With the e-tron, Audi launched its first electric car in production in 2018. In the future, the model will be extensively revised and offered as the new Q8 e-tron. As the top model of the premium manufacturer’s electric SUVs and crossovers, it comes to customers with an optimized driving concept, better aerodynamics, higher charging capacity and more battery capacity and therefore with a WLTP range of up to 600 kilometers. Visually, the series has been refreshed, especially at the front.
The Q8 e-tron and Q8 Sportback e-tron feature a new front and rear design with a single-frame grille, an inverted grille and a clip above the redesigned rear diffusers, which continue Audi’s electric design language. A special feature of the edition S line package is the single-frame grill, which is exclusively in the body color.
“As a prestigious electric SUV model from Audi, the Q8 e-tron introduces the new corporate identity on the outside with a two-dimensional design of the four rings. To highlight the new family logo at the front as a central element, Audi will optionally highlight the car’s face with single-frame projection lights. In addition, the Q8 e-tron is the first model to receive the new model designation with Audi lettering on the B-pillar.
With a vehicle length of 4915 millimeters, a width of 1937 millimeters and a height of 1619 millimeters for the Sportback and 1633 millimeters for the SUV, the Q8 e-tron offers maximum space and comfort, the manufacturer promises. The sports versions SQ8 e-tron and SQ8 Sportback e-tron are each two millimeters flatter and 39 millimeters wider. According to Audi, the wheelbase of 2928 millimeters ensures plenty of legroom, even in the rear seats. The luggage compartment is 569 liters for the SUV and 528 liters for the Sportback. There are also 62 liters in the front luggage compartment, the “Frunken”.
Three drive variants
There is a choice of three versions with electric four-wheel drive for both body types: The base models Q8 50 e-tron and Q8 Sportback 50 e-tron with their two engines deliver 250 kW (340) in “boost” mode with a torque of 664 Nm and allow a range of up to 491 kilometers (SUV) and up to 505 kilometers (Sportback) according to WLTP.
With their two engines, the Q8 55 e-tron and Q8 Sportback 55 e-tron deliver 300 kW (408 hp) in boost mode with a torque of 664 Nm. The range according to the WLTP standard is up to 582 kilometers, with the Sportback it is up to 600 kilometers. As with the Q8 50 e-tron, the top speed is limited to 200 km/h.
The top models SQ8 e-tron and SQ8 Sportback e-tron are powered by three engines that provide a boost output of 370 kW (503 hp) and a torque of 973 Nm. The range for the S models is up to 494 kilometers for the SUV and up to 513 kilometers for the Sportback. Top speed is limited to 210 km/h.
More battery capacity and charging power
There is a choice between two battery sizes: In the Q8 50 e-tron, the battery has a usable storage capacity of 89 kilowatt hours net (95 kWh gross). In the two more powerful versions, Q8 55 e-tron and SQ8 e-tron, 106 kWh net (114 kWh gross) are available. With a high-power charging station (HPC), the Q8 50 e-tron achieves a maximum charging capacity of 150 kW. With the Q8 55 e-tron and SQ8 e-tron, the charging power is increased to up to 170 kW.
The large battery can be charged from 10 to 80 percent in about 31 minutes at a DC fast charging station. The Q8 e-tron charges with up to 11 kW power at a slower AC charging station or wall box. Audi offers an AC charging capacity of 22 kW as an option. The Q8 e-tron offers the Plug & Charge function as standard: the vehicle authorizes itself at compatible charging stations when the charging cable is inserted and activates the station. Invoicing is automatic.
According to Audi, the focus for the Q8 e-tron was on aerodynamics. The result is a reduction in the drag coefficient cw on the Q8 Sportback e-tron from 0.26 to 0.24 and on the Q8 e-tron from 0.28 to 0.27. Wheel spoilers attached to the undercarriage help direct airflow past the wheels. The spoilers on the front axle have been enlarged, and spoilers are now also used in front of the rear wheels on the Q8 Sportback e-tron. With the SQ8 Sportback e-tron, spoilers are only mounted on the rear axle. In the area around the radiator grille, for the first time in an Audi, a self-sealing system complements the electric blinds that automatically close the radiator. This system further optimizes the airflow on the front end and prevents unwanted losses, the developers explain.
The market launch of the new Q8 e-tron and Q8 Sportback e-tron, which can be ordered from mid-November, is planned for the end of February 2023 in Germany. The base price for the Q8 e-tron in Germany is 74,400 euros.