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Audi E-Tron S Sportback prototype first drive review: Are three motors better than two?

by Jenna Cade (2020-02-25)

200px-Jalan_Tanjung_Duren_Raya.jpgid="article-body" class="row" section="article-body"> The electric slide.

Audi Whether you're talking A4 to S4, A7 to S7 or Q7 to SQ7, Audi's S models improve on their respective templates with more aggressive styling and improved performance. The automaker's E-Tron battery electric SUV is now the newest member of the S club with Friday's announcement of the E-Tron S and E-Tron S Sportback.

The new performance variants are also the first models to feature a new torque-vectoring, three-motor rumah sederhana version of Audi's E-Quattro all-wheel-drive system, a change that improves power and handling in one fell swoop. Eager to demonstrate its next electric evolution, Audi turned me loose in a prototype E-Tron S Sportback at its handling course in Neuburg, Germany to find out if three motors are better than two.

E-Quattro remixed
Let's start with a refresher. The standard 2020 E-Tron and E-Tron Sportback use a 184-horsepower, 228-pound-foot electric motor at the front axle and a 224-hp, 262-lb-ft unit at the rear. Together, they make up E-Quattro -- a fully electric version of Audi's trademark all-wheel-drive system -- and combine for a peak 355 hp (or 402 hp for short, eight-second bursts of speed). The E-Tron S Sportback remixes that formula.

Audi started by reversing the motor's placement. The larger rear motor moves to the front axle where it splits 201 hp and 262 lb-ft between the front wheels. The smaller front motor moves to the rear axle before multiplying by two. You'll now find a pair of 177-hp and 228-lb-ft electric motors out back bringing 456 lb-ft of torque to the rear axle party.