By Clive Funziwe
The word e-tron, means, enjoyment while driving and unlimited suitability for everyday use thanks to the electric drive, at least according to the Audi dictionary or our view point while driving the Audi RS e-tron GT.
Coming in at 440kW/830Nm, with a claimed sprint of 3.3 seconds from 0 – 100km/h and a range of 472kms using the (WLTP standard) we knew were in for a great time, testing the e-tron GT. The interior is Audi business as usual, which means all things quality (barring the piano gloss that remains a debate) and intuitive ergonomics. Notable features include a moonroof, wireless smartphone charger, a radar guided cruise control, blind spot monitoring and an adjustable suspension, by suppleness and height. This can also be used to avoid nasty speed humps.
Driving impressions are next level mind blowing. We got to enjoy its comfortable ride quality, despite riding on 21-inch rims that also look magnificent. The recuperation system really works well, as we noticed the range go up by around 40kms, especially when there was a lot of downhills and no use of the aircon. On the side of performance, things get really intense. The immediacy of the performance must be felt to be fully appreciated. Not having gears, turbo lag and everything in between, brings about a shove and jolt of power that is borderline scary. We say this comment, having driven cars like the BMW M5 Competition and Mercedes-benz AMG GT 63S to put things in perspective & the Audi e-tron RS brings a new level of thrust.
The handling is holistically impressive too. Straight-line speed, cornering, responsiveness to steering inputs give the driver confidence and everything works well, albeit feels a little different to the convention, almost like a ‘real-game’, maybe even slightly augmented – but electrifying none the less.
Daily driving a high-performance EV
The question that also needs to be answered, is how things fare when you’re not shocking yourself with the e-tron RS’s power? It remains a usable daily, from a range point of view, 4 seats and what is arguably a car that has dual boots. The space for 4 passengers can take average size adults without breaking a sweat, where the challenge might come in is packing luggage for 4. We also don’t see the RS GT as a car that one will be taking for a road trip, at least in a South African context, where the distribution of charging stations are not as wide spread as in some countries. The range, however, will give you north of 400kms easily as we experienced it with our time in the e-tron RS GT, especially for potential owners who may get an in-home charging point or have one close to home. The e-tron will also give a 100km range with 10 minutes of charging from a DC-to-DC charger.
The move to EV’s remains a contentious issue globally but when we isolate the logistics and distribution of charging points, the e-tron RS GT is one car that keeps the petrol-head spirit alive in a different form of energy. It is easy to live with, looks fantastic, has a smooth ride and is a technological piece of machine that pleases.
The Audi e-tron RS GT is priced from R3,359,400.
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