Currently reading: Hot Audi E-tron 'S' to take aim at Tesla Model X
Audi has begun testing a performance version of its electric SUV with faster acceleration and a retuned chassis

Audi has begun testing a performance version its Audi E-tron electric SUV at the Nürburgring Nordschleife.

The four-wheel-drive model, which Ingolstadt insiders suggest will be sold in both the regular E-tron and coupé-like E-tron Sportback bodystyles from as early as 2020, has been conceived to provide added performance and dynamic attributes to the range in the same way as the SQ5 advances on the driving prowess of the Audi Q5.

Changes include a lowered ride height, likely achieved through the adoption of altered software for the standard air suspension setup.

Also evident on the lightly camouflaged prototypes are new performance-focused wheels and tyres that aren't currently available on the E-tron. These are intended to lower the ride height and provide greater levels of grip.

Details relating to the driveline of the fettled E-tron 'S' remain under wraps. However, Audi engineering sources admit they've already tested various layouts beyond the two electric motors of the standard car. Included is the triple motor layout of the original E-tron quattro concept that was revealed at the 2015 Frankfurt motor show.

In standard guise, the E-tron produces a combined 355bhp and 415lb ft of torque or, in Boost mode for a maximum of eight seconds, 402bhp and 490lb ft.

This output could easily be increased through the introduction of a third electric motor. Such a move would also enable Audi to provide performance versions of the E-tron with individual drive to each of the rear wheels for better traction and more neutral handling qualities in combination with torque vectoring for the front wheels.

Audi is also aiming to significantly reduce the E-tron's 0-62mph time, likely well below the 5.0sec barrier. 

One thing that's unlikely to be altered on the E-tron 'S', however, is the battery capacity; Audi has already stated that this will remain at 95kWh when it offers further variants of its first dedicated EV.

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lambo58 31 May 2019

I too think that the Tesla

I too think that the Tesla haters are just stupid, poorly informed or just plain haters,

My lovely late grandfather was very forward thinking and dispite his great age was a Tesla fan boy.

He used to laugh about how the great war in which he took part and which we won, we also lost economically. I now know what he meant.

The love of all automobiles German in today's generation he found galling which was also equal to the fact that we no longer have a car industry.

Just assemblers of other people's cars

He was amazed at how many people were trying to destroy Tesla and how they were rooting for the germans to do it and now it seems to be going that way.

I hope Tesla survives and hope that a lot of the critics will end up with egg on their faces eventually,

Not that they would ever admit it.

Then again, we are British...

Legacycarsupyourgame 30 May 2019

Am I missing something here?

Im a massive Audi fan, have always been. From the comments above no one seems to be acknowledging what Tesla have achieved here. The Audi etron is nowhere near as competent as the model x, Audi like all other manufacturers need to up their game. The performance version of teslas model x that this article refers to has a 0 to 60 time of less than 3 seconds and real world range of 300 miles.  The performance and range of the etron just isnt anywhere near these stats,  this article is utter nonsense with no evidence of improved specification, only pure speculation of what might be coming. Audi and other manufacturers have been caught with their pants down and it looks like it will be years before they catch up with current offerings. I dont understand all the comments from people who seem blinkered and believe that tesla are the devil! They have achieved so much and as a loyal petrolhead with a preference for german marques I would love nothing more than to see Audi and others teach this upstart a lesson. At the moment I am seriously considering an electric car and Tesla is by far the best option which is shameful given all the major brands who should be competing. Please balance your articles and do not mislead, those commenting should also do their research before spouting nonsense

lambo58 31 May 2019

You forget that this is

You forget that this is autocrat magazine: great haters of everything Tesla 

They hardly ever say anything positive about the brand.

Mattster 30 May 2019

Ok maybe 0-60 isn't

Ok maybe 0-60 isn't everything (though it seems to be a key point in the article).

How about range, space, weight, safety, charging network, production volume (i.e. availability)... And a lack of dieselgate history?

People keep saying the S and X are due a refresh. A refresh may be on its way, but it's clear that the long-promised competition has yet to even catch up with where Model S was 7 years ago. So a refresh will just push Tesla further into the lead.

Boris9119 30 May 2019

Further into the Lead?

I agree Tesla has been the trendsetter; 'in the lead' to take your point, but unless the refreshed 'S' makes a quantum leap in a way that's still under the radar, I think it unlikely to push Tesla 'further' into the lead. Best it will do is arrest Tesla's slide back towards the opposition. To date Tesla has largely been 'poaching' customers wanting electric vehicles from other luxury brands. I would suggest that by the end of 2019 that will have changed, the conquest sales will dry to a trickle, and Tesla does not have the financial clout to offer subsidised finance / leases etc due to its publicly known financial position. There's a reason the stock price is falling month on month and its not because of shorts. They have been there since day one. And theres a reason they are still there; Tesla semi, dead, model 'x' sales, paultry, model 's' wait times, do not exist and model 3 pre orders, met in most markets. Oh and they are still loosing money. They deserve credit for what they have done, but their future and their independance looks challenging to me to say the least.