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THAT moment when you see the roadworks ahead – no traffic in front and the lights are green ……. But for how long?

Jab down on the accelerator and CRIKEY! You are quite literally catapaulted down the road. You very quickly become aware that you have three motors and 500hp at your disposal.

This is not some exotic Italian supercar or American muscle machine, it’s an electric car – albeit a very technically advanced Audi.

So, we’re now hurtling towards the roadworks at warp speed – and the lights turn red just you reach that V1 point where pilots have to make a decision.

Soooo, the brakes work just as well.

The Audi E-tron S Sportback is some car. While Tesla has largely had its way over the past few years in terms of high-tech, upmarket performance, the big guys are back in the game.

Audi UK sales chief Steve Catlin believes this model will carve a niche in the fleet market and will appeal especially to those at management level.

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The appeal will be provided by the E-Tron S Sportsback’s smart, muscular looks, smart interior, high-tech equipment and, of course, performance.

Catlin said: “This model extends the reach and range of our E-tron models which were ranked last year as the number one premium cars. We expect half of sales to go into fleet and we have invested time training dealer staff in talking to fleet decision makers.”

So what can they expect from the new E-tron S Sportback? Plenty of grunt, that’s what. This model has one more electric motor that the model below it, the 55 Sportback.

That’s three electric motors then, two at the rear for a rearward handling bias and one at the front which comes into play when performance is required.

This means plenty of power and torque: 429bhp and 596lb ft – and if that’s not enough there’s 496bhp and a thumping 718lb ft in the sport mode overboost function.

To provide the power for this there’s a weighty 95kW lithium ion battery which Audi says is good for a range of 226 miles, although we only saw just over 200 miles indicated when we charged.

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On each occasion that was overnight on our 7kW Project EV home charger.

On the road, the E-tron S is smooth and refined and handles well with good levels of grip on the corners. For a big machine it feels pretty agile on the fast roads.

Get on the twisty stuff and you can feel how the weight of the vehicle comes into play despite the firmer suspension tuning and 21-inch wheels.

The car can harvest back energy while you coast or brake, steering wheel paddles allow you to scrub off speed (and add charge) so you can actually drive using a single pedal.

In hooligan mode, the Audi can hit the 62mph mark in just 4.3 seconds and a reach a limited top speed of 130mph.

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The interior is what one has come to expect from an Audi, featuring quality materials and a whole bunch of technology. Switch gear is nicely placed, haptic feedback from the screens is good and the displays are easy to read.

The infotainment system has a smartphone interface and access to payment at a wide range of charge providers and the sat-nav has ‘planner’ that can plot your route using the fewest charging stops.

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Neat compartment in the ‘engine’ bay for charging cables

The boot space has 660-litres available and there is more space under the bonnet where Audi has stored the charging leads. A neat touch: there are charging points on both sides of the car.

 

Technical Data Audi e-tron S Sportback quattro 

Price: £87,060.00

Peak electrical output: 320kW

Peak electrical output in boost:  370kW

Electrical torque: 596lb/ft

Electrical torque in boost: 717lb/ft

Battery type Lithium-ion 

Drive: quattro permanent all-wheel drive

Top speed: 130.5mph (limited)

0-62pmh: 5.1 secs (4.5 secs in boost)

CO2 emissions: 0

 

Metallic paint: £750.00

Digital matrix headlights with dynamic front and rear indicators plus coming and leaving home animations  £3,175.00 

21-inch alloy wheels: £725

Comfort and sound pack: £1,895.00

Panoramic glass sunroof: £1,475.00

Inlay in carbon twill: £450.00