Experienced by Kimatni D. Rawlins, Photos by Garvin St. Villier
Long, low, and wide, a storm is on the way. It won’t make a sound, but you’ll immediately feel the wrath of the 2022 Audi RS e-tron GT when you hit it. Performance resonates from 590-horsepower (637 in Boost Mode), 612 lb-ft of torque, quattro AWD, and an adaptive air suspension. A carbon fiber roof, mirrors, rear diffuser, and front air inlets add to the magnetism of our Tango Red Metallic high-performance electric Gran Turismo.
Zero Emissions Admissions
Of course, the world is facing a global warming crisis requiring the reduction of humankind’s carbon footprint. From what we eat, such as animal factory farming, to how we travel negatively impacts the air we breathe and Mother Earth’s reactions to the deteriorating lifestyle habits. With that, every major automaker has shifted to the production of electric vehicles (EVs). Some brands are already 100% EV companies like Rivian, Tesla, and Lucid. Audi’s theme is dubbed the “Future is Electric” and plans on converting 30% of its fleet to full EVs or plug-in hybrids by 2025. By 2050 the entire company should be net CO2 neutral based on executive proclamations.
Audi e-tron Ecosystem
I’ve had the pleasure of test-driving Audi’s entire e-tron fleet and am pretty impressed. The 2022 RS e-tron GT and e-tron GT are the big boys of the family and provide supercar performance attributes in the form of an EV. My Tango Red Metallic RS handled corners with aplomb at high speeds, stopped on a dime, and accelerated like cheetahs in Masai Mara while emulating the digital sound effects of the Millennium Falcon from Star Wars. Audi drive select will keep the battery in check since the electric driving range is an EPA-estimated 232 miles for the RS. But the odometer stated 265 miles on my ride. In Efficiency mode, the vehicle will stretch out your mileage; in Dynamic mode, the RS blasts off whenever you tap the throttle. But every time you do so, conscious thinking about where and when to recharge takes precedence. The good news is that Audi will provide three years of complimentary DC fast charging through Electrify America and its 800 charging stations (3,500 individual chargers) throughout the country. In addition, Audi Care for EVs will handle service for $999 over three years. Moreover, Audi will assist owners in setting up an Electrify America Level 2 AC charger in their home.
Styling Amenities & the Year One Package
To differentiate your e-tron GT from the next, Audi decorates the sports car in nine hues and curates six interior Dinamica/Leatherette or Fine Nappa leather options. Standard 20” alloy rims pair with the GT unless you upgrade to one of the performance packages. Specifically, the RS e-tron GT is blessed with a lightweight, high-strength, carbon fiber roof and the technological Matrix-design headlights with Audi laser light are available as an intelligent upgrade.
This model I test drove for a week topped at $161,890, including the $20,350 Year One Package. At first, it may sound expensive, but your vehicle will be enhanced with over ten critical, performance-oriented and alluring features. Year One includes 21” 5-twin spoke-concave rims wrapped in Goodyear Eagle F1 265/35 R21 summer tires, Audi laser lights, Blacked-out logo and emblems, ceramic brakes with massive red calipers, carbon-fiber trim, carbon-fiber side sills, Fine Nappa Leather performance seats with honeycomb stitching and a massaging feature, and rear wheel steering. You also receive the enticing RS interior design package with a black cockpit, red seatbelts, and red contrasting.
Electrified Performance Attributes
The RS e-tron GT is potent in every respect. Raw energy is produced through a 93 kWh battery with active liquid cooling, dual synchronous electric motors with adjustable regenerative braking, a single-speed front transmission, and a two-speed rear transmission. Top track speed is 155 mph, and electric quattro drive with torque vectoring increases handling capabilities. The Alcantara-wrapped flat-bottom steering wheel made me feel like Lewis Hamilton every time I jumped in the cockpit. It’s challenging driving without flooring it at every light. To repower your EV, Audi says 10 minutes of DC charging will restore 120 miles and 22 minutes roughly 180 miles. Keep in mind that these times are predicated on using a 270 kWh or higher charger.
EV Charging Infrastructure
There are three levels of charging: Level 1 (your home outlet), Level 2 (240v in-home installation or public), and Level 3, aka DC Fast Charging which are mostly installed at public retail locations. Level 1 is the slowest and gives you 3 to 5 miles per hour. Level 2 is the most convenient since it will majorly take place at home overnight and energizes your ride 15 to 30 miles an hour. DC is the way to go when you are traveling with a low battery. I utilized EVgo (only found 50 kWh chargers) since I could not find an Electrify America in my vicinity. Fast chargers are available from 25 kWh to 350 kW for passenger EVs. Electrify America builds 150 kWh and 350 kWh chargers and would be the network of choice if they were close to my home. Yet, Tesla has the most stable and efficient charging ecosystem and partly why they sell so many EVs.
My weeklong reservation with the e-tron was purifying, unique, and fulfilling. Though the experience came with a few hiccups due to the charging network, I am confident that expansion is on the way. Do you think you are ready for a mobility shift towards electric high-performance by way of the 2022 Audi e-tron GT? If so, the halo vehicle is currently on sale in the US and ready for configuration at audiusa.com. Pricing starts at $99,900 for the e-Tron GT and $139,900 for the RS e-Tron GT.