As a kid growing up in merrie olde England, I experienced the raw power of electricity by inserting my finger into a light socket.
Unlike here in the U.S. where domestic electricity packs a wimpy 110-volt punch, in the U.K. it’s a more substantial, and potentially life-threatening, 240 volts.
As you might expect, the jolt of 240 volts on a skinny nine-year-old body threw me across the room, frizzed my hair, and emptied my lungs of every last gasp of air.
Want to experience the same kind of electrifying, eyeball-crossing, knee-trembling jolt? Take an all-electric Audi RS e-tron GT four-door coupe, and simply stand on the accelerator.
With a quite-massive 637 horsepower at your beck and call, this low-slung projectile can whoosh from standstill to 60 miles per hour in a rock-out-of-a-catapult 3.1 seconds. It’s fast in the same way a bullet exiting the nozzle of a 44 Magnum is fast.
Of course, it should be swift on account of it being based closely on Porsche’s all-electric Taycan. The Volkswagen Group owns both Porsche and Audi, so it makes sense to swaps parts occasionally.
I love the Audi’s design as much as the Taycan’s. See it on the street and the Audi looks breathtaking, with its gorgeous, swoopy roofline, bulging wheel-arches, and mile-long hood. It also has some of the best-looking wheels—21-inchers in this case—to be fitted to a car.
Three flavors of e-tron GT are up for grabs. The starter version, the Premium Plus GT with 533-horsepower, is priced at $106,500. The slightly fancier Prestige GT will set you back $114,500.
But for the real flood of endorphins, you need the fire-cracker RS e-tron GT, to give it its full title, priced at $143,900, or like our test car, $152,440 nicely loaded.
Pricewise it’s in the ballpark with the competition. The Lucid Air Grand Touring kicks off from $140,000, with the Audi-comparable Porsche Taycan Turbo stickering for around $163,000. The Tesla Model S Plaid is the cheapie here, starting at around $107,000,
As you might expect, the RS is a technological tour de force. It has electric motors front and rear to deliver all-wheel drive. But what’s unusual here is that, like the Porsche, there’s a two-speed transmission incorporated in the rear axle.
The lower-ratio first gear helps blast the Audi off the line, with the higher second gear providing the more-relaxed cruising speeds. Sounds complex, but it works superbly.
Add to this rear-wheel steering for sharper high-speed handling, and air suspension for a smoother ride. Those humongous brakes have the capability to stop time.
On a twisty backroad, the RS is total thrill ride with its astonishing acceleration, laser-precise steering, no-roll cornering, and true poise and balance coupled with a firm, but silky-smooth ride.
Less impressive is the Audi’s range. The RS is rated at just 249 miles, which to me, is about 100 miles too short for peace of mind. A Lucid Air offers over 440 miles while a Tesla Model S Plaid offers around 350 miles.
But plug the Audi into a DC fast-charger and it balances its lowish range with the ability to re-charge its 93-kilowatt-hour lithium-ion battery pack from 5 to 80 percent in as fast as 22 minutes.
Inside, the RS is a masterpiece of cool design. Pretty much every surface is slathered in lovely, rich materials. I loved our tester’s honeycomb-quilted leather sports seats and the genuine leather on the dashboard. Not a fan of leather? Faux suede is an option.
Yes, with that raked, sports coupe roofline, headroom in the back is on the tight side. But clever cut-outs in the floor means there’s decent legroom.
But who needs rear seat space when you have this kind of pure, finger-in-the-light-socket excitement?