Audi has been successful since 2019 with the release of the e-tron, its first electric SUV. Starting this fall, the German brand will enhance its offering of Canada and the United States with the addition of the e-tron S and e-tron S Sportback to its portfolio. 

These new, faster, performance-oriented variants are the first electric vehicles from a major automaker to feature a three-motor powertrain. The front gets a single motor while two independent motors drive the rear wheels, allowing for more precise torque distribution. With 496 horsepower and 718 pound-feet of torque, the e-tron accelerates from 0 to 100 km/h in just 4.3 seconds with a top speed of 209 km/h. It can tow up to 3,300 pounds.

The 95 kWh battery, located at the bottom of the chassis, provides better handling and offers a range of 334 km for the e-tron S and 341 km for the Sportback model. Both versions operate mostly in rear-wheel drive mode. The front engine is used when additional power is required, and to improve traction when the vehicle senses wheel slip. 

Fast charging

Equipped with two charging ports, the e-tron can recover 5 to 80 percent of its energy in less than 30 minutes when plugged into a Level 3 fast charger. Like most EVs, it also recovers some of its energy when braking. The choice of braking mode for each axle (with electric motors, conventional brakes or both) will be determined by the computer operating system according to the driving situation.

In addition to the adjustable air suspension, the new SUV is packed with technology including adaptive cruise control, 3D satellite navigation with Google imagery and traffic sign recognition. For an additional fee, you can upgrade your e-tron with a head-up display, soft-close doors, front side windows with dual-pane acoustics and Digital Matrix LED headlights.

Luxurious interior

The interior, adorned with ash wood trim, also features sporty Valcona leather upholstery with a diamond-tipped design. Rear passengers can keep warm with heated seats in the same material that come standard. The e-tron S and S Sportback is produced in a certified carbon-neutral factory located in Brussels, Belgium.

By the end of 2021, Audi aspires to become the manufacturer on U.S. soil to offer the most electric models. By combining hybrids, plug-in hybrids and fully electric vehicles, the Bavarian company hopes to electrify nearly one third of its North American offerings by 2025. Coming up on the brand’s menu in the EV category is the e-tron GT and the Q4 e-tron.

By Isabelle Havasy

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