Audi’s upcoming e-Tron Quattro SUV (the production version) will reportedly deliver a “new standard for vehicle handling” — thereby distinguishing itself from amongst the electric SUV market of predicted release time (2018) — according to recent reports.
The President of Audi of America, Scott Keogh, commented at the recent Los Angeles Auto Show that the company’s intention was to make the production model a “benchmark product” — in particular, to make the model a leader as far as vehicle handling and control goes.
The Audi of America President also noted that the company is aiming for at least a fourth of its US sales to be electric (e-Tron) models a decade from now (2025) — this designation including both all-electric models (EVs) and plug-in hybrids (PHEVs).
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But to make this a benchmark product, Audi intends to go further, leveraging the three-motor electric quattro powertrain through very advanced software controls to deliver a ride and handling experience not possible even in an all-wheel drive electric vehicle equipped with a torque vectoring differential mechanism (eg, a Tesla).
…By contrast, the two motors on the rear axle of the Audi e-tron quattro concept provide discrete control, one linked to each rear wheel, without the use of a differential. Current vehicle dynamics control (VDC) systems preserve vehicle stability under challenging conditions, but do not routinely enhance vehicle handling.
…Audi wants to change that—and the best vehicle for embodying that change is an electric one. Instead of being applied only on an exception basis, such an advanced electric vehicle dynamics control system could deliver exceptional safety and handling at lower speeds as well as at high speeds or when correcting an anomaly, suggested Siegfried Pint, Audi’s new Head of Electric Powertrain.
Presuming such a goal can be attained in the production vehicle, that does seem a way of making the model an interesting potential choice — and possibly a means of drawing customers away from Tesla.