The time has finally come for Audi’s sportier E-Tron models to hit the market: meet the new E-Tron S and E-Tron S Sportback.
The hotter variant of Audi’s electric SUV models is the first mass-produced electric car in the market to feature three electric motors, featuring two of them on the rear axle and another one upfront.
The result of this extra hardware is of course more power, with Audi claiming a maximum output of 496 HP (503 PS) and no less than 717 lb-ft (973 Nm) of torque, available for eight seconds when the ‘S’ gear is engaged. 0-62 mph (100 km/h) comes in 4.5 seconds while top speed is set at 130 mph (210 km/h).
Under regular driving conditions, the powertrain of the new E-Tron S models produces a combined 429 HP (435 PS) and 596 lb-ft (808 Nm) of torque. The battery pack measures 95 kWh in capacity (with 86 kWh of them usable), allowing for a driving range of 226 miles (364 km) for the E-Tron S and 230 miles (370 km) for the E-Tron S Sportback.
The new range-toppers of the E-Tron SUV range are compatible with up to 150kW of fast-charging, with Audi claiming a charge time from 5 to 80 percent in around half an hour.
Wider fenders for a more dynamic look
Perhaps the biggest visual difference of the new E-Tron S from its lesser siblings is the added width by almost 2 inches (5 cm), courtesy of the wider fender flares. These are combined with not only a larger set of alloys but also more aggressive bumpers front and rear, with the latter featuring a diffuser insert across the entire width of the car.
Despite the more aggressive appearance, Audi’s new performance electric SUV models still offer a drag coefficient of 0.26 in the case of the Sportback version and 0.28 for the regular E-Tron S.
An electric SUV that can drift
More importantly, the new Audi E-Tron S models feature real torque vectoring on the rear axle via the two electric motors in addition to all-wheel-drive. The standard adaptive air suspension comes with an S-specific setup and can vary the level of the body by up to 3 inches (76 mm), while the Audi Drive Select system offers seven modes. Stronger stabilizers and a revised ratio for the progressive steering are also present.
Audi says that the drive character of the first electric SUV models to wear the ‘S’ badge has a greater rear bias and that are able to deliver “controlled drifts” upon request. The brake system features six-piston calipers at the front together with 400mm discs, with customers able to have the former painted in orange.
As standard, the new E-Tron S and E-Tron S Sportback will come with 20-inch alloy wheels shod in 285-section tires. Customers will get to choose bigger 21-inch wheels from the get-go, with even larger 22-inch items to be added in the options list down the line.
Launching in Europe this fall
Audi’s new E-Tron S and E-Tron S Sportback are set for a launch in the European market this fall. Prices in their home market in Germany start from 91,435 euros for the E-Tron S and from 93,628 for the E-Tron S Sportback.