Yowzah! This thing is fast – brutally fast! Zero to illegal in less than four seconds.
In this neck of the Canadian woods, we aren’t offered too many high-end vehicles for review. The opportunity to spend a week with a $198,000 Audi RS e-tron GT set a new high. The performance of this pure-electric German sedan was also a new benchmark.
2024 Audi RS e-tron: More than instant acceleration… much more!
I have come to know and expect instant response from battery-operated passenger vehicles. Ditto with this one, only more so!
With launch control engaged, this Audi accelerated from a dead stop to 110 km/hr in less than four seconds. My times measured between 3.4 and 3.8 seconds. You will understand, to ensure accuracy, I had to make repeated tests!
Must pass another vehicle? You don’t need much room or time. 80 to 110 km/hr requires only 1.5 seconds!
This ain’t no lightweight, lithe little sports car. It is a big four door sedan tipping the scales at more than 5,200 pounds with nobody aboard.
It takes a lot of power to move that much vehicle that quickly. That is accomplished with a 335 kW motor for the rear wheels and a 175 kW unit up front. The combined peak output is 440 kW or 590 horsepower and 612 lb. ft. of torque.
Use launch control to amp-up the motors, and horsepower jumps 637 – for 2.5 seconds. The e-tron utilizes an innovative two-speed transmission at the rear. First gear is used for launches and second for cruising and efficiency.
The e-tron GT is based on the same J1 platform found beneath the Porsche Taycan.
Like other Audi models, there is a high-performance RS sub-brand. The e-tron and Taycan use the same 800-volt electric architecture, suspension, steering system, and electric motors.
Addressing the capability of such prodigious speed is more than handled by massive 16.5-inch vented, cross-drilled, carbon-ceramic disc brakes clamped by six-piston callipers. The rotors alone are the size of the entire wheel and tire unit of most vehicles!
High-speed charging times for the Audi e-tron IF you can find the right charging station
While we are on the topic of speed, the e-tron GT can recharge the 93-kWh liquid-cooled lithium-ion battery from 5% to 80% in as little as 22 minutes – IF, and that is a big IF, you can find a charging station capable of feeding the 9.6-kW onboard charger and 800-volt electrical system.
The e-tron can handle up to 270-kW charging speeds. Level 2 (220-volt) stations are plentiful throughout the Maritimes and average about $1,50/hr. Level 3 (480-volt DC.) fast chargers are less plentiful, and cost $15-20/hr.
Audi includes four-year access to the Electrify Canada charging network and its 800-volt systems. But, Electrify Canada, while claiming to be available ‘cross-Canada’, does not have any outlets in four of the 10 provinces – all of them east of Quebec.
Range is a big issue with electric vehicles.
NR Canada says the range of the RS e-tron GT is 373 km and rates it for 26.9 kWh/100 km.
That range can be quickly reduced if you spend much time enjoying the performance capabilities! I did. With little interest in efficiency, the trip computer showed 18.1 after my week of fun. I was, on occasion, able to witness 24-25 kWh when behaving in a more responsible manner.
The 2024 Audi RS e-tron GT is one good-looking automobile.
It attracted stares and comments whether parked or moving. The design team did a great job of disguising a four-door sedan as a sleek coupe. The e-tron is about the same length as the A7 sedan, but dramatically lower and wider.
It stands only 1,413-mm from road to roof. The slippery shape brings a snug interior, at least in the rear, where access is difficult and headroom limited because of the low roof line. The centre rear seat is a joke and visibility restricted by the small windows. There is adequate, if not abundant storage in the traditional trunk and the front trunk.
Front-row occupants are truly in first class, treated to big comfy seats, space-age technology and high-quality materials.
Those heated and ventilated seats offer 18-way adjustability and a massage function. The driver faces a 31-cm digital instrument display. A 25-cm central infotainment touchscreen is controlled by voice or controls on the steering wheel.
There is a subscription-based Wi-Fi hotspot, wireless charging station, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto connectivity, navigation, and a 360-degree camera.
The e-tron comes with a full slate of safety and driver assistance features, including the ability to park or retrieve your e-tron from a tight perpendicular or parallel spot via an app on your phone.
The silence of an electric vehicle allows appreciation of the 16-speaker Bang & Olufsen sound system. Some of those speakers are used for a soundtrack developed specifically for the e-tron. It is like a hum that morphs into a whir under full throttle. I could do without it!
The e-tron provides a smooth and comfortable ride, aligned with limpet-like grip in the turns.
The adaptive air suspension adjusts ride height and stiffness individually at each corner through three -chamber units. This results in a nice balance between comfort and performance.
The torque vectoring system sends instantaneous power from the electric motors to each wheel individually through the sophisticated AWD system.
Audi’s first electric sedan is one of the coolest-looking cars on the market. It packs performance, style, and leading-edge technology into a single, admittedly expensive package.
FACTS & FIGURES – 2024 Audi RS e-tron GT
As tested: $196,240 including freight and PDI
Anti-collision system, blind spot monitor, lane departure warning, rear cross-traffic alert,
Configurable TFT 26-cm touchscreen, wireless Apple CarPlay or Android Auto, 16-speaker Bang & Olufsen premium surround sound system, voice-activated phone, navigation and climate-control, in-vehicle Wi-Fi Network
Wireless charge pad, heads-up display, keyless entry & start, memory system for seat, and steering wheel, heated power tilt & telescope steering wheel, power heated and auto-dimming mirrors, tri-zone automatic climate control
Floret silver metallic paint, $890, black badges, $350; red brake calipers, $500; RS design package, red, $6,650
Dual permanent-magnet synchronous electric motors with 93 kWh liquid-cooled lithium-ion battery, 637-horsepower, 612 lb.-ft. of torque, front single speed and rear two-speed automatic transmissions, all-wheel-drive. Electric consumption, 24.8 kWh/100 km
Length, 4,989 mm; wheelbase, 2,898 mm; weight, 2,365 kg
BMW i7, Lucid Air, Mercedes EQS, Porsche Taycan Turbo