It’s going to take a while before the words “EV” and “Idiot” are not inextricably linked with Audi. The company that let it slip that it thought the Volt was “a car for idiots must think we’re idiots too, to swallow their idiotic claim of 3,319 lb.-ft. of torque. We didn’t at the time. Now the truth is out: as some of the commentators then suspected, Audi was using “at the wheel” torque numbers. Thanks to the miracle of gears and their remarkable torque amplifying ways, stating torque at the wheels is about as logical and useful as the Volt’s 230 mpg claim. And EV range claims based on only using the EPA City driving loop. Well, someone took Audi to task, and came up with a confession and a more realistic torque number.
Edmunds Green Car Advisor got Audi to admit that the E-tron puts out a much more realistic 501.5 lb.-ft. at the motor. That compares to the lighter Tesla Roadster’s 273 lb.-ft., which still manages to outrun the E-tron 0-60 by a second or so. So what was Audi thinking?
Audi engineers say they decided to use wheel torque to describe the E-tron’s grunt because it is more reflective of how electric motors deliver their power.
Utter B.S. Put a Jeep with an automatic into low range and first gear, and you’ll have a torque number bigger than a locomotive (pre-reduction, that is). Maybe one of the B&B will do that calculation for us. The automotive industry has never used at the wheel torque numbers, and it’s highly misleading. But there’s an idiot born every minute, and Audi is not going to let us forget it.