Audi E-Tron Conquers Steep Ski Slope Thanks To Additional Motor, Studded Tires

Audi’s first all-electric production vehicle, the e-tron SUV, has managed to climb the steepest section of Kitzbühel’s Streif downhill ski course in Austria.

With World Rallycross ace and two-time DTM champion Mattias Ekström behind the wheel, the Audi e-tron managed to conquer the spectacular downhill course. Obviously, if it was stock, the e-tron couldn’t have made the climb, especially since the “Mausefalle” section has an 85 percent gradient. However, with extensive modifications, the stunt was a success.

For starters, the e-tron was equipped with a special quattro powertrain with two electric motors on the rear axle (one more than the production model) and one electric motor on the front axle. With a total output of 370 kW (503 PS/496 hp) and wheel torque at 8,920 Nm (6,579 lb-ft), the necessary muscle for the job was ensured.

Additionally, Audi modified the software to adapt drive torque and torque distribution for the special conditions. And since power without grip is futile, the SUV received 19-inch wheels with spikes developed specifically for this publicity stunt made possible in collaboration with Red Bull.

A number of safety-driven modifications were also made, including the addition of a roll cage and racing seat with a six-point harness, as well as a belay through which a safety cable was run. Audi says the cable was used just for safety, with no pulling device attached to it. As you would expect, everything was caught on tape and you can watch the spectacular video below.

“Conquering an 85 percent gradient sounds impossible at first. Even I was impressed with the way this car handles such difficult terrain,” said Mattias Ekström. “With the sensational drive up the ‘Mausefalle’ we have pushed the boundaries even further and demonstrated all the technical possibilities of quattro technology in an electric car,” added Peter Oberndorfer, Audi Head of Product and Technology Communications.


more photos...
  • KAG25

    Looks fun

  • charlie bear

    e-tron means business!

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