Audi launched the e-tron SUV in 2019. This is the very first battery powered production model from the Ingolstadt-based company. Read our original e-tron story by clicking here. Earlier this week Audi announced high-performance versions of the SUV called the e-tron S. These higher-powered versions will be available in regular and Sportback shapes. Incidentally, the Audi e-tron will be on sale in SA before the end of this year, as we reported here.

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Both e-tron S body styles use the same powertrain. The three electric motors, two of which are located on the rear axle provide a maximum output of 370 kW with a stonking 973 N.m of peak torque. Those peak values are available in the racier S gear. In D gear the peak figures are 320 kW with max torque of 808 N.m. Audi’s press material says in S gear, both cars can sprint from 0-100 km/h in just 4,5 seconds. Top speed is electronically limited until 210 km/h.

Read our Audi Q3 drive review at this link.

Torque vectoring

The new Audi e-tron S models are the first series-production electric cars worldwide with three motors. The two electric motors powering the rear wheels are installed back to back. Thanks to the individual wheel drive there is no need for a differential and thus makes electric torque vectoring possible. Control electronics allows for the rear wheel on the outside of a corner up to 220 N.m more torque than the wheel on the inside. Catch the e-tron S in action, including rally legend Stig Blomqvist drifting in the video at the bottom of this post.

Variable drive modes

Not only are the Audi e-tron S models able to provide driving dynamics on a racetrack, but they are also able to go off-road, thanks to a dedicated ESP mode. In the offroad mode, the e-tron S offers increased ground clearance and optimised settings for the powertrain. In comfort mode power is spread roughly 50:50 front and rear, but in dynamic the split be as wide as 10:90, with torque distribution constantly varying according to conditions. Audi e-tron S models come standard with 21-inch alloys (21 and 22s are optional) and massive brakes, that measure 400 mm on the front wheels.

Full, production-ready e-tron models are expected to be shown at the upcoming Geneva Motor Show. The upcoming Audi S3 will also be shown at the same event, read about the S3 engine info here.