Previous reports of the highly anticipated Audi E-tron electric vehicle have definitely raised some questions about the claimed torque rating of 3,319 lb-ft.  Though the number is a true calculation, it does not follow industry standards for torque ratings.  Adjusted to industry standards, the E-tron outputs only 501.5 lb-ft.

How did Audi arrive at that impressive number?  The E-tron is powered by four independent motors, one at each wheel.  Audi engineers claim that the E-tron's torque numbers were calculated at the wheels.  Therefore, the wheel torque rating is 3,319 lb-ft. 

However, industry standards do no rate torque at the wheels.  They rate torque at the motor.  Even Audi rates all of their others vehicles in torque output at the motor.  When you examine the combined real torque numbers of all 4 motors, the E-tron is still a capable vehicle, with 501.5 lb-ft. of torque, though not nearly as impressive as the locomotive levels of torque previously claimed by the company.

Audi states that they used the wheel torque numbers because it is a more accurate indication of how electric motors deliver power.  The numbers are a better indicator of the immediate "grunt" that is available.

But Audi never indicated that the E-tron's rating were somewhat inaccurate.  Industry wide whether in a gasoline car, a diesel commercial vehicle, or an EV, torque numbers are universally measured at the motor before the transmission and axle ratios can affect the output.

The accurate 501.5 lb-ft. number is useful for comparison shoppers.  The V12 Audi Diesel outputs 737.5 lb-ft. of torque while the incredibly fast Tesla Roadster makes do with only 273 lb-ft. of torque, still enough torque to beat the E-tron to 60 mph by a full second.