New Audi E-Tron S And E-Tron S Sportback Break Cover
“This is a significant milestone in the evolution of e-tron,” comments Director of Audi UK Andrew Doyle. “Audi performance cars have carried the 'S' badge since the 100-based S4 of the early Nineties, but this is the first time it has crossed the divide into our growing family of electrified models. We have started as we mean to go on, because in setting a new precedent in volume production by using three motors to deliver breathtaking performance and ultra-intelligent all-wheel-drive these e-trons underscore the fact that excitement and efficiency certainly won’t have to be mutually exclusive in the new era of electrification.”
Handling 2.0: the driving experience
The new S models are equipped with two electric motors on the rear axle and one upfront, making them the first volume production electric cars in the world with three electric motors.
quattro reloaded: electric torque vectoring
Each of the rear electric motors sends its torque directly to the respective wheel via a single-speed transmission; there is no more mechanical differential. Need-based regulation takes just milliseconds and has a very high torque threshold. The excellent traction that this facilitates brings benefits across the spectrum of driving situations, but it is on challenging roads where the electric S models really come into their own.
Their drivetrain has a more pronounced rear bias than in the standard e-tron models, and if the ESC stabilization control is set to “sport” and the Audi drive select dynamic handling system to “dynamic” mode to maximize performance, their cornering attitude is even more adjustable, particularly in the transverse plane, and they have the capacity to perform controlled drifts.
When approaching the physical limit, the front wheel on the inside of the bend that is not under load is decelerated slightly via the wheel brake to prevent slip and further refine handling.
The ultra sharp responses, high level of precision and uncompromising safety are made possible through the close networking of all control units that manage the drive and suspension systems.
Networking: the suspension of the electric S models
In the UK the electric S models are equipped with 21-inch wheels as standard, with a 22-inch wheel available at a later date as an option. They frame appropriately large disc brakes with fixed six-piston calipers upfront that are painted black as standard and feature the S logo, but on request can instead be painted in a bright orange and decorated with the e‑tron insignia.
The braking system is actuated and regulated via a compact module that controls the pressure build-up electronically (by wire), reinforces it electrically, and activates the brakes hydraulically.
An electric spindle drive actuates the displacing piston and brings the brake pads into full-pressure contact with the discs in just 150 milliseconds. Depending on the driving situation, the brake control system decides individually for each axle whether the car will decelerate with the electric motors, the wheel brakes, or a combination of both systems.
Innovative solutions: aerodynamics
A second major element in the aerodynamics concept is the controllable cooling-air inlet with ducts to cool the front wheel brakes. It remains closed as much as possible so that the airstream flows over the bonnet with almost no turbulence. A heat pump is also part of the thermal management strategy in every e-tron. It draws heat energy from the waste heat of the drive components, thereby increasing the range by up to ten percent.
The sophisticated recuperation concept also contributes to the vehicle’s efficiency. Drivers can select between three recuperation levels, the highest of which allows them to experience ‚one-pedal driving‘. When braking, the electric motors alone decelerate up to 0.3 g of braking force, i.e. in most everyday situations. The hydraulic wheel brakes only come into play beyond that level. However, the electric motors remain active and can convert up to 270 kW of peak performance when braking from a speed of 62mph.
Five centimeters more width: the exterior design
Both cars can be equipped with Digital Matrix LED headlights as an option – another world first in mass production that Audi introduced with the e‑tron Sportback in 2019. Each light is divided into 1.3 million pixels and can be controlled with great precision, opening up many new functionality opportunities. On narrow carriageways, for example, they can project light guides onto the road to show the car’s position in the lane and thus help the driver to remain safely in the center.
Progressive: interior and equipment
As the most recent introductions to the fast-growing e-tron family the two new S models are naturally equipped with the digital MMI touch response control system with its two large central displays, and with the Audi virtual cockpit positioned directly in front of the driver, who can select a special e‑tron screen that focuses exclusively on the car’s electric drive functionality. A head-up display can also be added to project information even more conveniently onto the windscreen in the driver’s field of vision.
The MMI navigation plus control and infotainment system is also included as standard. Behind its many functions is the third generation modular infotainment platform (MIB 3), which completes all tasks at impressively rapid processing speeds.
As usual, MMI navigation plus works in tandem with Audi connect, which provides complementary online services. Among these is the e‑tron route planner, which calculates the fastest route including optimum charging stops, taking into account traffic data, the driver’s driving profile, and the duration of the charging stops, and in some cases may use this information to suggest an alternative route. The directory of charging points is updated online every day, and can be set to prioritize charging stations along the planned route where the driver can pay using the e‑tron Charging Service.
UK fleet and retail customers who place an order for the e-tron S or e-tron S Sportback before December 31st 2020 will receive a free 12-month subscription to the e-tron Charging Service, which makes the facilities operated by 18 charging point providers available to holders of the e-tron Charging Service RFID payment card, and issues them with one simple monthly invoice for all transactions. As part of the subscription £150-worth of electricity will also be credited to their account at no extra cost. In addition, a 7kW wallbox charger for home installation is also complimentary for all customers placing orders before year-end.
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