Sunday Drive: New 2022 Audi e-tron GT has speed and luxury, the perfect match
The second week of our three-week binge on all-electric automobiles came with what we would describe as the most prestigious of the three: the Audi e-tron. The name took us back in time to the early ’80s and the movie “Tron,” which was all about computers and electric driving.
The e-tron stood out in our neighborhood and on the road as it slants in looks toward the Audi R8 supercar. It had many folks asking us questions, of course, and even deeper discussions taking place when they found out it was all-electric.
The GT trim of the sedan that we drove had the chops involved to move it around, coming in with 469 horsepower. That could be increased to 522 for short bursts by using Boost Mode. This would propel the four-door sedan to 60 in a mere 3.9 seconds. And, if that is not enough for one’s driving pleasure, there is also the RS version that makes 637 horsepower in Boost Mode and gets to 60 in 3.1 seconds.
With its instantaneous acceleration, this car would stick us to the back of our seats whenever we put the pedal to the floor, no matter what mode we were in!
That’s the thing about an electric vehicle: the power is right there all the time. There is no waiting on a turbo or any type of engine to spin up, and there’s no need for a launch control. The only control needed is keeping the wheels pushing forward instead of spinning out. The laws of physics still apply; even with so much power at the wheels, they still have to stay in contact with the road to do their jobs properly.
As we indicated, the excitement of driving the new e-tron was off the charts, and we were quite popular during our week with the sedan. However, there is still the electric side to the car. How far would it go, and how did it perform during the cold days of a Utah winter? These are good questions that everyone needs to think about when choosing an electric car.
With a full night’s charge on the dial, our first day out in the e-tron would have netted a very nice 250-mile range if we had pulled it out of the garage and driven it “as is” for the entire day. A 20-degree overnight temperature, though, brought with it a desire to turn on the heater, heated seats and heated steering wheel. These are all creature comforts we have become accustomed to using in the wintertime.
Craig engaged all of these systems as he began his drive, and the e-tron’s range dropped to 208 from 250 before he even got out of our subdivision.
He turned them all off, and the range came back, but after driving the short distance to his morning stop at the local Sunpro service station, it became clear the interior of the e-tron was too cold to be tolerated during his entire ride to work. This was especially true after opening the car’s doors for the four or five different people at the station who wanted to check out the e-tron’s interior. Again, the Audi will draw a crowd!
So, the heaters were turned on again, and Craig headed off to work. He wasn’t worried about the drop in range as he expected to only use about 30 to 40 miles that day. He then remembered a meeting he had to attend that day in Layton with his business partner Mike Duffin.
The e-tron was now showing 181 miles of range, and the day was overcast and still hovering in the mid-20s as they started their trek to Layton. If all went well – and with the heat and seats set where they were comfortable – they believed they could make it there and back again. This proved to be the case as they returned to Provo with 21 miles of range left on the batteries.
For the week, we averaged 2.6 miles per kilowatt hour while driving the e-tron, which equated to around 3.8 cents per mile while charging at home. If we had needed to charge at a station that required payment for the service, it would have been 43 cents per kilowatt hour or 16.5 cents per mile, or about 22 miles per gallon at the current cost.
Inside, the e-tron was very comfortable and futuristic, coming with the 12.3-inch Audi virtual cockpit and a 10.1-inch touch screen for information and entertainment. There’s also a heads-up display that projects safety and navigation information along with the car’s speed on the front windscreen.
The seats were clad in nappa leather and both heated and cooled. They were also heated in the rear. The dashboard and doors were also clad in the same leather, with beautiful wood inserts topping off the luxury look and feel of the e-tron. We would expect nothing less from this luxury brand.
Safety features, of course, were also included, with adaptive cruise control and lane keep assist — which was good but not the best we have encountered. There was also emergency braking, rear cross path detection, blind spot monitoring and automatic high beam LED headlamps.
After spending our second week in a row in an all-electric vehicle, going electric is definitely growing on us. It keeps us thinking as we explore different ranges that vary with the outside temperature and constantly make sure we have the range needed to get where we are going.
To find a charging point, we simply had to ask the Audi and it would display those closest to the us at the time along with the type of chargers offered at the different stations. This will make a difference in the time spent at each location if remote charging is needed.
The e-tron is a great luxury choice and extraordinarily fun to drive as it approaches super car-like looks and attributes. Of course, all this fun also comes with a super car-like price.
Base price: $99,900
Destination charge: $1,065
Price as driven: $118,740