2022 Audi E-Tron GT first drive review: No RS required

That the base Audi E-Tron GT is a real success is no surprise at all. Yes, it’s a weakened version of it 637 horsepower RS ​​counterpart, but with solid architecture that builds the foundation for great road manners, I promise, the standard GT is anything but a nap.

RS or not, every E-Tron GT has the same powertrain, one shared with the Porsche Taycan. A 93.4 kilowatt-hour battery pack sends power to a pair of electric motors, driven by a two-speed transmission. Thanks to the E-Tron GT’s 800-volt vehicle architecture, it can accept charge speeds of up to 270 kilowatts, meaning you can get the battery from discharged to an 80% state of charge in about 20 minutes.

As for the numbers, the base E-Tron GT delivers a maximum of 522 horsepower and 464 Nm of torque in overboost, resulting in a 3.9-second time from 0 to 60 mph. And the RS E-Tron GT faster? You bet. And while you’ll definitely notice the 0.8 second disparity if you’re activating launch control and throwing a cannonball down a track, in daily driving, you’ll never miss the instant, unrelenting thrust. The GT range estimates aren’t too far off either, with the base E-Tron rated at 238 miles and the RS coming in just behind 232.

When it comes to the ride and handling of the E-Tron GT, both the base model and the RS model offer an equally exceptional experience. All E-Tron GTs have three-chamber air suspension with Comfort and Dynamic settings, and while the difference between these modes isn’t huge, the GT still strikes a near-perfect balance between flexible comfort and taut stability. The electronic power steering also becomes faster in Dynamic mode, but in this department the E-Tron GT takes a significant second place compared to the Taycan. Porsche is known for its quick and communicative steering and is a key attribute that sets these German brothers apart.

Performance-enhancing technologies such as torque vectoring and rear axle steering truly amplify the experience, making the E-Tron GT incredibly agile. These goodies are standard on the RS, but are available for the base E-Tron GT via an optional $ 6,000 package that also includes 20-inch wheels, laser headlights, carbon fiber interior parts, and darkened exterior trims. Larger 21-inch wheels are also available if that’s your problem.

The cabin is high-tech albeit a little crowded.

Audi

Like the Porsche Taycan, the E-Tron GT doesn’t offer much in the way of regenerative braking. It is possible to set up a bit of regeneration via the paddles behind the wheel, but it makes a negligible difference in how the car drives and the user experience is a bit in reverse, since you are using the aspiring paddle to downshift for insert regenerate. Audi insists it is more efficient for an electric vehicle to coast rather than instantly recover and the company says its customers prefer a more natural braking feel, but I reply by saying that driving with only one pedal is a ‘ completely unique experience for electric vehicles and also interesting. Why not just make it an on / off switch like Ford does on the? Mustang Mach-mi?

Oddly, when you press the brake pedal, the E-Tron GT actually uses regeneration to initially slow the car, until enough force is injected to activate the mechanical stops. The standard E-Tron GT uses steel brakes and the transition between the energy recovery and the rotor touching the caliper is imperceptible. The RS E-Tron GT comes standard with Audi (and Porsche) surface coated brakes, but you can opt for more powerful carbon ceramics as part of an RS exclusive Year One package that comes with plenty of upholstery and design updates but at cost – – sip – $ 20,350.

Speaking of upholstery, you can get the E-Tron GT with a sustainable (and vegan) skinless interior, though beautifully stitched cowhides are optional if you’re not so environmentally conscious. The GT’s cockpit is much busier than that of the Taycan, with many more buttons and knobs and a weird little circular audio control pad positioned to the right of the cup holders. But even so, the overall cabin quality is exactly what you’d expect from an Audi, with a flawless fit and finish and great attention to detail. The rear seats are able to accommodate mid-sized adults without a problem, although like the Taycan, the E-Tron GT is not a sedan, so beware of the rather small trunk opening. The basic E-Tron GTs are only available with a glass roof that can’t be opened and isn’t tinted enough to block out the sun and glare, which is silly. If you want the full carbon fiber roof, you have to buy the RS.

I haven’t sold the design yet, personally, but Ascari Blue sure looks good.

Audi

Both E-Tron GT models feature Audi’s excellent Virtual Cockpit digital gauge cluster, as well as a 10.1-inch central infotainment screen running the company’s easy-to-use MIB3 software, complete with wireless Apple CarPlay and wired Android Auto. A full suite of driver assistance gadgets is also included, though lane maintenance assistance and adaptive cruise control are bundled as a $ 2,250 option on the entry-level E-Tron GT Premium Plus trim.

You will need $ 100,995 to enter the Premium Plus E-Tron GT, a number that includes $ 1,095 for the destination but excludes any potential federal or local tax credits. All in all, you’re looking at around $ 120,000 for a fully loaded Prestige E-Tron GT, which cuts the more powerful RS E-Tron by around $ 20,000. Considering these two E-Trons are so damn similar in the way they look and drive, I’d skip the RS upgrade, personally. But with such a complete and fun electric vehicle, either way, you can’t go wrong.