Audi revamps famous Quattro ski jump ad with all-electric e-tron SUV

Remember that classic 1980s Audi ad with the red 100 CS climbing the Pitkavouri ski jump in Finland? Audi is now revisiting the concept with its new e-tron SUV, seen clawing its way up the Mausefalle section of the renowned Streif downhill ski course. It all looks a bit simple, but the truth is that besting an 85-percent grade is freakishly difficult. The stunt showcases a nice bit of Quattro all-wheel drive heritage that Audi wants people to know is still part of the brand’s future formula.

As a demonstration of its technology, Audi specially outfitted an e-tron with a unique powertrain. The system utilizes two electric motors powering the rear axle and one for the front. On top of that, the e-tron stunt car employed modified software to make sure the torque delivery and distribution were optimized for the extreme conditions.  Of course, all that is nothing without traction, so Audi fitted the vehicle with 19-inch wheels and studded tires that look like they came right out of Q-branch in a Bond flick.

Historically, the most famous Quattro models from the brand’s rally efforts in the 1980s, which completely changed the landscape of the sport and the future of Audi production cars. Once all-wheel drive arrived on the rally scene, most manufacturers were forced to develop some form of four-wheel power split. Lancia decided instead to stay rear-wheel-drive, and somehow still managed to nab a few wins before the full AWD takeover.

The truly wild tech that made it possible for this e-tron to climb the 85-percent grade won’t reach production. E-tron road cars will have one motor per axle and a more conventional Quattro all-wheel drive layout. Range will be just north of 200 miles. Audi is currently taking reservations for the e-tron, which is set to start at $75,795.

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