Electrifying S performance

The Audi e-tron S and e-tron S Sportback bound for Australia next year.

The Audi e-tron models get ’S’ performance and are heading for Australia in the second half of 2021.

6 July, 2020


Both of the S models use three electric motors, with one on the front and two on the rear axle to deliver their stunning performance

More power, electric torque vectoring and blistering performance, the next level in e-tron – the Audi e-tron S models  – are set to make their way to Australia in the second half of next year.

Already seen in heavy camouflage getting very sideways around the Audi Sport Neuburg facility earlier in the year, both the Audi e-tron S and Audi e-tron S Sportback will join the first wave of Audi e-tron models Down Under, bringing the coveted ’S’ treatment to the electric segment and opening up a whole new area of electric performance and technology in Australia.

Both of the S models use three electric motors, with one on the front and two on the rear axle to deliver their full boost performance for eight seconds of 370kW of power and 973Nm of torque. This gives a 0 to 100km/h time of 4.5 seconds and a top speed of 210km/h. Both vehicles are equipped with electric torque vectoring with active and fully variable torque distribution on the rear axle and of course the new generation of electric quattro all-wheel drive provides sublime grip and handling to match the performance figures.

With the two electric motors on the rear axle and one on the front axle, Audi’s e-tron S models are the first mass-produced electric cars in the world to have three electric motors. Powered using a 

high-voltage battery with a gross energy capacity of 95 kWh, one battery charge will see the
Audi e-tron S and the Audi e-tron S Sportback achieve ranges of up to 360km and 365km respectively in the WLTP cycle (preliminary values). 

Distinctive S styling sets the new models apart, with aluminium wing mirrors (virtual mirrors are options), silver details at the front and rear, badging and both cars can be equipped with Matrix LED headlights as an option. 

The wheel arches have been flared 23mm wider on each side over the e-tron models and while this adds to the powerful look, these flow-optimised wheel arch extensions also aid the aerodynamics. The Audi e-tron S Sportback for example achieves a drag coefficient of just 0.26, despite the widening of its wheel arches, and in the Audi e-tron S, the drag coefficient is 0.28. 

These massive wheel arches also house the standard 20-inch wheels, and customers can elect to go with 21-inch wheels, while 22-inch wheels will follow at a later time.

Another major element in the aerodynamics concept is the controllable cooling-air inlet with ducts to cool the front wheel brakes. It remains closed as often as possible so that the airstream flows over the bonnet with almost no turbulence. As part of efficient thermal management, each e-tron is equipped with a heat pump as standard, which draws heat energy from the waste heat of the drive components and increases the range by up to 10 percent. 

Likewise Audi’s sophisticated recuperation system also contributes to the vehicle’s efficiency, with drivers able to select between three recuperation levels, the highest of which allows them to experience a noticeable one-pedal feeling. 

The Audi e-tron S Sportback achieves a drag coefficient of just 0.26 and the Audi e-tron S 0.28

Also helping 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 what’s considered normal driving

When braking, the electric motors decelerate alone up to the area of 0.3 g, which covers most everyday situations. The hydraulic wheel brakes only come into play beyond that level, but the electric motors remain active and can convert up to 270kW of peak performance when braking from a speed of 100 km/h.

Also helping 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 what’s considered normal driving mode.  Only when more performance is required does front electric motor come into play, activating almost instantly as required.

The electric all-wheel drive is now enhanced with electric torque vectoring, which means that each of the rear electric motors send the drive torque directly to the respective wheel via a single-speed transmission without the need for a mechanical differential. Need-based regulation takes just milliseconds and can manage tremendously high drive torques. 

If the ESC stabilisation control is set to ‘sport’ and the Audi drive select dynamic handling system is set to maximum performance in ‘dynamic’ mode, the drive layout facilitates a high level of transverse dynamics and, upon request, controlled drifts as well. When approaching the physical limit, the unloaded front wheel on the inside of the curve is decelerated slightly via the wheel brake to prevent slip and further refine handling. 

That handling dynamic is further aided by the fact that the large high-voltage battery is located low in the vehicle, which lowers the centre of gravity, as well as the progressive steering, whose ratio becomes increasingly direct as the steering movement increases.

The suspension too has S-specific tuning and the Audi drive select system offers seven driving profiles. Braking duties are taken care of by fixed calipers units with six pistons each on the front, while sliding caliper are used on the rear. The brake calipers are painted black as standard and feature the S logo, but on request they can be painted in a bright orange and decorated with the e-tron logo.

The brake is actuated and regulated via a compact module that controls the pressure build-up electronically (by wire), reinforces it electrically, and actuates the brakes hydraulically. Depending on the driving situation, the brake control system decides individually for each axle whether the car will decelerate using the electric motors, the wheel brakes, or a combination of both systems.

The interiors too exhibit the very latest in automotive technology, with the digital MMI touch response control system with the two large central displays taking centre stage. On the third display, the Audi virtual cockpit, the driver can select a special e-tron screen that moves the electric drive to centre stage. An optional head-up display complements the displays and the MMI navigation plus control and infotainment system is included as standard. Behind its many functions is the third generation modular infotainment toolkit (MIB 3), which completes all tasks with tremendous processing power. It co-operates with the communication box, which connects the car with the environment and the passengers’ smartphones.

Of course Audi connect’s online services serve as part of the navigation system, especially the expanded e-tron route planner which calculates the fastest route including charging stops, taking into account traffic data, the driver’s driving profile, and the duration of the charging stops. Exciting and electrifying times ahead when e-tron meets S in 2021.

Pricing and specification will be announced closer to the Australian arrival of the Audi e-tron S and e-tron S Sportback which are due to arrive in Australia in the second half of 2021.

Depending on the driving situation, the brake control system decides individually for each axle whether the car will decelerate using the electric motors, the wheel brakes, or a combination of both systems