a tri-motor before Tesla
Audi’s E-Tron Electric SUVs Are About to Get Way More Fun
Purchasing products through our links may earn us a portion of the sale, which supports our editorial team’s mission. Learn more here.
The E-Tron SUV that launched last year was Audi’s statement of intent — a departure point from the internal-combustion-focused past into the brand’s vibrant electric future. But it was just the harbinger; now, the sportier side of that electric future is coming. Audi has confirmed the existing E-Tron and E-Tron Sportback (due for a U.S. arrival later this year) will soon receive high-performance S models.
The models will employ a three-motor drive system — two on the rear axle, one on the front — which Audi says will be the first tri-motor setup to enter mass production. In normal driving, the e-motors will produce a combined 429 horsepower and 596 lb-ft of torque — but a repeatable eight-second boost mode can bump that output to 496 hp and 717 lb-ft of torque. The models will accelerate from 0-62 mph in a claimed 4.5 seconds.
For perspective, the E-Tron S’s normal mode has 80 more horsepower and 227 more lb-ft of torque than the SQ5, and its acceleration is 0.6 seconds faster than the SQ5’s 5.1-second 0-60 mph time. That said, the SQ5 begins at $52,900, which is $20,000 less than the standard E-Tron…and the S-model E-Trons will likely be even more expensive.
Audi did not mention the expected range for the E-Tron S and E-Tron Sportback S. The regular E-Tron’s 204-mile battery pack proved something of a disappointment when it was announced, at least compared with the likes of Tesla and its 300-plus-mile EVs.
There’s no word from Audi about when these cars might hit the road; the announcement was for the powertrain, not the actual cars, which suggests production models could be some time away. That said, pledging to be the first tri-motor EV in mass-production would mean Audi plans to beat the similar version of the Tesla Cybertruck, which is scheduled to reach market in late 2022.
The best way to catch up on the day’s most important product releases and stories. Read the Story