2022 Audi RS E-Tron GT First Drive Review | The halo EV arrives

CALABASAS, Calif. — The 2022 Audi E-Tron GT doesn’t go on sale in the United States right up until sometime this summer, but last 7 days we bought the prospect to push a German-spec RS E-Tron GT variation out of Ingolstadt’s pre-output fleet (pictured over). Audi has significant hopes driving on its new luxury sedan, contacting it a halo auto for its E-Tron sub-manufacturer of electric automobiles. And but, it’s impossible to discuss the E-Tron GT without mentioning the Porsche Taycan.

When the idea of modern electric powered vehicles ended up first pitched at the flip of the century, automobile execs ended up almost frothing at the mouth more than how basic (and consequently price tag-helpful) a motor vehicle could be. Strategies like providing prospects a single skateboard chassis on which they could swap bods ranging from sporting activities cars and trucks to minivans were being openly talked over. Two decades on, the marketplace has not shifted in the direction of automobiles that can be changed all-around like Lego bricks. In truth, model id is a lot more significant than ever, primarily at the dear close of the sector.

Each the E-Tron GT and the Taycan had been produced in parallel on what is regarded internally as the J1 system. They have a lot of components in typical, starting up with an 800-volt technique (as opposed to the 400-volt technique discovered on Teslas), which aids lower charging periods and body weight alike for the 93-kWh battery pack. The two share a warmth pump that utilizes coolant lines to transfer warmth from higher-voltage electrical elements to the batteries to hold them running at the suitable temperature.

The similarities really don’t conclusion there. Each autos utilize the same underlying twin electric powered motor architecture, and therefore AWD. Both equally have a rear axle with an electronically lockable diff and e-torque vectoring. Porsche phone calls it PTV, Audi phone calls it Quattro 2., but it’s all just branding. Both equally have rear-wheel steering, and a 3-chamber air suspension, which Audi suggests has 60% far more quantity than its other air suspensions, making it possible for for greater variation amongst modes.

Despite the lots of commonalities, the Audi actually does a fairly good position of distinguishing itself from the Taycan. The Porsche is positioned as a super substantial-tech equipment on the reducing edge of the electrical revolution. The Audi is nearer to a standard car or truck, splitting the variance in between a common ICE luxurious sedan like the RS7 and the foreseeable future that is the Taycan.

First and foremost, there’s the styling. The Taycan is sleeker than a Star Wars stormtrooper helmet and is as a great deal a departure from the Porsche norm as you can get these days. The E-Tron GT is significantly more aligned with the rest of the brand name portfolio. Like other Audis, there is a semblance of grille, even if it’s crammed with diamond textured plastic. We dig its muscular sculpting of the fenders and rear haunches, and the spaces among are filled with spectacular character lines and curves. It instantaneously will make an RS7 glance flat.

Portion of that is the fact that the E-Tron GT cuts 2 inches off the RS7’s peak and is 1 inch broader. The only Audi with a decreased roofline is an R8. Certain, if you unwind your pupils like you are staring into a magic eye poster you can see Porsche-esque curves in the rear a few-quarters look at, but it wouldn’t be preposterous to say the E-Tron GT looks far better. Head of design Marc Lichte calls it “the most lovely motor vehicle I have ever penned.”

Having said that, it is the inside where by the E-Tron GT really sets alone aside. The to start with detail you will see is that the reduced MMI display discovered on higher-finish Audis is gone, replaced by physical buttons for climate handle. Beneath that sits a different row for generate manner, traction regulate, parking cameras, and the like. Snazzy as touchscreens may be, we truly choose individuals Audis (you know, the more affordable ones) that have saved buttons and knobs close to. Ironically, then, in this article it is the E-Tron GT that sticks with tactile switchgear while the Taycan’s absent so screen-content you anticipate Max Headroom to pop on and sell you a New Coke.

As for the cabin alone, it is a gorgeous atmosphere that bathes you in decadent products, Dinamica fake suede is conventional and there are six different hues of Nappa leather if you opt for. We should really take note that Audi explained to us that the Arras Red leather-based you see on our RS E-Tron GT tester differs somewhat from what U.S. output will appear like. The inside feels additional personal than that of an A7, cocooning you in a scaled-down over-all place. Driver and navigator will not brain, but rear seat travellers could come to feel a tad cramped. It’s not the legroom, which is adequate thanks to rear footwells fashioned by negative room in the battery pack, but the sloping C-pillars that can intrude on your temples.

2022 Audi RS E-Tron GT First Drive Review | The halo EV arrives2022 Audi RS E-Tron GT First Drive Review | The halo EV arrives

Audi is understandably cherished about the pre-manufacturing Daytona Gray RS E-Tron GT we sampled. All through our generate all-around the winding Santa Monica Mountains, there have been handlers in advance of and behind us in different autos. While transient, our spin did reveal some fascinating features.

The auto rolls out with a pleasant, engineered whine very similar to that of the Taycan, or some type of hovering transportation in a sci-fi movie. But mash the pedal and the takeoff is very little small of immediate. It’s cliché to say that acceleration pins you in opposition to the seat, but it does. With 637 horsepower and 612 pound-ft on tap, the RS E-Tron GT goes from -60 in just 3.1 seconds (the non-RS has 522 hp and 464 lb-ft and will take 3.9 seconds).

Which is not to say it truly is turbulent, while. A quick ICE athletics automobile like the Nissan GT-R NISMO snarls as it claws at the asphalt. You can truly feel the gnashing of metal and churning of equipment all all around you. The RS E-Tron GT, on the other hand, just picks up the rate like it is floating on a beam of light, with only a a bit louder hum and wind sounds.

Most shocking, nonetheless, is the RS E-Tron GT’s steering response. Provided the loose really feel of the A6 and A7, a sure level of drive-by-wire fuzziness was anticipated. Instead, the steering returned feed-back that was, for deficiency of a better term, Porsche-like. Overall body roll is imperceptible, thanks to a weighty battery pack in the flooring sucking the center of gravity way down.


The RS comes with ceramic brakes (16.5-inch entrance, 16.1-inch rear) that drag it to a stop correctly and with no fade, even with a 5,139-pound curb excess weight. We didn’t have a likelihood to take a look at if the metal 16.1-inch entrance, 14.4-inch rear brakes will do the same for the non-RS’s 5,060 kilos. Which is however a large amount of mass, and it keeps the RS E-Tron GT from delivering the raw link to the street that you’d get from a legitimate sports car. On the other hand, the E-Tron GT will probably blow that sporting activities vehicle away on paper in each and every quantifiable metric. Also, we didn’t get to push it at Autobahn speeds, or on the highway at all, but we believe the mass (together with all-wheel-steering) will really plant the RS with a feeling of supreme stability at sustained cruising speed, just like a correct GT really should.

In fifty percent an hour of spirited driving, we noticed the range fall from a virtually entire cost of 220 miles to 160 even nevertheless the true length covered was only 19 miles. Nevertheless Audi’s waiting around for the EPA to certify its most claimed variety of 232 miles (238 for the non-RS), the fact is that indulging in the E-Tron GT’s irresistible accelerative powers will sap selection at an alarming rate. That could be a flip-off for some purchasers, in particular with a car which is billed as a GT (and when Tesla can start off with a claimed 412 miles).

When do you want to recharge, the E-Tron GT offers two ports. On the driver’s side is a normal J1772 AC connector, and on the passenger side is a 270 kW CCS1 DC connector that can get the battery up to 80% from empty in about 20 minutes. Picture, getting capable to demand when parallel parked without the need of dragging the cable across the vehicle!

2022 Audi RS E-Tron GT First Drive Review | The halo EV arrives

The E-Tron GT starts off at $99,900 (right before place expenses, which have not been introduced for the 2022 design 12 months). The RS adds $40,000. On paper, though, there are sites wherever a Tesla Product S wins out — substantially a lot more storage place with a 26.3 cubic foot trunk vs . the Audi’s 14.3 (not to point out a 5.3 cubic foot frunk to the Audi’s 2.9), a claimed 1.9-second -60 time for the tri-motor $144,490 Plaid+ that also has optimum marketed vary of 520 miles. But for those people who are accustomed to conventional automobiles, it is the unquantifiable areas like interior come to feel and steering reaction that give the Audi an edge.

The Taycan actually appears like it’s nearer to the Model S in spirit, which brings us to our ultimate point. Yes, the Audi and Porsche have distinct identities, but it appears to be they were inadvertently switched, “Freaky Friday” type. Audi was constantly the Vorsprung durch Technik manufacturer and Porsche the classic driver’s decision. Right here, it is the E-Tron GT that appears to be to be additional driver-oriented with its cabin layout and muscle mass car styling, when the Taycan normally takes on the job of spaceship. Not that we’re complaining. Given the value position, and characteristics, the E-Tron GT slots neatly into the sweet spot among the base Taycan and 4S, whilst the RS E-Tron GT nuzzles amongst the 4S and Turbo. In both conditions, the Audi strikes the excellent stability, and factoring its much more car or truck-like charm, it is really arguably the just one to get.

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