This week, Audi debuted ‘S’ versions of the E-Tron and E-Tron Sportback, adding power through the addition of a third electric motor.

While the standard E-Tron is fitted with one electric motor on each axle, the ‘S’ model is configured with one more powerful motor on the rear axle, and two smaller electric motors on the front axle. The combined power of the tri-motor setup under normal driving conditions is 429 hp and 596 lb-ft. When the driver summons more power by pressing a detent under the accelerator pedal, the system releases more power for up to an 8-second boost, offering 496 hp and a whopping 718 lb-ft of torque.

From a stop, the E-Tron S will reach 60 mph in 4.4 seconds. Audi has not yet revealed how much the range of the E-Tron S is affected by the tri-motor configuration. The E -Tron S shares the same 95.3 kWh battery pack as the standard E-Tron, although Audi allows the ‘S’ model to access 91% of the battery power, as opposed to 88% in the standard model. Automakers typically restrict electric vehicles from accessing the entire battery because such an approach minimizes battery degradation over long-term ownership.
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