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New Audi e-tron S 2021 detailed: Tesla-rivalling high-performance electric SUV powers up

The e-tron S will take the fight to the Model Y Performance upon its arrival.

Audi has revealed the e-tron S, a high-performance version of its first electric SUV.

Available in traditional wagon and coupe-style Sportback body styles, the e-tron S produces up to 370kW of power and 973Nm of torque during eight seconds of overboost by way of a tri-motor powertrain. Comparatively, the dual-motor e-tron 55 develops up to 300kW and 664Nm.

The former and latter punch out up to 320kW/808Nm and 265kW/561Nm respectively during normal driving.

The third electric motor in the e-tron S is located on its rear axle, enabling torque vectoring for superior handling.

In most driving scenarios, the two rear motors exclusively power the e-tron S, with their counterpart up front only kicking into action when extra shove is called upon and/or traction starts being lost.

The e-tron S has a more prominent rear diffuser than the e-tron 55. The e-tron S has a more prominent rear diffuser than the e-tron 55.

At full tilt, the e-tron S can sprint from a standstill to 100km/h in a scant 4.5 seconds, while its top speed is electronically limited to 210km/h.

While driving range (WLTP) for the e-tron S is yet to be quoted, Audi has confirmed it uses the same 95kWh (85.6kWh usable) battery as the e-tron 55, which travels 436km (wagon) or 446km (Sportback) between charges.

A 150kW DC fast charger will recharge the e-tron S from five to 80 per cent in about 30 minutes.

Visually, there’s little to separate the e-tron S from the e-tron 55, save for a tweaked front bumper with larger air intakes, and a more prominent rear diffuser.

Inside, a smattering of ‘S’ badges is the only giveaway you’re dealing with the quickest e-tron yet. Inside, a smattering of ‘S’ badges is the only giveaway you’re dealing with the quickest e-tron yet.

That said, those armed with measuring tape will note the wider front and rear fenders (+23mm).

Inside, a smattering of ‘S’ badges is the only giveaway you’re dealing with the quickest e-tron yet.

CarsGuide has contacted Audi Australia to see if/when the e-tron S will reach local showrooms.

For reference, the Tesla Model Y-rivalling e-tron 55 wagon and Sportback are due in the second half of 2020.