Audi e-tron S Sportback

Audi e-tron S and e-tron S Sportback

The Audi e-tron S and e-tron S Sportback are the first volume production cars to use three electric motors offering up to 370 kW of power and 973 Nm of torque. The e-tron S and e-tron S Sportback are available for UK order from summer 2020 priced from £87,000 and £88,700.

Acceleration from 0-62 mph takes just 4.5 seconds, with a top speed of 130mph.

The new S models are equipped with two electric motors on the rear axle and one upfront, making them the first volume production electric cars in the world with three electric motors.

The high-voltage battery has a gross energy capacity of 95 kWh, of which 91 per cent (86 kWh) is usable. On a full charge, the Audi e tron S and the Audi e tron S Sportback can achieve ranges of up to 223 miles and 226 miles (preliminary values), respectively, based on the WLTP test cycle.

In order to improve efficiency, only the rear electric motors are engaged as long as the Audi e tron S and the e tron S Sportback are operating in normal driving mode. The front electric motor is called into play when the driver demands more performance, or predictively before traction is broken.

Each of the rear electric motors sends its torque directly to the respective wheel via a single-speed transmission; there is no more mechanical differential. Need-based regulation takes just milliseconds.

The drivetrain has a more pronounced rear bias than in the standard e-tron models, and if the ESC stabilisation control is set to “sport” and the Audi drive select dynamic handling system to “dynamic” mode to maximise performance, their cornering attitude is even more adjustable, with Audi claiming that they have the capacity to perform ‘controlled drifts’.

When approaching the physical limit, the front wheel on the inside of the bend that is not under load is decelerated slightly via the wheel brake to prevent slip and further refine handling.

The suspension has S-specific tuning and can vary the level of the body by up to 76 millimetres depending on the driving situation and the setting specified by the driver via the standard Audi drive select system from its menu of seven driving profiles.

In the UK the electric S models are equipped with 21-inch wheels as standard, with a 22-inch wheel available at a later date as an option.

As well as the optional virtual exterior mirrors (cameras that send their pictures to high-contrast displays in the interior), flow-optimised wheel arch extensions help to improve aerodynamics, allowing the e tron S to achieve a drag coefficient of 0.28, despite its wider arches, and the e tron S Sportback has a coefficient of just 0.26.

The controllable cooling-air inlet with ducts to cool the front wheel brakes remains closed as much as possible so that the airstream flows over the bonnet with almost no turbulence.

A heat pump draws heat energy from the waste heat of the drive components, increasing the range by up to ten percent.

UK fleet and retail customers who place an order for the e-tron S or e-tron S Sportback before December 31st 2020 will receive a free 12-month subscription to the e-tron Charging Service, which makes the facilities operated by 18 charging point providers available to holders of the e-tron Charging Service RFID payment card, and issues them with one simple monthly invoice for all transactions. 

As part of the subscription, £150-worth of electricity will also be credited to their account at no extra cost. In addition, a 7kW wallbox charger for home installation is also complimentary for all customers placing orders before year-end.

Read our Audi e-tron Review