GT in red

Not the swiftest, not the most effective variety, but potentially the most effective overall.


Far more Cash, Less Vary, But Not a Dealbreaker

A street excursion was without a doubt a favourable working experience regardless of all-out selection staying just one of the handful of weak spots on paper for the RS. Thoroughly-charged, it is formally rated at 232 miles by the EPA, which I conveniently matched even when driving on significant rolling resistance rubber. Even though it’s more than enough range for the needs of serious-entire world driving, it’s still perfectly beneath the 350 miles promised by the Mercedes-Benz EQS, or the 405 driving miles for the Tesla Model S.

Undercutting its rivals on array, the RS e-tron GT also manages to overshoot them on value. With a starting off request north of $140,000 (right before adding tens of 1000’s in optional equipment), the RS trim is close to 40% pricier than its foundation design as perfectly as many of its main rivals, with only the best trim Taycans surpassing its window sticker.

Regardless of whether that matters to you is dependent fully on how you plan to use your electrified steed. If extensive-length drives are routinely on the menu, better vary is of class far more hassle-free, but if you’d prefer to fly from one particular metropolis to the future it hardly matters whether or not you will at times be compelled to prevent for a cost a little previously than the Silver Star crowd or Teslarati. 

The Audi asks for a determination primarily based on its compellingly detailed persona, which is grounded in its overall driving working experience instead than tethered to how long you can hypermile prior to owning to pull in excess of and get on the grid. The period of luxury BEVs courting consumers previous the limits imposed by their battery packs and aero profiles has begun, and the RS e-tron GT is ideal there in the front row.

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