A high-performance Audi e-tron SUV already in the works

The Audi e-tron SUV hasn’t even hit dealerships yet, nor customers driveways. Yet, despite it not even being out just yet, the four-ringed brand already has a high-performance model in the works. Top Gear is even reporting some information on the upcoming hot e-tron, likely gleaned from some Audi execs at the e-tron launch in Abu Dhabi.

According to TG, the upcoming high-performance Audi e-tron SUV will have its sights set squarely on the Tesla Model X and its higher-performance models. We don’t know if the faster e-tron will be quite as fast as the Model X P100D, which is astonishingly fast and left an R8 V10 Plus for dead, but it’s going to be a lot faster than the current car.

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Speaking of the current car, it’s not exactly a rocket. While not weak, with 402 hp, and not slow, getting from 0-60 mph in 5.7 seconds, it’s not as fast as Tesla’s more impressive models, nor is it as quick as the Jaguar I-Pace.

So a faster model is certainly welcome. TG is reporting that the faster Audi e-tron will have three electric motors, rather than the standard car’s two. The standard e-tron has one electric motor at each axle, while the high-performance e-tron will still have one at the front but will have two at the back, with each rear motor driving its own wheel. Not only will that give it more power but it will also allow for torque-vectoring at the rear axle, making it far sportier and more athletic to drive. So it’s a possibility that Audi isn’t shooting for extra straight-line performance as it is sharper handling.

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It’s said that it won’t be badged an “RS” car, though. It might wear an “S” badge but it won’t be a proper Audi Sport model. At least not yet. It could also lose some weight, as it’s going to need it. The standard Audi e-tron SUV is a porker, weighing in at a whopping 5,400 lbs. That’s about as much as a Chevy Suburban… or a small building.

We’re excited about the idea of a higher-performance Audi e-tron SUV, though. We’re hearing good things about how well the standard car handles, despite being so heavy, with good body control and impressive dynamics. So adding power, dropping weight and giving it an extra rear motor should make it even better.

Nico DeMattia

I've been in love with cars since I was a kid, specifically German cars. Now I get to drive them talk about them on the internet.