Audi e-tron S
First high-performance EV from Audi, but has all the power come at the expense of range, Martyn Collins asks?
SECTOR SUV PRICE £87,675 RANGE 223 miles CHARGING 30 mins (0-80% 150kW)
First came the standard e-tron in 2019, followed by the slipperier Sportback last year and now we have a high-performance version in the form of this e-tron S.
Headline figures are 495hp, a colossal 973Nm of torque, 0-62mph acceleration in just 4.5 seconds and a top speed of 130mph. To do this, the e-tron S adds another motor, which just powers the front wheels, to the e-tron’s two standard motors on the rear axle, which drive each wheel individually.
If the performance isn’t impressive enough, you’ve got to remember that the e-tron S weighs over 2.6 tonnes. To help disguise this Audi’s weight and bulk, it’s fitted with some clever technology. Most important, considering the power, is a clever torque vectoring system. In Normal mode it just sends power to the rear wheel, but move up to S and power is sent to the front too – with the two independent rear motors filling in the torque and traction.
The result on the road is acceleration strong enough to pin you in this e-tron’s supportive sports seats – all in eerie silence. Sharper suspension and steering settings add to the high-performance feel. Yet, the e-tron is still happier to potter about at low speed in town – although the optional 21-inch alloy wheels made the ride feel more unsettled.
If there is a downside to all the performance, it’s the range, which at 221 miles is not outstanding. Still, fast charging up to 150kW is possible, with a 0-80% charge in just 30 minutes.
Also available with the Sportback body, on top of the wheels, the e-tron S boasts a specific body kit and wider wheel arches. The standard e-tron was a surprise corporate hit, and despite the eye-watering basic price, fleet and retail sales are expected to be an even mix for the S versions.
Which model is right for you?
There is only one e-tron S, which includes 21-inch alloy wheels, air suspension, Progressive Steering, Audi Drive Select, Audi Matrix LED headlights, LED taillights, power tailgate, power operated, heated front sports seats, Valcona leather trim, 2-zone automatic air conditioning, MMI Navigation Plus with MMI touch, 10.1-inch HD touchscreen, Audi Virtual Cockpit Plus, cruise control with speed limiter, lane departure warning, keyless go, rear view camera.