Ingolstadt's electric SUV gains a third electric motor and a whole lot of extra performance.
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Audi has unveiled the next evolution in its coming electric vehicle offensive, in the form of the 2021 Audi e-tron S. Building on its standard 95kWh e-tron, the S will receive a third electric motor and subsequent performance boost.

With that enhancement, the e-tron S offers 320kW and 808Nm in normal driving mode and 370kW and 973Nm when in ‘Boost Mode’. By comparison, the current model e-tron produces 300kW and 664Nm.

Boost Mode can be used for up to eight seconds, slashing the 0-100km/h sprint time to 4.5 seconds for the higher-spec model – a considerable improvement on the regular e-tron’s 6.5 second time.

The addition of a third motor – one up front and now two in the rear – also increases power bias to those rear wheels. In S form, the e-tron does away with a differential, instead using torque vectoring between the electric motors that power each wheel.

Note Audi’s plan to introduce a sportier range of EV and plug-in hybrid vehicles (PHEVs).

Audi claims the electric quattro all-wheel drive system can react to differing tyre grip in a quarter of the time a mechanical differential can, altering torque sent to rear wheels by up to 220Nm “within milliseconds”.

The e-tron S’s front wheels will receive torque from a single motor and stability assist that brakes the inside turning wheel to mimic the characteristics of a differential.

Externally, the S will receive signature 'S' touches on the grille, and illuminated aluminium door sill. A spoiler and rear diffuser add to the aerodynamic look, while body panels such as the arch trims, bumpers and mirror housings are colour-coded versus the standard model.

Australia is set to receive the e-tron this year, with Sportback 50 quattro and Sportback 55 quattro trims to follow later in 2020.

CarAdvice has reached out to Audi Australia regarding local delivery of the e-tron S and is awaiting reply.