Audi RS e-tron GT driven – The electric revolution is here, and I’m all for it – TopAuto
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Audi RS e-tron GT driven – The electric revolution is here, and I’m all for it

The Audi RS e-tron GT is beautiful, precise, and frighteningly fast.

It is the top-of-the-line car in the new electric Audi lineup that has launched in South Africa – and at R3.3 million, you pay R1 million for each second that it takes to get to 100km/h.

While few are able to afford it, including myself, the RS e-tron GT has introduced me to the electric future that lies ahead for cars – and I’m all for it.

In terms of handling, ride quality, sturdiness, and features, the RS e-tron GT is not much different from your traditional petrol-powered luxury cars.

This allows you to focus on the drive, which is a riveting sensation in its own right.

Coupled with a two-speed transmission, the electric motors on the car’s axles deliver 440kW and 830Nm to all four wheels – with the 2.4-tonne weight balanced to a near-perfect 50/50 ratio.

You don’t notice the heavy kerb weight, but you definitely feel the power. There is no turbo lag, no petrol-burning noises and vibrations that allow you to anticipate what will happen, and instantaneous torque.

This means that when you put your foot down in the RS e-tron GT, you experience acceleration like never before.

With each nudge of the accelerator it kicks you in the back and shoves you in the chest – no matter how fast you were already going.

There is more to it than raw power, though.

Audi’s e-tron sports sounds take the job of what an exhaust would have had, and the company has tailored it in such a way that it perfectly pulls you into the electric acceleration euphoria, while also making for satisfying and still near-silent drives around town.

The RS e-tron GT can also be civilised, supremely comfortable, and surprisingly practical.

You might get similar speeds and amazing exhaust notes from petrol cars, but the sensation of an electric car is not comparable.

e-tron range

Along with the RS e-tron GT, Audi has launched the e-tron GT, e-tron 55 S Line, and e-tron S Sportback in South Africa – and I got to drive them.

Each one is as spectacular as the one that came before it.

Throughout the e-tron range, you are greeted with comfort, compliance, and performance of the highest standards, with each model offering a fun and energetic driving experience.

You do feel the weight of the high-riding SUVs a bit more than the low-slung coupes, but that is to be expected.

The electric SUVs are also kitted with Audi’s new camera wing “mirrors” that do not contain any mirrors – and rather project a video feed onto a screen in the door.

This is definitely something to get used to when driving.

The future

These electric Audis have made me look forward to the day that the average car is battery-powered.

This might still be a while down the road, but that gives the technology and supporting infrastructure much-needed time to grow and hopefully become more affordable.

While we will have to bid adieu to certain sports cars and supercars during the inevitable switch to EVs, I predict that some premium manufacturers will be just clever enough to keep a few of their petrol-engine plants open.

If the country of Italy gets its way, it will be a long time before brands such as Ferrari and Lamborghini have to drop their V8 and V12 masterpieces.

Audi launch event

I must also take the time to talk about more than just driving the new electric Audis, and detail the awesome launch event the company held in Cape Town on 22 February to promote the cars.

Audi South Africa held a “night of progress” where it launched the six new electric vehicles – making it the biggest EV launch by any manufacturer in any country to date, said Audi.

The event was held at the Zeitz Museum of Contemporary Art in Cape Town, with 12 EVs gracing the courtyard in front of the museum.

The launch kicked off with an hour and a half of e-tron test drives, with nearly every person in attendance getting their hands on a new Audi EV throughout the night.

We were let loose on a short route through the picturesque city, with corners and straights that show off what the EVs are capable of. This allowed us to soak in every inch of e-tron goodness from behind the wheel.

This was followed by a presentation where the brand brought out the South Africans it partnered with as ambassadors for the e-tron launch.

Audi further announced that from now on, it will aim to introduce one EV per year, and after 2026, it will only launch EVs going forward.

Additionally, the automaker said it has partnered with GridCars in South Africa to build the largest and fastest public charging infrastructure in the country.

The time and effort Audi put into the launch of the e-tron range speaks volumes about its confidence in the electric cars.

I might have been an electric skeptic before, but am now a converted EVangelist.

Audi e-tron launch

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