An Audi e-tron S prototype, with a tri-motor electric powertrain, has been spotted testing its performance on the Nürburgring racetrack.
The German automaker unveiled the concept of the e-tron Sportback not long after the e-tron concept in 2017, and it always planned to release the vehicle soon after the electric SUV.
When they first unveiled the concept for the e-tron, they had a tri-motor powertrain, but they didn’t bring it to production for the SUV.
However, Audi unveiled the e-tron S electric SUV with a tri-motor powertrain earlier this year.
The e-tron S is equipped with three electric motors, two of which are located on the rear axle, and together they output 370 kW of power under Audi’s ‘boost mode’.
It results in 973 Nm (717.6 lb-ft) of torque and achieves a 0 to 100 km/h (62.1 mph) acceleration in 4.5 seconds.
But acceleration is not where the e-tron S shines.
The three-motors combined with intelligent drive control deliver impressive electric torque vectoring resulting in some safe and dynamic handling.
Now an Audi e-tron S prototype has been spotted testing its handling on the Nürburgring racetrack (via Automotive Mike):
That’s some impressive handling for an SUV.
Audi claimed that it will be “the first electric cars worldwide with three motors in mass production,” but it didn’t elaborate on the timing of the release.
It’s going to have to happen soon if they want to deliver on that statement since Tesla is expected to soon release its own tri-motor powertrain in the upcoming new Model S Plaid later this year.
Tesla also tested its tri-motor powertrain on the Nürburgring racetrack last year.
Powertrains with three and four electric motors are expected to create a new benchmark for performance vehicles in the coming years with several vehicle programs in the works – probably the most famous being the next Tesla Roadster.