Audi has sent the e-tron into an uphill battle on the legendary downhill racecourse Streif in Austria. With an 85 per cent gradient, the ‘Mausefalle’ (mice trap) is the steepest section of the spectacular slope, so the electric car needed considerate tuning.
For Audi, it is not the first time to send its flagship model up a really steep hill. Back in 1986, it was a fossil-fuel powered Audi 100 quattro driving up a ski jump in Finland. Fast forward to 2019 and Audi is electric but still, the carmaker sought quite the challenge.
Engineers had to build a technology demonstrator based on the e-tron in order to manage the 85 per cent gradient of the ‘Mausefalle’. It is the steepest section of the infamous ‘Streif’ downhill course in Kitzbühel, where the Hahnenkamm race is held.
To climb this passage, the Audi e-tron was equipped with a special quattro powertrain with two electric motors on the rear axle and one electric motor on the front axle. This gave the technology demonstrator a total output of up to 370 kW and wheel torque of 8,920 Nm, way beyond the regular model’s power, thanks to the third motor. Audi also modified the software and added spikes to the wheels to provide the necessary grip on snow and ice.
Audi has slowly started deliveries of the regular e-tron electric car this year reportedly. Still, it is best to forget trying such a hill climb yourself on your (late) winter holiday. The driver of the demo car was Mattias Ekström, a World Rallycross champion and two-time DTM champion. Audi is a long-standing partner of the Hahnenkamm Race.
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