What Is It?
In 2019, after years of development, Audi became one of the first European automakers to bring to market an all-electric production vehicle: the e-tron crossover. This groundbreaking EV was a big first step for the company. The original e-tron is a great electric vehicle, although it sacrifices some of the brand’s performance pedigree in the name of efficiency. Lack of performance is not an issue for the latest model in the Audi e-tron lineup. The 2022 Audi RS e-tron GT is a sleek grand touring sedan with bold styling and power to match. Beautiful inside and out, the potent RS e-tron GT takes its place at the pinnacle of the Audi e-tron lineup.
Audi provided us with a 2022 Audi RS e-tron GT painted in Ascari Blue metallic. As the electric flagship of the Audi lineup, the e-tron GT has a lot of standard equipment; however, the test vehicle arrived equipped with a Year One package that includes carbon fiber trim, ceramic brakes with red calipers, Nappa leather seats, matte carbon inlays and 21-inch twin-spoke-concave module design wheels. Total MSRP for this e-tron as equipped came to $161,890. Competitors to the all-electric Audi RS e-tron GT include the Porsche Taycan and Tesla Model S.
Unlike many new electric vehicles that carry unusual styling cues due to aerodynamic optimization, the RS e-tron GT looks more like a proper sport sedan. The long, low hood, slim headlights and integrated solid grille give the e-tron a unique and powerful stance.
Large fender flares with strong rear shoulders indicate the GT’s power potential, further emphasized by the car’s sloping roof, deeply sculpted doors and beautiful 21-inch wheels. At the rear are stylish LED taillights that wrap around the corners to meet in the middle under the Audi logo.
Powering the 2022 Audi RS e-tron GT are dual electric motors that produce up to 637 horsepower (in boost mode) and 612 lb-ft of torque. Power gets distributed to all four wheels via Audi’s electric quattro all-wheel drive system with toque vectoring, which provides excellent grip and handling. Performance figures are impressive — the RS e-tron GT will sprint to 60 mph in a mere 3.1 seconds, putting this four-door 5-passenger GT in the same territory as the company’s V10-powered R8 supercar.
Range and Charging
The 2022 Audi RS e-tron GT has a 93-kWh battery that — according to the U.S. EPA — provides a range of about 232 miles on a full charge. This will vary based on weather and driving conditions. During our drives the trip computer displayed numbers closer to 210 miles. When plugged into a DC fast charger, the RS e-tron GT can handle up to 270 kW, which can add about 120 miles of range in only 10 minutes.
Equipped with the Year One package, this 2022 Audi RS e-tron GT features an attractive interior with sport seats trimmed in black Nappa leather with red honeycomb stitching. Soft Alcantara adorns the steering wheel and center console, and carbon fiber trim can be found throughout the cabin.
The 2022 Audi RS e-tron GT has a 10.1-inch touchscreen display that integrates well with the dashboard. Large onscreen icons make it easier to navigate, and the menu remains on the left portion of the screen for quick access to audio, phone or navigation. Apple Carplay can be connected wirelessly; however, an Android phone must have a wired connection to run Android Auto.
With its low, sloping roof, the 2022 Audi RS e-tron GT makes getting into the rear seat a performance worthy of a circus contortionist. However, once inside rear-seat occupants will appreciate the comfortable, deeply sculpted seats. In fact, the seat bottoms are so low that headroom remains ample. Red seat belts add a racy, sporty look to the rear seating positions.
Part of the appeal of an e-tron Grand Tourer is having adequate space for luggage when heading out on the road. This Audi offers plenty of room for suitcases, groceries or other day-to-day cargo requirements.
With no engine up front, the 2022 Audi RS e-tron GT provides some extra cargo space under the hood. The “frunk” — for front trunk — can easily handle a small carry-on suitcase or other overflow cargo.
On the Road
The 2022 Audi RS e-tron GT makes excellent use of its electric drivetrain by delivering a quiet, smooth ride. Brake applications feel a bit grabby at first, but after a short time behind the wheel drivers will be able to modulate the brakes smoothly. Driving around town or cruising at high speed on the freeway, this e-tron feels confident, comfortable and capable of performing everyday driving duties.
Granted, drivers of the 2022 Audi RS e-tron GT can calmly command this fine automobile with a certain level of serenity, although this e-tron is capable of so much more. From a standstill the car’s acceleration is nothing less than stunning. If the driver puts a right foot to the floor as a traffic light turns green, the input results in an all-wheel-drive system clawing for traction as the car hooks up and takes off like a shot. Audi claims that the RS e-tron GT will achieve 60 mph in around 3 seconds — we certainly have no doubts about that assertion.
Even more impressive than 4-wheel hookups is the instant throttle response that only an electric car can provide— there’s no waiting for the transmission to down shift or engine to increase revs. Stomping the accelerator at 65 mph immediately pushes occupants back in their seats. We had to perform this quick maneuver on the freeway, and by the time we glanced down at the speedometer we were well past 100 mph. The strong brakes of the 2022 Audi RS e-tron GT quickly brought us back within the legal limit.
The 2022 Audi RS e-tron GT does more than rocket down roads straight toward the horizon. Steering is tight with excellent feedback, and the torque-vectoring all-wheel-drive system does a fantastic job controlling power while we pushed the big car into the corners during jaunts around tree-lined back roads of the beautiful Pacific Northwest. This car is incredibly predictable and gives drivers the ability to micromanage the throttle for a confident, enjoyable driving experience.
During our time with the 2022 Audi RS e-tron GT we had to take a road trip from Seattle to Portland, Oregon. After programming our destination into the car’s system, we discovered the total driving distance for the trip south would be close to our total battery range. The system generated a welcome warning that we would arrive in Portland with less than 3 percent battery charge remaining; the system then presented an option to add a stop at a DC fast charger conveniently located along the way. We accepted the suggestion and stopped at the charger. After 12 minutes of charging (enough time for a restful snack stop) the 2022 Audi RS e-tron GT had an additional 100 miles of range on the readout.
This quick trip to Portland proved that even with a limited range, EVs are capable companions on longer trips with a bit of planning (on our part or the e-tron’s). However, on our return trip north we stopped at the same charging station with only 16 miles of range left. Two of the chargers were out of order and it took multiple tries to get the third charger to connect to the Audi, which then proceeded to charge at a much slower rate than our previous experience. These types of unanticipated, unwitting obstacles illustrate the importance of a good charging infrastructure, and serve as real-world example of issues one might face when choosing an EV as an everyday driver.
The 2022 Audi RS e-tron GT is easily one of the most enjoyable electric vehicles we’ve had the pleasure to pilot. With gorgeous styling, a roomy and comfortable interior as well as plenty of cargo space, the e-tron certainly fits the bill as a proper GT. Add the extreme performance levels with shocking acceleration and the Audi RS e-tron GT showcases the allure and capabilities of luxury performance-oriented EVs. Although we would prefer a bit more range than 210 miles, this is one electric car that could easily conjure a smile every day.