2022 Audi RS e-tron GT: A Glimpse of VW Group’s Electrical Future


FOR A BRIEF TIME and to the dismay of the patrons, I used to be as soon as a chef at a resort resort, with a paper toque and tunic, tricolore ribbon, the entire bit. My earlier coaching consisted of being hopeless as a short-order cook dinner at a 24-hour diner referred to as Alligator Alley, the place I discovered to wash and cook dinner mentioned alligators. Wonderful, the resort supervisor mentioned, when are you able to begin?

It was in that huge kitchen I fell in love with a Hobart planetary mixer—an enormous one, on a cast-iron flooring stand, with an aluminum kettle and dough hooks out of Peter Pan’s nightmares. Dude, whenever you turned that factor on, something you needed blended was blended with excessive prejudice. Whisking 300 eggs? Set that unhealthy boy on Excessive Pace and stand again. I at all times puzzled what occurred to the earlier chef.

COMFORT ZONE The cabin design and UX of the RS e-tron GT will likely be acquainted to any repeat Audi purchaser, with few clues to tell apart the automotive from its gas-powered siblings.



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Audi

Our check automotive, the 2022 Audi RS e-tron GT, comes on just like the mighty Hobart—a sudden irresistibility, a thrown swap of overwhelming leverage, even violence, at low rpm or excessive. No vibration. Simply fearful rotation. Blessed with two massive electrical motors on the axles (as much as 637 hp in Increase) churning 4, foot-wide Goodyear Eagle F1s, the RS GT is, amongst different issues, the quickest/quickest Audi four-door ev-ah, with a 0-60 mph of three.1 seconds and quarter-mile of 11 seconds.

To those that would dismiss the RS GT as an equipment, possibly; however I submit until you might have labored in a business kitchen you’ll be able to’t recognize how intimidating home equipment will be.

Talking of which, a little bit of housekeeping: I wish to handle a pattern I’ve detected in reader feedback concerning the frequency of electrical vehicles featured on this column. With respect and affection, get used to it. Whereas EVs’ share of the U.S. light-vehicle market is but small, it’s hovering. Auto makers from

BMW

to Bentley, Audi to Volvo, have introduced the tip of internal-combustion growth in favor of battery-electric platforms, someday earlier than the tip of this decade. Consequently, every thing newsworthy and great on the horizon, all of the funding and innovation, is on the battery-electric aspect: Ford F-150 Lightning, Lucid Air, Tesla Cybertruck, BMW iX, Rivian R1T. The whole lot with a tailpipe—new Jeep Grand Wagoneer—is lame and legacy. I don’t make the principles.

The Audi RS e-tron GT is being in-built numbers so small as to be virtually bespoke inside VW Group.

For additional context, please search out VW Group chairman Herbert Diess’s current feedback concerning VW’s present, innovate-or-die predicament, and all of the methods Tesla’s manufacturing is thrashing VW’s brains in (man-hours per car, profitability). Earlier this month, Ford’s CEO Jim Farley praised Tesla for exhibiting the business the trail towards car electrification. Unauthorized translation: Elon Musk is the richest man on the planet and Ford shareholders wish to get their beaks moist.

All is flux, mentioned Heraclitus—though personally I’d have hedged my bets. One factor that doesn’t change is the love that greets a handsome car on the road. In that regard the RS GT completely crushes. Dayyy-um. The Hobart didn’t have shoulders and hips like that. That’s not a silhouette; that’s a sexual place.

Below the pores and skin, the RS GT and base-model Audi e-tron GT Quattro share its 800-volt electrical structure with company sibling Porsche Taycan. The RS GT is roughly equal to the Taycan in Turbo S trim. Each Audi and Porsche designs commerce some measure of absolute vary for slinky styling. The RS GT’s low roof—2 inches decrease than an Audi RS 7, for comparability—successfully requires a decrease flooring, and due to this fact, a shallower battery pack. Whereas the RS GT is about as fast and highly effective as a Tesla Mannequin S, its weight (373-578 kilos extra) and comparatively modest 83.7-kWh capability limits vary to an EPA-estimated 232 miles, in comparison with the Tesla’s Mannequin S Lengthy Vary’s 375-405 miles vary.

However I don’t wish to make an excessive amount of of the comparability. Tesla Mannequin S is a volume-production car promoting many 1000’s yearly. The Audi is being in-built numbers so small as to be virtually bespoke inside VW Group. The RS GT prices $9,910 greater than a Mannequin S Plaid, earlier than choices. So it’s not precisely going toe-to-toe with Tesla. The RS GT is destined to be an unique automotive purchased by quixotic individuals.

PINWHEELS The Audi RS e-tron GT is fitted with (elective) 21-inch solid alloy wheels with small aerodynamic spats between the spokes designed to cut back drag and noise-generating turbulence.



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Audi

In a few enjoyable methods, Audi’s product planners are constructing bridges to the long run right here. Not like loads of softly moaning electrics, the Audi begins transferring with a heat and resonant warble, like a refrain of MIDI-file birds. Because the automotive positive factors velocity, a wealthy polytonal energy chord, fats with bass, steps ahead, linear with strain you placed on the go pedal. I’m advised the Audi is in the important thing of F.

These sounds are very a lot within the foreground, stuffed with character, meant to fill within the experiential colours of driving within the absence of an engine. You’ll be able to flip them down, in fact; however you additionally flip them up. In Dynamic mode, the cabin will swell with a shimmering vibrato like a hypermasculine android training scales. It sounds superior! You would possibly suppose you’d miss the genuine sound of gasoline within the pipes; I predict most received’t.

Each the Audi and the brand new Lucid Air sedan forgo among the effectivity of robust regenerative braking. The Audi’s brake really feel is dominated by its formidable friction brakes, together with (elective) 16.5-inch carbide-ceramic entrance discs, to whoa down its 5,139-pound heft.

In comparison with the Taycan Turbo S, the RS GT’s chassis tuning is agency, not laborious, taut however not over-tightened. The automotive has three-stage adaptive dampers with mode-specific damping logic. However like loads of these heavy-keeled vehicles—on 21-inch summer time tires, particularly—the RS GT feels extra planted and fewer skittery in corners when it’s within the softer setting, Consolation mode.

Audi-philes won’t really feel estranged. The cabin is a training agnostic, with few clues within the UX to tell apart the machine from its petrol-burning counterparts.

Participating the consolation of the acquainted is a major design alternative—possibly even a inform—for the Audi, what with futuristic vehicles just like the BMW iX and Lucid within the mixer.

2022 Audi RS e-tron GT

GROUND HUGGER Low and large, with bulged-out rear fenders and a smooth rear glass, the Audi RS e-tron GT shares its 800-Volt electrical structure with Porsche Taycan.



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Audi

Base value $139,900

Value, as examined $161,890

Powertrain Battery-electric car structure, with entrance and rear-mounted permanent-magnet motors (235 hp entrance/450 hp rear); full-time AWD with single-speed entrance and two-speed rear transmission; 93.4-kWh lithium battery with 800-volt nominal system voltage

Energy/torque 590 hp (637 hp in Increase mode)/612 lb-ft

Size/width/top/wheelbase 196.4/77.3/55.0/114.2 inches

Curb weight 5,139 kilos

0-60 mph 3.1 seconds

Charging price 5-80% charging most 270 kW DC direct/approx. 22.5 minutes

EPA vary 232 miles

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