The Audi E-Tron is a solid battery-electric crossover SUV, largely because it doesn’t feel like one. In fact, it drives s like any other Audi. Now the German luxury brand is turning up the wick a little bit with a sporty S variant of the model. Meet the new E-Tron S and its swoopy E-Tron S Sportback sibling.
The S, for those unaware, denotes the extra sportiness Audi baked into the model. That means bigger brakes, a sportier suspension, and more power. There are now three electric motors on board—two at the rear and one in front—instead of one at each axle, as in the normal E-Tron. Audi claims that the E-Tron S can make up to 718 lb-ft of torque in Boost mode. This is way up from the normal E-Tron’s 490 lb-ft (also produced in Boost mode).
The E-Tron S uses the same 95-kWh battery pack available in the standard model, but the sportier model’s driving range takes a slight hit. The normal E-Tron goes an estimated 248 miles on a full charge on Europe’s optimistic WLTP test cycle, but the E-Tron S only manages approximately 223 miles on the same cycle. The Sportback model sees a larger drop, falling from 271 miles to 226. EPA figures are unavailable for the E-Tron S, as Audi has no plans to bring the model to our shores.
Adaptive air suspension is standard and Audi tuned it specifically to this application. There is also now fully electric torque vectoring (at the back), much like on the Acura NSX (which employs two electric motors at the front end).
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To give the E-Tron S a slightly more aggressive stance, Audi widened the wheel arches by almost two inches. There is also a redesigned front bumper to help reduce drag and electrically controlled brake-cooling ducts for when you’re driving in a more “spirited” manner. There are three wheels to pick from, too: 20-inch wheels are standard, but 21s and 22s are optional. Audi even notes the battery pack of the E-Tron S can go from five to 80 percent capacity in an hour and a half when hooked up to a 150-kW DC fast-charging station.
Even though Audi isn’t shipping either E-Tron S model to the States, the German luxury brand’s commitment to building an EV portfolio continues to impress us. Audi expects to launch the E-Tron S this fall.
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