If you bemoan the dawn of the EV age, it’s time to put aside your prejudice and get behind the wheel of some choice machinery, such as the 2022 Audi RS e-tron GT.
Using the Volkswagen Group’s J1 platform, a dedicated electric vehicle architecture, the e-tron GT shares its genetics with the Porsche Taycan.
But the Audi still manages to be its own animal. And it could be the rarer beast, as its $99,900 starting price tag — $139,900 for the RS — is noticeably higher than the Taycan’s $82,400 tariff. But opting for the Turbo pushes it past the Audi RS to $153,300, although it could be argued that prices end up being similar in the end. So it basically becomes a question of taste, and when it comes to e-tron GT, there’s much to like.
Also, the 2022 Audi e-tron qualifies for the $7,500 Federal tax credit, and includes 250 kWh of complimentary charging with Electrify America.
Approaching the 2022 Audi RS e-tron GT will cause a sense of déjà vu. The Audi’s shared platform yields a vehicle with similar proportions to that of the Porsche Taycan, with a low wide stance, a sloping rear aspect and beefy shoulders over the wheels that engenders a strong, plated stance.
Up front, the Taycan’s smooth, aero style is replaced by a mock grille, featuring the pyramid shapes automakers are universally using on closed-off fascias. That said, the front fascia’s design is fairly busy, although being all black helps dial down the visual noise.
While Porsche struggles to evoke the 911’s sportiness into its Taycan, the Audi’s styling seems a bit less forced and more natural, as sport sedans have long played a part in the brand’s DNA. The e-tron GT’s low, wide proportions lend it the requisite sportiness, while its four doors endow it with a seriousness and practicality that makes it far more appealing. Frameless door glass lends an upscale touch, but the sloping rear roof line and low seating position do impact rear seat space. But the limited spaciousness only enhances the e-tron GT’s sporting identity.
Inside, you’ll find a cabin that thankfully avoids the impulse to be nothing but flat screens. Physical buttons are far easier to find and activate while driving. So kudos to Audi for providing climate control buttons, not screen icons.
Thankfully, Audi has avoided the cliched diamond pattern on its seats, opting instead for a unique pattern that evokes its name: e-tron. Buyers can choose from leather or man-made interior fabrics.
But pack lightly. The e-tron offers a mere 11 cubic feet of combined cargo space: 1.8 cubic feet up front and 9.2 cubic feet in the rear.
While the Porsche offers a myriad of drivelines for the Taycan, Audi keeps it a lot simpler with the e-tron GT. But both share the same dual electric motors, 800-volt electrical architecture, automatic transmission, air springs, and optional all-wheel steering.
All-wheel drive is standard, as is 522 horsepower in the e-tron GT thanks to its dual electric motors. Stepping up to the RS e-tron GT brings with it 637 horsepower. To extract every ounce of speed, Audi thoughtfully provides launch control.
With that kind of power, you’d expect quick 0-60 mph times, with the e-tron GT posting a 3.9 second time, and the RS doing it in 3.1 seconds, according to the automaker.
The electric motors are powered by a 93-kwh battery pack that provides an EPA-estimated 238 miles of range in the base car, and 232 miles in the RS, which translates to 83 MPGe in the e-tron GT and 82 MPGe in the RS.
And if you need to recuperate power, Audi uses the steering wheel mounted paddle shifters for adjusting the regenerative braking, so it can be adjusted on the fly.
The RS can be optioned with rear-wheel steering as that turns the rear wheels in the same direction as the fronts at high speed to improve stability. Below 30 mph, the rear wheels turn opposite to the fronts to improve maneuverability.
The instrument panel cants the center stack towards the driver, and Audi’s MMI infotainment system is a paragon of ease to use, with categories stacked on the left side of the screen, where it’s easy for the driver to reach. As in other Audis, the driver faces a 12.3-inch reconfigurable instrument cluster.
A Bang & Olufsen sound system is optional. Wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto is standard, as is a three-month trial subscription to SiriusXM satellite radio.
And of course it comes with a slew of driver assistance safety systems.
Little will prepare you for the g-forces involved when you enact the e-tron’s launch control mode for the first time. It makes for an extreme thrill ride, one that presses you back into your seat. That’s because all of its power is available at any time. Just plant your right foot and count to three. One. Two. Three. Now you’re going 60 mph on your way to “I’m sorry officer. How fast was I going?” Your driving privileges may never survive this car.
The sheer amount of thrust and speed is intoxicating. Couple in the total lack of body roll, and an adaptive suspension that still manages to absorb the worst our crumbling infrastructure cares to offer up, and you’ll find the e-tron GT to be intoxicatingly exciting and athletic, yet surprisingly comfortable.
Who knew that wattage could be so much fun?
The steering somewhat light, not to mention devoid of feel, but that’s not unexpected. More importantly, it’s quick and precise, aiding and abetting the suspension that allows you to drive this car with surgical precision. And there’s a bit more interior noise than you might expect for an EV. So while the 2022 Audi RS e-tron gives up some practicality for style, it’s a true GT. It places its premium on performance, which it delivers in spades, while offering up the requisite dose of comfort, which it delivers in spades as well. For those who can afford this pricey chariot, prepare to be epically entertaining every time.