Audi has added a third electric motor for more fun.
The Audi e-tron (and e-tron Sportback) is already an impressively fast luxury SUV with 402 horsepower coming from two electric motors enabling a driving range of 204 miles. 0-60 mph takes 5.5 seconds, which is fine in its own right, but won't have many Tesla owners worried in a drag race. With that in mind, it was only a matter of time before Audi overproofed the electric utility vehicle with a more powerful version. And today the company has announced the e-tron S and e-Tron S Sportback. Whereas the standard e-tron uses just two electric motors, this new S variant crams a third electric motor, increasing the power and performance.
The standard e-tron uses a 184 horsepower and 228-pound-foot electric motor at the front axle with a 224 hp and 262 lb-ft motor at the rear axle. These two motors combined for a total output of 355 hp and 414 lb-ft of torque or 402 hp and 490 lb-ft for a short, eight-second boost. For the e-tron S, Audi has moved the larger electric motor to the front axle and put two of the smaller motors on the rear axle with one for each wheel. These three motors now combined for a total output of 429 hp and 596 lb-ft or 496 hp and 718 lb-ft of torque for eight-seconds. As you'd expect with nearly 200 extra peak hp, the e-tron S is quicker to 60 at just 4.5 seconds.
With two separate electric motors on the rear axle, the e-tron S can torque vector mid-corner to create better handling characteristics than the standard car. Handling will also be improved with wider 285-millimeter tires on 20-inch wheels (up to 22-inch wheels are available) and firmer adaptive air suspension. Audi has only shown off a camouflaged prototype, so we don't know when the production model will make its debut, although the 2020 Geneva Motor Show next month is very likely. The e-tron S packs the same 95-kilowatt-hour battery pack so it is still unknown how the driving range will be impacted.