Or is this the rumored off-road-focused Audi e-tron Allroad?
The long-awaited Audi e-tron SUV will be arriving in dealers this spring, the first of many electric models Audi is planning to launch to take on Tesla. Audi is already developing a smaller version of the e-tron as well as the e-tron GT sedan, which will both launch in 2020. And now our spies have spotted a new Audi e-tron prototype being put through its paces in the snow, suggesting that Audi could be cooking up a more powerful version of the electric SUV.
In standard configuration, the Audi e-tron is powered by two electric motors that sends 354 hp to all four wheels, but this can be increased to 402 hp and 490 lb-ft of torque when boost mode is activated for up to eight seconds at a time. Rumors suggest Audi Sport could add a third motor to the rear axle to bring the output closer to 500 hp.
This would obviously have a profound effect on the performance, enabling the more potent e-tron to do the 0-62 mph sprint faster than the standard model, which takes 5.5 seconds. Cast your mind back to 2015, and the e-tron Quattro Concept adopted a similar three-motor setup, resulting in a 0-62 mph sprint time of 4.6 seconds.
Also expect the performance-focused EV to have sportier styling than the standard model such as new bumpers, although it’s difficult to see the changes hidden under the prototype’s camouflage. Audi Sport, the German automaker’s performance division, is likely to be working on the more powerful e-tron, so it could adopt S or RS badging to match its combustion-powered counterparts.
Alternatively, we could be looking at the rumored off-road-focused e-tron Allroad, since the tires look wider than the standard model’s. Stay tuned for the 2019 Geneva Motor Show next week, as we'll likely learn more about Audi's future EV plans.