Audi Sport has toyed around with the e-Tron and the result is the RS, a car which has calm highway composure thanks to its air suspension but tyre shredding capabilities on the track with the four-wheel steering and instant electrical acceleration .
The Audi RS e-Tron GT prototype has been tested rigorously by Lucas di Grassi, Audi Sport Formula E driver and champion, he is also the most successful driver in the Electric championship with 32 podium finishes. The all-electric car was tested at Audi’s Neuburg an der Donau high-tech complex in Germany. The match of driver and car is perfect as Lucas is an UN ambassador for clean air and is a benchmark test driver for the prototype and help in further development.
The car has the uncanny explosive acceleration one expects from an electric car and is even more pronounced in the RS version and posts 0-100 time of 3.5 seconds. The beauty of the car remains in the fact that it has much more juice for track driving than is expected, the e-Tron did not lose any of its performance numbers even after five laps of the technical track. This is achieved by having two coolant circuits for the components which function on two different temperatures, one controls the temperature of the battery while the other which operates on a higher temperature works on the electric motor and electronics along with a cold circuit and a heating circuit which even Formula-E cars do not yet possess.
Di Grassi was all praises for the car after his laps, “ For me as a race driver, that’s not such a key characteristic. But I must say that the car’s grip and precision in cornering are definitely very impressive.” The car is also fitted with intelligent systems which can automatically based on the destination suggest where the driver should charge the batteries, but going even further to the level of adjusting the battery temperatures about half an hour before the charging station to optimise charging and keep the battery capacity brimming.
The suspension of the car has been developed by Audi sport, and even though it has been designed for track use, the car has the signature comfortable ride of a Gran Tourismo. Three-Chamber air springs which provide soft comfort while being able to adjust the ride height and are integrated along with the dampers both of which work in tandem based upon the drive mode selected.
A unique four-wheel steering system which turns the rear wheels opposite at low speeds for greater turn and grip and the same direction at higher speeds for control and stability. The RS model comes with carbon fiber ceramic discs, the best available in the industry which have been coated with tungsten carbide which make an easy job of high speed braking. The car comes with three unique wheel options, 21in, 20in and 19in with the latter weighing only 12.5kgs (front).
The e-Tron comes with the same basic formula that powers the Porsche Taycan as both the cars are based on the same platform. The two electric motors which turn the four wheels are powered by the 93.4KWh lithium-ion battery which makes about 684hp with 612lbft of torque. The top speed is limited to 155mph. A range of 249 miles is claimed by Audi for the non RS version of the car which is expected to be less given that weight would be managed by reducing battery size.
Talking about his documentary of New Delhi pollution, Lucas said, “I wanted to inspire a particular thought to instill courage in all of us. New Delhi is one of the cities with the highest air pollution – and if solutions for better environmental protection can be found and applied there, then it’s possible anywhere. There’s no doubt in my mind that sustainability has to be based on technology and innovation, because sustainable solutions will only gain traction if they’re not just a compromise but also the better solutions.”
“The production-based Audi RS e-tron GT is a milestone for us. It paves the way into the all-electric RS world and it is our commitment to the company’s CO2 target.” said Julius Seebach, Managing Director of Audi Sport GmbH in a statement. The Audi RS e-Tron GT is expected to cost around $165000( INR 1.2 Cr) and is expected to go on sale in the latter part of 2021.
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