When Audi first introduced the e-tron SUV, its two major criticisms were its lack of range and lack of impressive performance. Now there’s a sportier Audi e-tron S that rectifies one of those issues, at least. However, despite being faster and more engaging to drive, is there actually a real reason to buy one?
There’s no question; the Audi e-tron S is a nice car to drive. To make it more powerful and more engaging, Audi took the standard e-tron’s bigger rear electric motor and put it at the front axle. Then it took the front electric motor from the standard car and added two of them at the back axle of the e-tron S, thus giving it three motors, instead of the usual two. Not only does it make more power — 500 horsepower and a colossal 717 lb-ft of torque — but it also can vector torque at the rear axle with extreme precision, making it a nearly three-ton drift-weapon.
However, it’s still not as quick as even a medium-fast Tesla Model X, as the e-tron S can only get to 60 mph in 4.5 seconds. While that’s quick for an SUV, it’s not fast enough to keep up with the ludicrous speeds of modern electric vehicles.
Yet, the Audi e-tron S is seriously expensive, with as as-tested price of £95,470 ($130,913 USD) for the UK. Despite its massive price tag, it doesn’t have any more range than the standard car and actually drops range quicker, thanks to its added power and performance. So its 200-plus miles drops to around 150 miles in the real world, which just isn’t competitive in today’s market. Because of that range drop, you end up driving the e-tron S too gently to justify its added power. So you might as well get the standard e-tron.
So it seems that the Audi e-tron S, despite its impressive capabilities, is actually a bit useless. We’d like to see Audi take the same performance effort it put into the e-tron S and use it on future, bespoke EVs. The e-tron’s biggest problem is that it’s built on a traditional SUV platform, so extensive modification was necessary to make it an electric SUV, which added a ton of weight and that added weight has been the e-tron’s Achilles Heel since the moment it debuted. Still, it’s mighty impressive, what Audi was able to do with the e-tron S’ agility and performance, so we hope that Audi keeps it up and refines the package more over time.
[Source: Top Gear]