Audi has taken the covers off the Q8 e-tron SUV, which is essentially a facelifted version of the outgoing e-tron – the brand’s first electric SUV. With Audi having since used ‘e-tron’ as the umbrella electric sub-brand, the original e-tron SUV required an individual moniker; it thus now carries the Q8 nameplate and will be the new flagship electric SUV in Audi’s model line-up. As well as technical upgrades to their drivetrains, the Q8 e-tron and its Sportback version have also received exterior and interior styling changes.
- Q8 e-tron and Q8 Sportback e-tron available in 50, 55 and S variants
- Offered with 89kWh and 104kWh lithium-ion battery packs
- Expected India arrival by July-August 2023
Audi Q8 e-tron, Q8 Sportback e-tron: design details
As part of the styling changes, the Audi Q8 and Sportback e-tron now get a dual-tone trapezoidal grille that features the brand’s new two-dimensional ring emblem. Both versions of the electric SUV also get a reprofiled front bumper, reworked headlights, and new ‘Audi’ badging on the B-pillar. At the rear, Audi has equipped the Q8 and Sportback e-tron with new LED tail-light clusters and a revised bumper.
Courtesy of the new spoilers within the underbody, which help smooth airflow around the wheels, the drag coefficient has been reduced from 0.26 to 0.24cD for the Q8 Sportback e-tron and from 0.28 to 0.27cD for the Q8 e-tron.
On the Inside, Audi’s electric SUVs have new recycled upholstery and trim options in a slightly revised cabin that also features changes to the multimedia interface (MMI). Both, the Q8 e-tron and the Sportback version continue with the 10.1-inch touchscreen screen at the top and the 8.6-inch screen at the bottom, which controls the climate functions.
Audi Q8 e-tron, Q8 Sportback e-tron: powertrain
The Q8 e-tron range comes in 50, 55 and the top-spec S variants. The 50 and 55 versions of the EV use dual motors (one at the front, one at the rear) whereas the S versions get a twin-motor set-up at the rear. The Q8 e-tron 50 models now produce 340hp and 664Nm whereas the 55 models produce 408hp and 664Nm. Meanwhile, the top-spec Q8 e-tron S models produce a total output of 503hp and 973Nm of torque.
Audi Q8 e-tron, Q8 Sportback e-tron: battery and charging
Audi has focused on making big changes to the battery packs, which include adopting more advanced cells and a new management system. This has increased the battery pack’s energy density by up to 20 percent. Courtesy of the reworked 89kWh lithium ion battery, the 50 version of the Q8 e-tron and Q8 Sportback e-tron now achieve a range of 491km and 505km (WLTP cycle), respectively, as against the earlier claimed range of over 300km and 347km.
Meanwhile, the larger 104kWh battery pack in the Q8 e-tron 55 and e-tron Sportback 55 offers a claimed range of 582 km and 600 km (WLTP cycle), respectively. This is 171km and 154km more than the 55 versions of the outgoing e-tron. The S versions of the Q8 e-tron and Sportback get the same 104kWh battery pack and offer a claimed WLTP range of 494km and 513 km, respectively.
The brand claims that the Q8 e-tron 50 models can be fully charged with a 11kW AC charger in 9 hours and 15 minutes or a 150kW DC fast charger in 28 minutes. On the other hand, the larger battery pack in the Q8 e-tron 55 and S models can be charged from 10 percent to 80 percent via a more powerful 170kW DC fast charger in a claimed 31 minutes.
Audi e-tron India launch
Audi will launch the Q8 e-tron in international markets in February 2023 and is likely to bring the Q8 e-tron to our shores by July-August next year. The brand is currently working on the new fifth-generation Audi RS6, which is set to become a plug-in hybrid vehicle, and the fifth-generation all-electric A3. Audi CEO Markus Duesmann has previously stated that all new models will be electric from 2026.
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