To be clear, this was not a show of what an E-Tron production car can do. Do not try this. Audi even calls the car a “technology demonstrator,” because it’s been altered so much and is meant to put the highlight mainly on its new all-electric quattro traction system.
First, Audi tinkered with the software so that the total torque and torque distribution between the front and rear wheels could be adjusted. The custom E-Tron also has a unique powertrain with one electric motor on the front axle and two electric motors on the rear axle. Audi claims it has 496 horsepower and 6,579 lb-ft of wheel torque compared to the two-motor production E-Tron‘s 360 horsepower and 414 pound-feet (without boost). The finishing touches were the 19-inch wheels with specially developed tire spikes for traction.
Audi also took several safety precautions, which explains the rope that is obviously seen in the video. Audi makes clear this was not a tow rope pulling the car up the mountainside, but rather a backup rope should anything have gone wrong. The slope itself had designed protection, thanks to Kitzbühel Ski Club and Red Bull, and the E-tron had a built-in roll cage and a six-point seat belt.
At the most difficult stretch of the ski slope, the incline was a ridiculous 85 percent gradient, whereas the ski jump in the previous commercial only reached 77 percent. Watch Ekström go to work in the full clip above or reminisce about 1986 in the throwback below.