Audi has begun testing a performance version of its electric SUV with faster acceleration and a retuned chassis
30 May 2019

Audi has begun testing a performance version its 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 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. 

Our Verdict

Audi E-tron quattro 2018 review - hero front

Real quality engineering, but the electric Audi's trump card is a wide range of driving qualities and outstanding practicality

Find an Autocar car review

Driven this week

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.

Audi E-tron 2019 review

2019 Audi E-tron Sportback previewed at Geneva

Audi launches Q5 TFSI-e plug-in hybrid with 362bhp

Join the debate

Comments
16

30 May 2019

This is why Tesla will be non-existant in a few years.

European brands are catching up and showing that you learn things after centuries in business. Teslas have lost their novelty, and traditional brands offer more desirability.

I know i'll have a load of Tesla lovers on my tail about this, but its true.  

JMax

30 May 2019
JMax18 wrote:

European brands are catching up and showing that you learn things after centuries in business. Teslas have lost their novelty, and traditional brands offer more desirability.

If European brands have learnt things after centuries in business why are they behind??

 

typos1 - Just can’t respect opinion

30 May 2019

I would suggest they were/are behind due to their legacy considerations. Tesla really rocked the boat and gave the established manufacturers no alternative. For that Tesla should be applauded. But I agree with JMax18 that Tesla may not survive as a stand alone manufacturer in the long term. I think Musk is on camera saying that causing this change was one of his goals for Tesla. Don't be surprised to see a bid for Tesla from another motor manufacturer when the stock price better reflects the real economics of the company.

30 May 2019
JMax18 wrote:

This is why Tesla will be non-existant in a few years.

European brands are catching up and showing that you learn things after centuries in business. Teslas have lost their novelty, and traditional brands offer more desirability.

I know i'll have a load of Tesla lovers on my tail about this, but its true.  

If they're targeting sub-5secs, and a Model X does sub-3secs, and also goes further on a charge, doesn't sound like they're really catching up now does it...

Not to mention, there are more superchargers around that are faster than conventional 50kW CCS chargers which you'll be stuck using with e-tron I-pace EQC etc, there's only one(1!) 150kW non-tesla charging station in the country lol.

— —

30 May 2019

Fair point about the chargers currently, Tesla should be applauded for what they have acheived, but that will all change in a matter of years.

As for 0-60 times, you mean you buy a car solely on that basis. There is more to the automotive market that that, I think

JMax

30 May 2019
The typical trademark large Audi grille of which much of it is fake. The A2 looks more like an electric car than this.

30 May 2019

Sinve the gerry's designed and put it together, I shan't reckon one of these will "spontaneously combust" in a parking garage at random

30 May 2019

However, to do so, Tezla must make no expensive mistakes. Among possible expensive mistakes - might be expensive projects not connected with car-manufacturing, that don't pan out. Elon Musk goes on times off on tangents, not nearly all of those have panned out. With stiffer competition - Tezla can't any more afford to, waste money. It has to focus on it's core business, car manufacturing -- after launching the SUV version of Model3, it must replace the older types - some of which now are getting bit old in the tooth so to speak. In short, I'm saying Tezla shall have to continue running - just to stay where it's now at; as competition stiffens.

30 May 2019

an 18 plate, either broken down or out of power, it was on the back of a diesel powered recovery truck, yep thats progress..  

31 May 2019

That's strange, I saw a BMW,  a Mercedes and various VW  cars on the back of recovery trucks over the entire week of driving as I do every week...

Pointless remark you troll

Pages

Add your comment

Log in or register to post comments

Find an Autocar car review

Driven this week