Audi has kicked its electric offense into hyperdrive – with the new Audi e-tron S and the new Audi e-tron S Sportback. Both S models with fully electric drive use three electric motors, two of which operate on the rear axle. Their intelligent drive control raises vehicle safety, and dynamic handling, to a new level. In addition to the electric all-wheel drive, the vehicles are equipped with electric torque vectoring with active and fully variable torque distribution on the rear axle. The new S models have two electric motors on the rear axle and one on the front axle, making them the first mass-produced electric cars in the world to have three electric motors. Their drive layout is based on the modular construction principle: An adapted design of the more powerful electric motor that powers rear axle in the Audi e-tron 55 is now installed on the front axle. The front electric motor from the e-tron 55 operates together with a structurally identical counterpart and individual modifications in the rear.
In S gear, the Audi e-tron S and the Audi e-tron S Sportback provide their full boost performance for eight seconds – 370 kW of power and 973 Nm of torque. The 0 to 100kmph sprint takes just 4.5 seconds and tops out at 210 km/h. With one battery charge, the Audi e-tron S and the Audi e-tron S Sportback achieve ranges of up to 364 km and 370 km, respectively. The quattro in the e-tron S and e-tron S Sportback has been reloaded. In order to improve efficiency, only the rear electric motors are engaged as long as the Audi e-tron S and the e-tron S Sportback are operating in normal driving mode. The front electric motor flashes into action when the driver demands more performance, or predictively before traction subsides.
Electric all-wheel drive is now enhanced with electric torque vectoring: Each of the rear electric motors sends the drive torques directly to the respective wheel via a single-speed transmission; there is no more mechanical differential. Need-based regulation takes just milliseconds and can manage very high drive torques. The large high-voltage battery ensures a balanced distribution of the axle loads and is installed in a low position comparable to that of the three electric motors. This lowers the car’s centre of gravity, which offers great advantages in terms of handling. The progressive steering, whose ratio becomes increasingly direct as the steering movement increases, emphasizes the sporty character. The suspension has S-specific tuning. The Audi drive select system offers seven driving profiles.
The Audi e-tron S and the Audi e-tron S Sportback reveal their electric power at first glance. Their front and rear bumpers have strong contours, and the air curtains are particularly large and expressive. The diffuser insert at the rear end extends almost across the entire vehicle. Large parts of the body’s lower section can be painted in a contrasting color upon request. Both cars can be equipped with Matrix LED headlights as an option. Each light is divided into 1.3 million pixels and can be controlled with great precision, which opens many new functions. The electric S models are equipped with 20-inch wheels as standard, 21-inch wheels are available upon request and even sportier 22-inch wheels will follow at a later time. Fixed calipers with six pistons each are installed in the front above the large brake disks; fist calipers are installed in the rear. The brake calipers are painted black as standard and feature the S logo. Upon request, they can be painted in a bright orange and decorated with the e-tron logo.
The two electrically powered S models will be launched on the European markets in fall 2020. In Germany, the base price for the Audi e-tron S starts at EUR 91,435.29; for the e-tron S Sportback, it starts at EUR 93,628.58. whether the car is being considered for Indian market is yet to be seen.