Hear that? It’s the sound of luxury automakers revving up the transition to electric vehicles (EVs). And despite the artificial engine sound of EVs, some models, like the 2022 Audi e-tron GT ($102,400), still pack a ton of power: up to 637 horsepower and 612lb-ft. of torque, in this case. The corporate cousin to the Porsche Taycan, this Audi model features a striking exterior, boasts a high-end interior, and supports fast charging. But its limited battery range (compared with other high-end sedans), unremarkable brake regeneration feel, and poor rear visibility make it tough to recommend to anyone but ardent performance car fans. The much more affordable Tesla Model 3 ($44,990) remains our Editor’s Choice winner for electric sedans because of its longer battery range, even if it’s nowhere near as sporty.
Explosive Power, Kneecapped Range
The 2022 Audi e-tron GT is available in three trims: Premium Plus ($102,400), Prestige ($109,600), and RS ($142,400). All three models come with a 93-kWh lithium-ion battery pack that runs the dual motors. Audi splits the motors between the two axles to help power the all-wheel-drive (AWD) drivetrain. The Premium Plus and Prestige models produce up to 522 horsepower, and the RS variant is capable of an impressive 637 horsepower. But that maximum power is available only after you activate launch control, and only lasts a scant 2.5 seconds. In the typical driving mode, the two lower-end models produce 469 horsepower and the RS gets 590 horsepower—both still making for potent power plants.
The Premium Plus and Prestige variants offer an EPA-estimated range of 238 miles, while the RS trim can take you up to 232 miles on a charge. Both ranges fall far short of the almost 450 miles we achieved with the $102,310 Mercedes-Benz EQS 450+ (EPA rated at 350 miles) and the estimated range of the Tesla Model 3 (405 miles). The Audi’s battery performance is more competitive with that of the $62,400 Polestar 2 (265 miles for the single-engine model).
You can charge the Audi e-tron GT’s battery from 5% to 80% in about 22 minutes with a public DC fast charger. With a regular 220V charger, the same feat takes a little over nine hours.
A Multitude of Features and Options
On the base model e-tron GT, standard exterior features include 20-inch wheels with 245/45 R20 front and 285/40 R20 rear summer tires; adaptive air suspension; auto-dimming, folding, heated, and power-adjustable side mirrors; LED headlights; and LED taillights with dynamic indicators.
You also get standard interior features such as 14-way adjustable heated front sport seats; an auto-dimming interior rearview mirror with digital compass and an integrated toll module; a panoramic glass roof; a tilt power and telescoping steering wheel; synthetic leather seating surfaces; three-zone automatic climate control; and walnut wood inlays.
(Photo: Doug Newcomb)
Among the onboard tech features are a 10.1-inch touch screen; an AM/FM HD and satellite radio; Audi’s MMI infotainment system with navigation; Audi’s Virtual Cockpit instrument cluster; Bluetooth; a smartphone interface with wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto support; and a trial subscription to Audi Connect telematics and connectivity services including Google Earth mapping, online radio, a Wi-Fi hotspot, and more; two front and two rear USB ports; and wireless device charging.
Finally, standard driver assistance features include blind-spot monitoring; cruise control; forward-collision warning with automatic emergency braking; front and rear cross-traffic alert; front and rear parking sensors; high-beam assist; lane-departure warning; a rearview camera; traffic sign recognition; and vehicle-exit warning.
(Photo: Doug Newcomb)
The Prestige trim adds adaptive cruise assist with lane guidance; a Bang & Olufsen 3D Premium sound system; a heads-up display; heated rear seats; and ambient multicolor LED interior lighting. The RS e-tron we tested features 20-inch, five-spoke wheels; a carbon-fiber roof and exterior accents; illuminated aluminum door sill inlays; stainless steel pedals and footrest; surface coated disc brakes with orange calipers; and a surround-view camera.
The e-tron GT’s exterior is a stark departure from Audi’s typically conservative design style. It’s the same length as the Audi A7, but the vehicle sits lower and wider. With all its sharp angles, it looks like the A7 Sportback’s rakish brother.
The interior is replete with luxury surfaces and accents, but is a chore to climb in and out of. And even with front and rear trunks, the e-tron GT’s 11 total cubic feet of cargo space adds up to less than that of an Audi A3. Another issue: Rear visibility is the worst we can remember for a car of this size.
Flexible Touch Screens
For years, the German luxury trio of Audi, BMW, and Mercedes-Benz eschewed touch screens for center console rotary controllers, physical switches, and dedicated buttons. But the Audi e-tron GT opts for the best of both worlds: it features the latest version of Audi’s MMI infotainment system that combines a 10.1-inch touch screen with physical controls.
(Photo: Doug Newcomb)
You can switch between a screen that shows three large tiles on one page and smaller icons for other features on subsequent screens. You can choose which features to display on the main and secondary screens, and arrange them in whatever way makes sense to you.
You can also tweak the driver assist features via the touch screen as well as set up profiles with specific settings. One minor issue, however, is that the old stalk-style cruise control switches aren’t as easy to use as steering wheel buttons. In any case, EV functions such as for checking battery status or scheduling charge times are easy to access via the dashboard.
(Photo: Doug Newcomb)
Aside from the aforementioned Audi Connect system, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto handle wireless connectivity. We like that both Apple CarPlay and Android Auto free up USB ports, but in testing, the connection process isn’t very straightforward and we had to reconnect our device frequently.
(Photo: Doug Newcomb)
We like Audi’s “phonebox” wireless device charger in the center console because it keeps your phone out of sight (and out of reach), even if larger phones may fit a bit too snugly. But we’re not fans of the strange, touch-sensitive volume knob in the center console that’s a throwback to the original iPod click wheel. The 10.1-inch touch screen is also a bit small for the segment.
Powerful and (Mostly) Smooth Performance
Audi claims that the e-tron GT RS can rocket from 0 to 60mph in 2.9 seconds and, based on our time with the car, we don’t doubt it. While this acceleration time is a half-second slower than the more powerful Porsche Taycan Turbo S and the latest Tesla Model S Performance AWD, it’s still wildly fast—and more power than most people need.
Numbers aside, the e-tron GT RS is a blast to drive and blends smile-inducing performance with remarkable road comfort. The ride of the e-tron GT strikes a near-perfect balance: it handles responsively and the adaptive suspension smooths out bumps and breaks in the pavement.
The e-tron GT’s cabin also remains very quiet on the road and lets in just a wisp of noise. Unfortunately, that characteristic makes it easier to hear the artificial engine noise; We found it annoying after a few days, but you can turn it down or off if you prefer.
One last issue relates to the regenerative braking: All of the settings we selected via the paddle shifters felt the same, and none provided a one-pedal driving feel like we have experienced with other EVs.
Ambitious, But a Bit Impractical
The 2022 Audi e-tron GT is an impressive feat of engineering. It’s a feast for the eyes both inside and out, and it offers impressive road performance. But its limited battery range, unconfident brake regeneration feel, and poor rear visibility are all issues that are difficult to overlook. The Tesla Model 3, our Editors’ Choice winner in the EV sedan segment, is significantly less expensive and offers a much better battery range, so it’s a more practical choice for most people. If you like Audi’s all-in approach, though, the Mercedes-Benz EQS 450+ is another luxury option worth considering that it also boasts a longer driving range.
The Bottom Line
The 2022 Audi e-Tron GT is a pricey electric sports sedan with seat-pinning performance and a head-turning exterior, though its battery range isn’t overly impressive.
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