Audi Q8 e-tron: Taking The EV To The Next Level
Audi has been steadily building its portfolio of e-Tron models and come 2022, its first all-electric SUV received a mid-life-cycle update. What was known previously as simply the e-tron and e-tron Sportback gained new nomenclatures – the addition of the Q8 prefix – as well as styling and technology updates.
Audi's e-tron SUV lineup has gained a prefix of ‘Q8’ in its first mid-life-cycle update.
While the outgoing models were handsome SUVs, the updated models bring an additional element of sportiness to the design. It’s still got the same clean-cut lines and proportions though the new patterned Audi grille with the use of body-coloured and black trim along with the new bumpers add more aggressiveness to the look. Changes down the sides and towards the rear are subtler in comparison with the new alloy wheel designs and rear bumper the most notable. The design updates though are not all aesthetic. The updated looks also bring improved aerodynamics with both the SUV and Sportback now getting lower drag coefficients of 0.27 and 0.24 respectively.
The Audi Q8 Sportback e-tron gets new alloy wheels, and a lower drag coefficient of 0.24.
The cabin doesn’t get very many changes compared to the outgoing e-tron. With the SUV being Audi’s flagship electric SUV, it retains a cabin familiar to other flagships. The dashboard retains the same design and layout seen on the likes the internal combustion Q8 and A8 with the twin central touchscreens for infotainment and in-car functions – canted towards the driver, Audi’s Virtual Cockpit digital instrument cluster and depending on the market additional displays in the doors for the cameras sitting in the place of traditional wing mirrors.
Despite being Audi's flagship electric SUV, the Q8 e-tron gets a cabin similar to other Audi flagships.
However, while the cabin doesn’t get very many noticeable changes, its under the skin where Audi has made notable changes. The upgraded model brings with it improved driving dynamics, longer range and larger battery packs aside from upgraded electronics. Audi says that it has tightened the steering response and feel to offer greater connection with the road. The suspension too has been reworked for tighter body control.
Audi says that it has tightened the steering response and feel to offer greater connection with the road.
Then there is the drivetrain itself. The 71 kWh battery pack from the outgoing 50 model has been dropped in its entirety with the larger 95 kWh battery taking its place. The 95 kWh battery now sits in the new e-tron 50 variants (as against 55 in the outgoing model) with the e-tron 55 packing in a larger 114 kWh unit (gross capacity). The larger capacity batteries and improved aerodynamics also influence the range with the SUV offering up to 582 km and the Sportback up to 600 km of range on a single charge.
The entire range now gets larger battery packs, with the lower '50' variants getting a capacity of 95 kWh, and the higher '55' variants getting a 114 kWh battery pack.
The electric motors too receive upgrades with units now more tightly wound than before. Audi says the result is improved performance and torque from a motor while also saving on battery charge. The standard Q8 e-tron and e-tron Sportback feature dual motor setups with an electric motor paired with each axle to provide virtual all-wheel drive. The e-tron 50 develops up to 250 kW of power and 664 Nm with the e-tron 55 upping the ante with up to 300 kW on tap. The SQ8 meanwhile gets a tri-motor set-up with a pair of electric motors now sitting on the rear axle, each powering one wheel. The tri-motor set-up provides the SQ8 with up to 370 kW of power and a massive 973 Nm of torque.
The Audi SQ8 e-tron gets a tri-motor set up that puts 370 kW (496 bhp) & a massive 973 Nm of torque.
The Q8 e-tron is expected to arrive in India sometime in the second half of 2023. Audi has commenced production for the model in Europe with market launches slated for the first half of the 2023.