The sportier, dynamic e-tron S and e-tron S Sportback become the first-ever performance-oriented models in Audi's range of electric cars!
Audi has formally entered the performance EV segment with the new 2021 e-tron S and e-tron S Sportback models. As the 'S' in the moniker suggests, these new models become the top-runners in the e-tron model line-up and are essentially tweaked (S-tuned) versions of their standard counterparts. Thanks to some visual and functional upgrades (more aggressively-styled bumpers and wider, aerodynamically-optimised wheel arches), the e-tron S models have grown in size – overall width has gone up by 50mm and the wheel arches are 23mm wider on both sides.
The biggest talking point about the new e-tron S and e-tron S Sportback is the three-motor layout (two at the back and one at the front), compared to the conventional two-motor setup on the standard e-tron models. Audi has simply taken the higher-spec rear motor of the more powerful e-tron 55 and fitted it to the front axle of the e-tron S models. And, at the rear, two identical units of the front motor of the e-tron 55 now find a place on each wheel on the rear axle of the e-tron S derivatives.
Therefore, the three motor layout helps generate peak power and torque output of 496bhp and 973Nm, respectively. However, these peak figures are only available as an 8-second performance boost. The 95kWh battery pack has also been carried over from the e-tron 55. The e-tron S models can dismiss the 100km/h mark in just 4.5 seconds and reach a top speed of 210km/h. The gain in performance comes at a cost though, as the driving ranges of the e-tron S and e-tron S Sportback are pegged at 360km and 365km, respectively. These figures (based on the WLTP test cycle) are comparatively less than those of the e-tron 55 (436km).
Thanks to some clever features like electric torque vectoring, Audi's signature quattro AWD system only keeps the two rear motors running in normal driving modes. The front motor only kicks in when the system senses a need for more traction or if the driver wants more power. Plus, the suspension on the e-tron S models has also been retuned – it now allows the ride height to be adjusted by up to 76mm. To cope with the increased power, the front brake callipers have also been uprated to six-piston units.