Audi RS E-Tron GT Highway Check Evaluate | The EV deluge is coming

HOOD RIVER, Oregon – The Columbia River Gorge fashioned when a glacial lake half the scale of Lake Michigan repeatedly emptied over the past Ice Age. And we’re not speaking about pulling the plug in a bath – extra like setting an explosive cost on the Lengthy Seaside Aquarium. An ice dam of the Clark Fork River, roughly 2,000 ft excessive at its most, would inevitably heat, catastrophically break and ship a cataclysmic deluge of water towards the Pacific at 80 mph. It could then construct again up and begin the method all once more, an estimated 40 occasions, finally slicing a fjord-like gash via the Cascades over about 2,000 years – a blink of an eye fixed in geologic phrases.

We’re at the moment on the verge of an identical reshaping of the automotive panorama, and though the widespread adoption of electrical automobiles positive appears delayed and dragged out, it’s occurring in a relative blink of an eye fixed. Not too way back, Audi was trotting out TDI diesels and shoehorning Lamborghini V10s into the A6, but right here we’re with the 2022 Audi RS E-Tron GT – a completely electrical automobile that isn’t some quirky eco-mobile however legitimately among the best automobiles to drive. Successfully, it’s a Porsche Taycan in Audi clothes, in order that final bit shouldn’t be that shocking, however it’s nonetheless an entire package deal of automotive excellence that after once more proves an electrical future gained’t be a foul factor.

The RS E-Tron GT has 590 horsepower circulate collectively via its entrance and rear electrical motors, or 637 hp for a couple of seconds in Enhance Mode. Torque stays at 612 pound-feet no matter mode and comes on immediately – you possibly can really really feel all 4 wheels slip as you plant your foot, your neck snaps again and everybody within the automobiles round you marvel the place that blue Audi went. One might evaluate it to a breached dam immediately unleashing half of Lake Michigan, however that metaphor’s already been used. Audi says it’ll hit 60 mph in 3.1 seconds in Enhance Mode, which is barely a tenth off the extra highly effective Taycan Turbo. And in case you’re questioning, each the RS E-Tron GT and 464-hp E-Tron GT fall in between the Taycan 4S and Turbo by way of complete output. The Audi additionally will get Porsche’s distinctive two-speed rear transmission, which permits the E-Tron GT to go up a better gear at 65-plus mph to enhance effectivity.

Additionally just like the Taycans, the RS E-Tron GT does its most astonishing work on winding roads. The lengthy, straightforward sweepers of Freeway 14 on the Washington facet of the Gorge present the primary actual style of an completely unflappable automobile – a fast detour up Salmon Falls Highway and again actually drives house the purpose. Emphasis on fast. The E-Tron GT is lengthy and comically vast, with a middle of gravity that’s virtually subterranean due to 93.4 kilowatts price of battery pack and a low roof made from carbon fiber within the RS slightly than glass. Then there’s the out there rear-wheel steering, which dials in a most 2.8 levels – simply sufficient to successfully shrink this lengthy automobile, however not sufficient that it seems like a Disney journey as within the Mercedes EQS – and naturally, there’s all-wheel drive. Each are significantly useful when negotiating the razor-sharp hairpins of Salmon Falls, that are unsurprisingly a bit damp. The E-Tron GT whips itself round as planted as a Douglas fir and lays down energy ferociously in the direction of the following hairpin.

The three-chamber air suspension helps in that regard, because it slams the automobile by 22 mm in Dynamic mode and companies the spring charges to virtually remove roll. With the letters GT in its title, journey high quality nonetheless counts for one thing, and for that, the air suspension is much more spectacular. Coming down off a velocity bump seems like strolling on these max consolation trainers with 2 inches of squishy foam – you possibly can really feel it softly compress with out commensurate rebound. After crossing the Bridge of the Gods in Cascade Locks and setting course on Interstate 84 towards Hood River, the E-Tron GT goes into full autobahn mode, sopping up each imperfection like a flagship luxurious sedan slightly than one thing that would sustain with an R8 on a mountain highway. The high-performance tires create a good bit of highway noise, however the aerodynamic design retains wind roar to a minimal even when heading into the Gorge’s notoriously robust headwinds. There’s in fact no metallic field of explosions making a racket, however as our brains nonetheless count on some spicy noise to return together with a spicy automobile, Audi pipes an digital rumbling noise into the cabin. The sound appears pretty genuine and doesn’t clearly emanate from the automobile’s audio system, not like the Mercedes-AMG EQS.

If the E-Tron GT has a bonus over the Taycan, it’s the inside. It’s extra visually attention-grabbing with a better mixture of supplies. Storage is best, too, and Audi’s acquainted touchscreen is less complicated to make use of, see and attain. Fortunately, the second touchscreen discovered within the E-Tron SUV and different Audis didn’t make the reduce (in all probability as a result of the Taycan structure wouldn’t enable it), which is for the higher since clicking switches for altering the local weather management system is a much better expertise. The bizarre, touch-sensitive audio system controller disk that performs the identical duties as a knob used to, however worse, did sadly make it aboard.

Area is plentiful, at the least when you handle to fall into the deeply contoured buckets. Don’t plan on swish exits. It’s even worse within the again, with its sloped roofline, however a 6-foot-tall passenger reported being impressed with the house and the agency, supportive seats again there. The trunk is extra like what you’d discover in a coupe, and one wonders if Audi couldn’t have gone that further mile with an A7-like hatchback design to enhance the GT’s GT credentials even additional.

As a automobile, the 2022 Audi RS E-Tron GT has an actual wow issue, and it positively wasn’t a positive factor that electrical automobiles have been going to have that. The beginning value of $140,945 and as-tested of $161,890 speaks as a lot to this four-door GT’s twin nature, sensational all-around driving dynamics and top-end high quality. Which is nice because it’s not precisely one of the best electrical automobile. It’s not significantly environment friendly, for one, with an 81 mpg-e score dwarfed by the Mercedes-Benz EQS 580 (95 mpg-e) and Tesla Mannequin S (120 mpg-e).

Each of these additionally go a lot additional on a cost than the RS E-Tron GT and its EPA score of 232 miles. We noticed a bit lower than that because of chilly climate and needed to get a splash of electrons at a Walmart in Hood River earlier than heading again to Portland. A minimum of the E-Tron GT’s 800-volt electrical structure permits it to swallow these electrons faster than most, however there would’ve been no such want within the Tesla or Mercedes. A minimum of the E-Tron GT can outdo the Taycan – even when we’ve seen Porsche outdo its official EPA scores.

After all, all the above automobiles are nonetheless fancy baubles for extraordinary budgets. Till we get extra automobiles just like the VW ID.4, Hyundai Ioniq 5, Kia EV6 and Tesla Mannequin 3, plus EVs cheaper than these with adequate vary and worth, automobiles just like the E-Tron GT are however the first few leaks out of the glacial dam. The deluge is coming, although.

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Patrick Moore

Patrick is our chief editor and he's very passionate about cars. He has a bachelor's degree in marketing and he studies journalism. His favorite brand is BMW and he drives an X5 series. When he's not writing for, he enjoys spending time with his family and 9 years old son.

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