Audi presented updated versions of its own electric flagship. A symbolic event. After all, it was the Audi e-tron crossover in 2018 that started Audi’s electric revolution, which should stretch for 11 years and end in 2030 with the maximum transition to the production of electric cars. The intermediate point for Audi in general is to release 20 new models of electric cars by 2026. The intermediate point for the Audi e-tron model specifically is this update until the beginning of the 2023 model year. So what has changed?
Audi Q8 e-tron: new name, new appearance, new battery
First, the name has changed. During the debut of the Audi e-tron, it was clear that something was missing. After all, the designation “e-tron” in the case of the Audi brand meant electrification – be it a PHEV-hybrid or a full electric car. However, the Audi e-tron crossover did not have letters and numbers for positioning within the model range. Now it has – and now it’s the Audi Q8 e-tron. Although I was actually expecting a designation like the Audi Q6 e-tron; but the company decided to raise the status of the model – they say: “this is the flagship of our line, only in the format of an electric car.”
Secondly, together with the name, the appearance also changed. Note the new Singleframe decorative grille, updated front bumper and rear diffuser. The changes are not drastic, but they are noticeable – to immediately highlight the updated model. But there is one important technical change inside: a new battery with a nominal capacity of 114 kWh, where 106 kWh is usefully used. At the same time, the standard battery has been preserved – nominal 95 kWh, 89 kWh is used.
During the update, the electric crossover Audi Q8 e–tron kept its dimensions: length 4.92 meters, width 1.94 meters, height 1.63 meters, wheelbase 2.93 meters. The appearance has been slightly updated, the equipment has been significantly updated – a new, larger battery has been added; but the standard one remained. In fact, the line of versions of this electric SUV is built around two batteries.
So, the electric car Audi Q8 50 e-tron offers all-wheel drive, two electric motors, a total power of 250 kW or 340 hp, a torque of 664 Nm, as well as a standard battery – so its range is 491 km according to the WLTP cycle.
In turn, the Audi Q8 55 e-tron also has four-wheel drive and two electric motors, but the power has increased to 300 kW or 408 hp. (the torque remained unchanged), and on the increased battery it is possible to cover up to 582 km according to the rules of measuring the WLTP cycle.
By the way, the increase in range can also be attributed to the improvement of the rear electric motor. The settings of the progressive steering have also changed, and the maximum charging power from direct current stations is now 170 kW (for a larger battery). Among other interesting equipment, it is worth noting the pneumatic suspension with the possibility of adjusting the clearance in the range of 76 mm; moreover, pneumatic suspension is available for all versions of the Audi Q8 e-tron.
The Sportback body is not only design, but also aerodynamics
Now a few words about the coupe-crossover Audi Q8 Sportback e-tron. The designation “crossover coupe” here defines the design of the body – with a dynamic tilt of the rear glass on a small “tail” of the trunk. By the way, the volume of the trunk of the Audi Q8 Sportback e-tron electric car is 528 liters, which is less than that of the Audi Q8 e-tron (569 liters). And the electric car Audi Q8 Sportback e-tron is lower by about 1 cm.
However, all these small details add up to one big improvement – aerodynamics. The Audi Q8 Sportback e-tron crossover coupe has a drag coefficient of 0.24 (versus 0.27 in the Audi Q8 e-tron model), which has a positive effect on the mileage: the “50” version with a standard battery can cover 505 km, and the “55” version with an increased battery will travel up to 600 km.
As you can see, coupe-crossover Audi Q8 Sportback e–tron –is not only a more dynamic design, but also improved aerodynamics. Which, in the end, has a positive effect on the range: a record for the Audi Q8 e–tron – a maximum of 600 km on one battery charge!
Update for “tuned” versions of the SQ8 e-tron
The “hot” S-versions of the new electric car are worth noting separately: Audi SQ8 e-tron and Audi SQ8 Sportback e-tron. They debuted a few years ago (still without the designation Q8) and brought an interesting innovation, which was then only born in some electric car manufacturers – the use of three electric motors: one to drive the front wheels and two to separately drive each of the rear wheels.
In the case of the Audi SQ8 e-tron and Audi SQ8 Sportback e-tron, a 124 kW electric motor is installed in front, and two electric motors with a capacity of 98 kW each are installed in the rear. The total power reaches 370 kW (503 hp), and the torque is 973 Nm. Moreover, the power supply of these three electric motors is now the responsibility of a new engine battery.
In addition, “tuned” versions of Audi SQ8 e–tron та Audi SQ8 Sportback e–tron are distinguished by wide wheels and overlays on the arches – due to which their overall width is 39 mm larger than electric carsAudi Q8 e–tron and Audi Q8 Sportback e–tron. And this, in the end, affects the range: S-versions are offered only with a large battery, but can cover 494 or 513 km on one full charge (here also Sportback can travel more). However, the maximum speed has increased – up to 210 km/h (versus 200 km/h in electric cars Audi Audi Q8 e–tron and Audi Q8 Sportback e–tron).
And a few words about the interior…
Probably, the interior is the least to write about – because in general it has hardly changed. The clear geometric shapes of the front panel are already familiar, the combination of two displays (10.1- and 8.6-inch) is already familiar, the MMI complex is already familiar, as well as the Audi virtual cockpit HD-format digital instrument panel. In fact, the main update to the interior is the introduction of new trim materials, with an increased percentage of recycled materials (for example, recycled materials are used for soundproofing panels and floor mats).
Although, of course, the Audi company offers for its electric flagship Q8 e-tron leather, wood, aluminum trim – all at the request of customers. There are also heated and ventilated seats, even back massage. In addition, a 2-zone “climate” is provided as a standard equipment, and a 4-zone “climate” and much more is added on a separate order.
The design of the interior has not changed fundamentally, but new materials and decoration options have been offered for customers to choose from. In the standard configuration or as an option, a 2- or 4-zone “climate”, a panoramic glass roof, data projection on the windshield, heated and ventilated seats, a back massage function are provided.
The cost is already known – from 74.4 thousand euros
The electric car Audi Q8 e-tron and its variations will be available to order in Europe from this month, production will start soon. But the first electric cars will arrive in showrooms only in the spring of 2023. The estimated cost of the electric car is already known: for the German market – from 74,400 euros.
But don’t forget it’s just the starting price. It is certain that the addition of a larger battery, a Sportback body, or in general the choice of sport versions of the SQ8 can significantly affect the cost – of course, in the direction of increase. Also, the Audi Q8 e-tron crossover declares its status with both technology and cost: a real flagship! Only in electric format.