About a year after the debut of the Audi e-tron SUV, the four-ringed brand decided to develop a sportier version, one that was a bit more fun to drive. So it launched the Audi e-tron S, with a new powertrain and some more exciting handling. However, it still lacks a competitive range and it’s very expensive, so some enthusiasts have been left a bit cold by the e-tron S. Not Car Magazine, though, who seems to be rather impressed by it.
Most of that impression comes from the tri-motor setup of the Audi e-tron S. Rather than having a single EV motor at either axle, like the standard car, the “S” model gets three electric motors; one motor at the front axle and two at the rear. In fact, the standard dual-motor e-tron uses a larger motor at the back and a smaller one at the front. While the e-tron S uses two of the smaller ones out back and one of the larger one up front. So it sort of flips the motor size as well.
The reason for putting two electric motors at the rear axle is about more than just adding power. Yes, it’s more powerful, making 496 bhp and 717 lb-ft of torque. However, the dual rear motors are designed to fine-tune the power distribution. Like a limited-slip differential, only much faster, having two motors at the back helps to distribute power to whichever wheel needs it more, for more precise and engaging handling.
According to Car Mag, it’s actually helped quite a bit, as the Audi e-tron S is considered to be an engaging and fun SUV. It still lacks the range of a Tesla and it’s still not as fun as a proper performance car but it’s more fun than you might think and it’s certainly a step in the right direction.