Audi's RS6 and E-Tron GT Meet in Snowy Shoot-Out
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Audi's RS6 and E-Tron GT Meet in Snowy Shoot-Out

Roadshow
Speaker 1: With all a 600 horsepower on tap. The Audi RS six is one of the most outrageous wagons that you can buy here in north America. And with over 600 horsepower on tap, the Audi RS e-tron GT is one of the most outrageous EVs on the planet, but out here in the ice, which one's more fun. That's what we're gonna find. Not today. Speaker 1: Those are big numbers, but once you get on the ice, more power doesn't matter as much as weight does. And both [00:00:30] of these are incredibly heavy vehicles. This RS six avant that I'm in right now is about 4,900 pounds. That's incredibly heavy, but honestly, outta your, it doesn't really feel it. No, I should end identify where out here is. I am on Sequi Mele, uh, which apologies from my pronunciation to all my qua viewers out there. But we are in the wa of Quebec. We are probably, oh, a couple three hours west of Montreal, not far from BLE. So if you are ever taking [00:01:00] a bit of a ski holiday up north, it's a real nice place to add onto your trip. It's basically a really long winding circuit that in the summertime is part paved and part rally cross action in the wintertime, they groom it and ice it and even E grooves into it to turn it into this ultimate playground. Speaker 1: Now, I do a lot of driving on the eye as, uh, this is kind a fun thing that I do this time of year, but when you're on a lake, you don't get these rises, these crests, these valleys and [00:01:30] peaks that you get out here. This adds a whole new dimension to the game and it makes it a whole lot more fun. So we're starting again in the RS, six avant here, and, uh, oh, we've really tricky conditions today. I'm running a little wide there. We've got probably, oh, I don't know, four to six inches of fresh powder on top of ice, which just means the grip is incredibly low. As I mentioned, this is a heavy car. I've got the traction control turned off. We are in a custom mode. I've taken the RS one mode and personalized [00:02:00] it to, uh, exactly how I want it to be starting with a suspension, which I have on the softest setting. Speaker 1: Believe it or not now, unlike normal track driving. When you're driving at low grip situations like this on ice or snow, you actually want the suspension to be as soft as you can get it. You want the car to roll. You want the car to pitch. You want the car to basically adapt to the conditions as much as you can, by doing that, you can set up the car for a little bit of a skin, a flick like that. You can really get a much better feel for the car as well. I do. Of course though, [00:02:30] have the power up on maximum. Speaker 1: The differential setup is on sport mode and I have the engine setting on present, which is the loudest setting, of course, because I want to hear that thing. It sounds incredibly good at here though. I'm not spend me too much. I'm a full throttle right today, as you can imagine, this is a very tight course. And as I said, the grip is at a bit of a premium today. Even though I am running the Stu tires, we've got a great mechanical differential set up here. The most important being the center differential, which is what sends the power front and rear. Now of course, everything can lock giving [00:03:00] me full grip, equal grip, equal torque, I should say to all four corners, but more importantly, the differential setup here in the RS, six can send up to, I believe it's 85% power to the rear or up to 70% power to the front. Speaker 1: So when I'm driving down, uh, straight or particularly on a, a nice dry racetrack, you can have this car feel a lot like a rear wheel driven car, or if in a situation like this, where maybe I'm understeering into a corner, it can shuttle more power [00:03:30] to the front to help pull the car around. That's really kind of the best of both worlds. I do wish I could actually manually adjust that different she'll set up like I can in my Subaru where I can actually adjust the locking, uh, preference front to rear. But the car seems to be doing a really good job. And as you can see, I can actually toss this thing around much more than you expect a big honk and luxury wagon to be able to do this thing is a ton of fun. I spent some time today in an S six sedan and this car, our end [00:04:00] of course, the e-tron GT, which we're gonna get to in just a moment. Speaker 1: And this was far and away. The most aggressive of the three cars really, really challenging you to drive it hard, but reacting and doing exactly what you want it to do. Really, really impressive. How dynamic and how engaging such a big car R is out here on this tight twisty course. And you might think that all these big snow banks on the side, there's no punishment. Let me tell you, it's been very cold here and those snow banks [00:04:30] pretty hard. I do not want to go in there. So I'm trying to keep myself in this white canyon that I can honestly barely see, because the contrast is so low today. Let me walk you through some of the techniques. I mean, using here, just to get the RS six avant to do what I want it to do. The main thing, of course it is. Speaker 1: Countersteering when the rear end starts to step out a little bit. You just turn the wheel in the opposite direction. You want to go basically keep the car tracking the way that you want it to go. And it lets you just keep things moving. I'm using the throttle a lot to get the car to [00:05:00] come around. You can see I'm turning the direction that I want the car to turn giving a little stab of throttle that helps to bring the nose around it. And then at that point, I'm giving some counter steer to finish off the corner and I come out the corner nice straight. And of course being straight by the end of the corner is really go. In fact, you should really be aiming to be straight by the apex of the corner to get maximum drive out. The thing I'm doing is what's called a Scandinavian infl flick. Speaker 1: We return the car or the wrong way and turn it back the right way, and that can help a bigger or a reluctant car to do what you want it to do in a [00:05:30] tight corner. Like we have here, we've got a big car here and sometimes it doesn't exactly wanna rotate exactly what I want it to, if I turn the wrong way and then the right way you basically overload the suspension and kind of make it almost hop back or unload very quickly, which overloads the grip at the rear end of the car. We have again, a nice big drift coming out of it. So those are some basic techniques that we've been using today to get this thing, to do what I want it to do. And the fact that this car is as responsive to all those things is a phenomenal thing. Of course, it [00:06:00] helps that I do have the trash control turned off, which thankfully Audi lets you do on both this car and the e-tron GT. Speaker 1: This is a really interesting comparison car because this is really kind of the, the peak of mechanical Quatro design for current production cars. Anyway, the, and so we're kind of testing the best of the old school way of doing it with actual gears and clutches and things like that versus the new way of doing things, which is of course, just using virus to send electricity forward of backward. Uh, in some ways this [00:06:30] is kind of, it almost seems crude by comparison. It's amazing that such an advanced differential setup can feel crude. It certain doesn't feel under my right foot right now, but in comparison to an electronic system where it's just basically sending more electricity to the front axle versus the rear axle, it almost does feel a little bit old school, but honestly this feels really good. This car's just phenomenally good out here. Speaker 1: I love the R six on I always have and opportunity tolog it around on a track like this is a pretty special [00:07:00] thing and I wasn't sure what to expect. I didn't know if it was gonna be good out here. I didn't know if it was just gonna be a big old whale purposing around, but it's been really, really good, so much fun to drive and uh, a really great treat out here on the track, but honestly, you know, today's all about the old versus the new and all this is not, we old, the e-tron GT is certainly new. So let's, uh, hop out of this one and uh, hop into the next one and do so quickly because it's pretty cold out there and my feet are getting cold. Speaker 1: [00:07:30] All right, preso change. We are now in the RS e-tron GT and this is a very different experience. I spent a good part of the day swapping back and forth between these two, not just what we're capturing on camera here today. And the interesting thing is how a lot of those techniques I talked about in the RS six just don't seem to work in this, or at least not as well, particularly the yield D scan flick simply because this, for one thing, this [00:08:00] thing likes to choke you, uh, whenever it thinks that you're going to crash. So, uh, if I stop my delivery abruptly because it's pretension to seatbelt on me and given me a bit of a price, um, the scan in flick and this just doesn't seem to work least not as well. I have customized the drive mode here to the individual setting so I can get it to more or less what I want it to be, which is softer suspension like before. Speaker 1: And I've also got, uh, the throttle response up as high as I can get it. And I've also got the sound profile [00:08:30] onto the sport mode. So that kind of futuristic worrying that you might hear in the background. Yep. That is the car giving me an approximation of an engine noise anyway. It's um, I have two minds about it, honestly. I think, I think I like it more than I dislike it. It's a little weird, but it's also unintrusive. And the most important thing is you can turn it off. So if you don't like it, that's fine. But I do like to have some kind of a, an auditory bit of feedback in terms of speed or at least throttle application and having that is important because the e-tron of course is incredibly [00:09:00] quiet. You do get a little, you do get a little bit of, uh, noise from the electric motors front and rear, but not too much. Speaker 1: So having that, uh, kind of futuristic world doesn't make me feel at least like I'm trying. So that said, I've got the suspension as soft as I can, but the car just doesn't really seem to have the same weight transfer, the same balance dynamics as the, as the RS six. Now this is a heavier car, a couple hundred pounds more so, you know, that does make [00:09:30] a difference, but it, I think it's the positioning of that weight down low in the car. It just doesn't lend itself to that same kind of rolling back and forth that you are really trying to accentuate when you do, uh, a pendulum turn or a scan flick or that kind of thing. So instead with the e-tron GT here, it's more about kind of turning the car in early and using the, the throt application, help the car rotate. Speaker 1: So instead of the traditional flick, what I'm instead doing is really [00:10:00] relying on front to rear weight transfer by getting on and off the gas to try to load up the front tires, gimme a little bit more bite to help the front end turn. But the other thing that I'm doing is relying on the power a little bit more. The e-tron GT seems to reward being aggressive with the throtle to help get the car to turn around. Now I can turn the wheels sharply too sharply to basically force it into industry, but then give it a quick goose of throttle. And it seems to quickly turn the car around. And that then gives me the over steer that I'm looking for to get a, a better line through the [00:10:30] corner. So it's, it requires more planning and a little bit more prep and a bit of a different a, which you have to be a bit more strategic. Speaker 1: And honestly, it's, I think a bit of a, if I were timing myself, I definitely think I'd be quicker with the RS six through here, but both of them are pretty fun and there I'd pulled off a pretty decent pendulum turn. So it is possible in this car after all. One of the most interesting differences of course, is the throtle response. The RS six is a turbocharge car are. And so there's a little bit of a delay between when you put your foot to the floor [00:11:00] and you getting the throtle that you actually want. It's very minor. There's really not a lot of turbo lag there. Not in the sense of, you know, like a mid nineties, Mr. Two or something like that. But there is that lag there a little bit of latency, whereas in the Eltron course, there's absolutely none. The second you've puts your foot down, you get that, you get the throttle, you get the torque, you get the application of power that you want. Speaker 1: And again, like the RS six, I cannot, I don't have any control over sending [00:11:30] more power to the front or to the rear. And then of course there's the way that the car actually puts that power to the ground. The differential setup it in the RS six, as I mentioned before, we've got a really advanced mechanical set of differentials. It does a great job of vectoring torque, front rear, and keeping the power going where you want it more or less in the e-tron GT. We don't really have differentials in a traditional way. Sure. There's power being directed left, or right of these motors, but instead of a center differential, that's directing power front rear, we instead just have [00:12:00] two motors. You want more power at the front and give more power to the motor in the front, simple as that. So it's a different, oh God, it's a different sort of approach for sure. Speaker 1: And that means that the car can instantaneously put power wherever it wants to. Now we can't do, let's say a hundred percent of power to the front because there are two motors, which means they're effectively splitting power duties at the best of times, but it can completely shut down the rear motor if it wants to and only send power to the front, if it wants to, or do the reverse and gimme a completely real dry car, if it wants to. [00:12:30] Now, I don't unfortunately have a way to control of that. That again is one of the missing pieces. I would love to be able to just manually say, Hey, give me 80% of power to the rear, for example. And, uh, let me control it myself. That would be kind of fun to play with and to see what kind of a setup I could come up with and whether I could get this to be a little bit more predictable when it comes to, uh, getting around played corners like that. Speaker 1: But really that's about the only thing that's missing. And I think the most important thing is that the car doesn't really feel dramatically different than the RS six when it comes to power [00:13:00] delivery. But despite that radically different drivetrain layout, despite not having any mechanical differentials or anything fancy like that, going on here, this thing still feels very predictable, very calm, very easy to drive, and ultimately very safe and secure out here, which is the most important thing, but I can still with the right throttle application, get the tail out nice and wide like that and have a, a really good time on a really tight and twisty course like we have here at mic least [00:13:30] when the final thing I didn't mention was the braking that seatbelt pretension, it was choking me again and again, because I kept missing the breaking on a tight, downhill left hand or in the e-tron. Speaker 1: I didn't have that problem in the RS six. Yes, the EV is heavier, but the e-tron just did not wanna stop after I'd finished filming. I noticed a lot of ice buildup on the wheels of the e-tron that wasn't there on the RS six, which got me thinking for apps because of the regenerative breaking the physical breaks were only getting used in that one turn, meaning [00:14:00] they were always too cold to be effective, but that is just a theory outside of that, which of the two cars was more fun. I gotta say I did enjoy my time in the RS six more so than in the e-tron the big sedan just wasn't as possible as the big wagon, but on a more open circuit, like maybe a big frozen lake with more room to play where I could make better use of all that power. I do feel like the e-tron would really come into its own. I think a lot of this also comes down to the e-tron just feeling different. It makes sense [00:14:30] that a radical change in weight balance and power delivery is going to require learning some new driving techniques. And I think that just means that I need a little more practice time behind the wheel.

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