- S variants get two rear and one front axle-mounted electric motors
- Peak output available for an 8 second boost period
- Electric motors draw power from a 95kWh battery pack
Audi’s expanding electric car range has gained its first performance models, with the e-tron S and e-tron S Sportback.
S models get unique three motor setup
The e-tron S and S Sportback use three electric motors for propulsion. Two are mounted on the rear axle and one sits at the front. The result is 503hp and a stout 974Nm of torque, although these peak figures are available for only 8 second boost periods. The cars dispatch 0-100kph in 4.5sec and have a 209kph top speed.
The trio of motors don’t just improve straight-line pace but are also used to provide an electric torque-vectoring function. In normal driving modes, just the rear motors operate and torque is sent to each wheel via a single-speed transmission. In dynamic driving modes or when full power is requested, the front motor activates. It can also predictively activate when slip is detected and decelerate the inside front wheel on a bend to prevent traction losses. Audi claims the S models can perform “controlled drifts” due to a more rear-biased power delivery than the standard car.
The e-tron S and e-tron S Sportback feature a 95kWh battery, with respective claimed ranges of 359km and 364km on the WLTP cycle. That's around 80km less than the most range-efficient e-tron 55 models.
Styling and aero tweaks
Aerodynamic revisions for the S variants include airflow-optimised wheel-arch extensions, which contribute to a drag coefficient of just 0.26 on the Sportback. There’s also a controllable air inlet to cool the brakes that opens only when necessary.
The new wheel-arch extensions add about 50mm to the width of both cars, while unique front and rear bumpers enhance the sporty look. Silver detailing and aluminium mirrors housing, along with 21-inch or 22-inch wheel options, mark the models out as the S variants. The interior brings electrically adjustable sports seats trimmed in fine nappa leather, with the option of carbon trim inserts throughout.
Audi has also tuned the models’ adaptive air suspension specifically for the S variants. The ride height can be varied by up to 76mm depending on driving situation or mode, and progressive steering can increase directness. The brakes are also uprated to six-piston calipers at the front.
e-tron for India
While there is no word on these new performance oriented S variants, the standard e-tron SUV is India-bound, likely in 2021. Audi previously showcased the standard e-tron in India last year.