In a thrilling demonstration of its power and sure-footedness, the Audi e-tron prototype has conquered the famed ‘Streif’ ski run in Austria with its extreme 85 percent incline.
21 February, 2019
In a spectacular demonstration in the spectacular Austrian Alps, a specially prepared Audi e-tron prototype has taken on the ‘Mausefalle’ on the legendary ‘Streif’ to demonstrate its extraordinary power and the grip of all-electric quattro.
The course is the home to the Hahnenkamm Race, where the world’s best downhill races throw themselves down the slope at breakneck speeds. For the purposes of this demonstration, the Audi e-tron, with World Ralllycross and two-time DTM winner, Mattias Ekström at the wheel, tackled the 85 percent gradient against gravity. Climbing on specially-developed 19-inch wheels with spikes, the Audi e-tron was also equipped with a special quattro powertrain with two electric motors on the rear axle and one electric motor on the front axle. This gave a total boost output of up to 370kW and wheel torque of 8920Nm, ensuring full performance on the steep gradient. Audi also modified the software with respect to drive torque and torque distribution for the special conditions on the ‘Streif ‘.
“We already proved the mettle of the electric SUV last year in a number of Audi e-tron extreme events. From Pikes Peak to the salt plains of Namibia to the high-voltage test bay in Berlin – the Audi e-tron prototype mastered the greatest of challenges,” said Peter Oberndorfer, Head of Product and Technology Communications.
The specially-prepared Audi e-tron prototype made easy work of a slope that was to steep to walk up
“With the sensational drive up the ‘Mausefalle’ we have pushed the boundaries even further and demonstrated all the technical possibilities of quattro technology in an electric car.”
“Conquering an 85 percent gradient sounds impossible at first,” said Mattias Ekström after the climb. “Even I was impressed with the way this car handles such difficult terrain,” said the champion racing driver, who added he thought that this was ‘one of his most extraordinary experiences’.
Given the extremes of such an event, safety was paramount, so the Audi e-tron, resplendent in special Red Bull livery just for the event, was fitted with a roll cage and a racing seat with a six-point harness. The vehicle itself was also equipped with a belay, through which a safety cable was run, but there was no pulling device – this was what they call in mountain climbing circles, an ‘unassisted climb’.
Of course, for fans of the Audi brand, this extraordinary event might seem somewhat familiar. Back in 1986, rally driver Harald Demuth drove an Audi 100 quattro up the Pitkavouri ski jump in Finland, demonstrating the superior properties of quattro permanent all-wheel drive. Then, in 2005, Audi repeated the demonstration with an Audi A6 to celebrate 25 years of quattro technology.
“With the sensational drive up the ‘Mausefalle’ we have pushed the boundaries even further and demonstrated all the technical possibilities of quattro technology in an electric car”
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