Audi Q8 e-tron Debuts In Three Variants

You can have it in an SUV or a Sportback form.

Let’s clear the air from the get-go: the e-tron is now the Q8 e-tron. And if you ask me, that’s a wise decision because although the e-tron was Audi’s first proper EV, it was lost in the brand’s massive global portfolio. Now, with the well-deserved ‘Q’ tag in its nameplate, one could at least place where the high-riding electric vehicle sits. “Audi is making a clear statement that the Audi Q8 e-tron is the top model among its electric SUVs and crossovers,” read the official press release.

Moving on, Audi has devised three variants of the EV in question – 50, 55 and SQ8. And you can have them in both SUV and Sportback forms. Also, as you’d expect, the brand has put an effort to make the Q8 e-tron recognisable as an electric vehicle. That’s down to the reworked front and rear ends, including the inverted grille, the Singleframe mask and the blade over the restyled rear diffuser. Besides those, the Q8 e-tron ushers in Audi’s new corporate identity with a two-dimensional four-rings logo on the exterior. The EV is also the first model to flaunt the new model badge with Audi lettering on the B-pillar.

It doesn’t matter which Q8 e-tron one settles for, the powertrain will have at least two electric motors, giving birth to an electric all-wheel-drive. The Q8 50 e-tron offers up to 335hp/664Nm, whereas the Q8 55 e-tron has up to 402/664Nm for propulsion. The sprint times haven’t been revealed but both variants can hit 200kmph flat-out. Range? Well, the SUV and Sportback versions of the Q8 50 e-tron can travel up to 491km and 505km, respectively. Similarly, their Q8 55 e-tron counterparts, in the same order, can travel up to 582km and 600km.

Those looking for the most powerful derivative will either get the SQ8 or the SQ8 Sportback. Both share the same powertrain, which has three electric motors (one at the front and one each for the rear wheels) – a first for series-production Audi. That setup allows a maximum of 496hp/973Nm, while the top speed is 210kmph. The SQ8 and the SQ8 Sportback can travel up to 494km and 513km on a single charge, respectively.

Audi will offer the Q8 e-tron with two battery sizes – a 95kWh (89kWh net) for the ‘50’ variants and 114kWh (106kWh net) for the other two. The former can take DC feeds of up to 150kW, whereas the ‘55’ and the SQ8 versions can take up to 170kW. Charging speeds? Audi says that using a recommended fast charger, the larger battery can charge from 10 to 80 per cent in about 31 minutes. For AC charging, the standard charger is an 11kW one. One could opt for the quicker 22kW charger by paying more. Depending on the variant and the AC charger chosen, the Q8 e-tron can replenish the battery between 4 hours and 45 minutes, and 11 hours and 30 minutes.

Features? Audi has equipped the Q8 e-tron with air-spring suspension with controlled shock absorption, which offers up to 76mm of height adjustment. In addition, the EV packs around 40 driver assistance systems. For those to work, the car comes with up to five radar sensors, five cameras and 12 ultrasonic sensors. Other features, such as a glass panorama roof, two-zone automatic climate control, ventilated seats, a 10.1-inch touchscreen infotainment system, an 8.6-inch display for various functions and a digital instrument cluster, are also available. It goes without saying that there’s an options list, which has stuff like four-zone climate control, digital LED matrix headlights, a head-up display and an air quality package.

Audi claims that the Q8 e-tron will be certified as net-carbon-neutral for buyers in Europe and the USA. Moreover, the interior includes recycled materials, a move that further ups the sustainability aspect of the vehicle.

Order books for the Q8 e-tron will open later this month. The market launch for Germany and other important European markets will happen at the end of February 2023, while the USA will get it by April end. In Germany, the base price for the Audi Q8 e-tron will be 74,400 euros.

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