It helps that the E-Tron GT is itself very, very carefully associated to a different excellent machine: the Porsche Taycan. You might name them an identical twins if not for the truth that they give the impression of being virtually nothing alike. But I’ll cowl aesthetics in a bit. How this Audi drives is much extra vital.Let’s begin with the numbers. While utilizing the identical fundamental structure as the usual E-Tron GT, the RS affords considerably extra energy: a whopping 637 horsepower and 612 pound-feet of torque when operating in overboost, dropping to a still-outrageous 590 hp after 2.5 seconds. That’s practically sufficient time to get to 60 mph; a 3.1-second 0-to-60 dash makes this Audi’s quickest automotive.And sure, you’re feeling it, even when the drama of a launch within the GT is a bit missing. At any pace with no time wasted ready for downshifts, this factor simply flies ahead with outstanding smoothness, not often indulging in a touch of wheelspin. The traction management is so good you actually cannot really feel it, at the least not within the direct, dead-throttle sense of a conventional automotive. Whenever I ask an excessive amount of of the big 21-inch Eagle F1 tires fitted to my take a look at automotive, the Audi merely dials again on energy for nevertheless many milliseconds are required to regain grip, then immediately turns the wick again up.If that is a little bit an excessive amount of shove to fit your temper, Audi affords a sequence of configurable drive modes adjusting throttle response, steering really feel and tautness of the air suspension. What you possibly can’t actually alter, sadly, is the regenerative braking. Yes, the RS E-Tron GT affords three separate regen modes, shortly toggled by way of the steering wheel paddles, however they’re all ineffective. They needs to be labeled None, Too Little and Still Not Enough. Some day the Germans will notice that American EV homeowners like one-pedal driving, at the least as an choice, however immediately shouldn’t be that day. Tim Stevens/RoadshowYes, the RS E-Tron GT affords three separate regen modes, shortly toggled by way of the steering wheel paddles, however they’re all ineffective. They needs to be labeled None, Too Little and Still Not Enough. Regen considerations apart, in Dynamic mode the GT is solely magical. Rear-axle steering helps it flip in with blissful sharpness and maintain a line higher than any 5,174-pound automotive ought to. (By manner of context, that is simply 90 kilos lighter than a Ford F-150 hybrid.) However, any main imperfection within the asphalt will shortly reveal simply how exhausting that suspension is working. Hit a bump when cornering aggressively and the RS E-Tron GT tends to skip sideways, yielding to the uncooked physics of the scenario earlier than touchdown, immediately regaining grip and composure.When pushing much less exhausting, the RS E-Tron GT is clean and comfy — certainly helped by the large inertial damper constructed into the ground. I’m referring to the 93-kilowatt-hour battery pack, which affords 232 miles per the EPA’s official score. That’s an effectivity of 42 kWh per 100 miles. In my testing, which included in depth freeway stretches plus no scarcity of exhausting acceleration, I truly did even higher: seeing 37 kWh per 100 miles, or about 2.7 miles per kWh. That would give me 250 miles of theoretical vary out of this automotive at freeway speeds.
The cabin is tremendous snug. Tim Stevens/RoadshowDriving extra reasonably, I’ve little question even that determine might be simply eclipsed. This ought to come as no shock given my colleague Steven Ewing noticed 280 miles from a Taycan. Sure, we’re nonetheless properly in need of the potential 405 miles supplied by a Tesla Model S, however in my expertise vary anxiousness all however evaporates when you get out previous 200 miles.That’s additional dispelled by the presence of a stable charging community. Electrify America has made big strides over the previous few years since I reviewed Audi’s first E-Tron, each when it comes to availability and reliability. While the E-Tron GT’s max charging pace of 270 kW cannot take full benefit of EA’s 350-kW chargers, it is nonetheless sufficient to theoretically suck down 180 miles of vary in 22 minutes.That means that is an all-electric grand tourer through which you would truly do some touring. I took mine on a 5-hour highway journey to New York City and solely spent a little bit greater than 30 minutes charging. Had I been extra conservative with my driving, I won’t have wanted to cease in any respect.Other than answering the decision of nature, I actually would not have felt a must cease. The E-Tron GT’s inside is superb. Sure, it is all darkish and moody as configured on my take a look at automotive, which incorporates the Year One package deal, however the slash of matte carbon fiber throughout the center of the sprint plus the purple highlights give a pleasant little bit of intent, and I really like the texture of the Alcantara wheel and the supportive but snug entrance seats. Everything feels remarkably premium. Audi thoughtfully put charging factors in each fenders, however solely the left one is appropriate for high-speed use. Tim Stevens/RoadshowEven the rear seats are completely cozy, with sufficient headroom for prolonged journeys. The Bang & Olufsen sound system is superb and Audi’s MMI infotainment tech would not disappoint, although the Virtual Cockpit gauge cluster would not make as dramatic an impression because it did a couple of years in the past.The GT affords an excellent mixture of bodily buttons and contact controls, with one large exception: a quantity knob. There is a dial on the steering wheel, so the motive force is at the least taken care of, however as a substitute of a humble knob Audi designers inset an odd, touch-sensitive, iPod-like click on wheel factor within the heart console between the seats. It’s awkwardly positioned for both driver or passenger and is frankly only a bit odd.A bit odd can also be how various folks described the styling of the RS E-Tron GT. It is, suffice to say, a extra divisive aesthetic than that offered by the Porsche Taycan. I truly fairly just like the RS E-Tron GT, offended strakes and double-creased fenders and all. To me it appears like an escaped idea automotive and I find it irresistible, although I do confess that the sedate shade right here (Kemora Gray) helps to mood a few of the extra outlandish styling appendages. I additionally should query the necessity for a carbon-fiber roof on a sedan that weighs properly over 5,000 kilos. The E-Tron GT has extra fender flare than the remainder of the RS line mixed. Tim Stevens/RoadshowBut I determine that has much less to do with lowering weight and extra to do with differentiating the RS E-Tron GT, guaranteeing that these round can let you know spent the additional $40,000 over the bottom GT. My take a look at automotive additionally has the $20,350 Year One package deal, which steps as much as 21-inch wheels with 265/35R21 entrance and 305/30R21 rear Goodyear Eagle F1 tires, and provides rear-steering, ceramic brakes and Audi’s laser headlights. Add one other $595 for the paint and a $1,045 vacation spot and this automotive would set you again $161,890.If you are not too hung up on status, the $8,450 efficiency pack will get you the rear-steering and the flamboyant headlights whereas saving you about $12,000 over the Year One package deal. Even in base trim, the RS E-Tron GT has all of the energetic security and comfort options you would need, plus superb on-road presence and excellent cruising capabilities. I solely want for a extra wagon-like profile, as Porsche affords with the Taycan Cross Turismo, however then I suppose that even the actually good ones at all times go away you wanting extra.