Thanks to where battery technology is at right now, no modern electric car is light. The Audi E-Tron, however, has a particular issue with weight - at a porky 2565kg, it’s considerably bulkier than Jaguar’s I-Pace.
As such, despite having almost 400bhp to its name, performance is brisk rather than laugh-out-loud fast. For anyone wanting a 0-62mph time briefer than 5.7 seconds, though, Audi now has a solution - the E-Tron S.
Also available in swoopier Sportback form, the S adds a new three-motor powertrain. This has been made by shifting the standard E-Tron’s rear motor to the front axle and fitting two uprated versions of that same unit at the back.
This gives the E-Tron S 491bhp and 717.6lb ft of torque (nearly 1000Nm) to play with for eight-second “boost periods” when the driver sets the car to ‘S’ mode. 0-62mph takes just 4.5 seconds, and the top speed is 130mph.
To differentiate the exterior from the regular E-Tron, Audi has added new front and rear bumpers, and wheel arches that have been widened by 23mm. S badges and the trademark silver mirror caps complete the look.
The faster E-Tron also gets an S-specific tune for the air suspension, which can vary the ride height by up to 76mm. The triple motor setup also gives a much greater rear-bias than before, giving the E-Tron “the capacity to perform controlled drifts,” Audi says. Torque vectoring between the rear wheels is much faster, meanwhile, since each motor is directly hooked up to a wheel. No waiting for a differential to do its thing here.
Battery capacity is unchanged at 95kWh. Fully charged, the E-Tron S can cover up to 223 miles according to the WLTP cycle, while the slipperier Sportback manages 226 miles.
Both versions will be open for order this summer, priced at £87,000 for the E-Tron S and £88,700 for the E-Tron S Sportback.