In an attempt to make Audi’s electric lineup a little less confusing, the e-tron SUV officially becomes the 2024 Audi Q8 e-tron and SQ8 in regular and Sportback bodies. The outgoing electric crossover’s facelift will also bring a revised look, larger battery capacity for extended range and faster charging times.
Other changes include rear axle motor upgrades, standard air suspension, drag coefficient reduction and a greener manufacturing process.
Back in 2018, when EVs were more of a water effort, there was apparently very little foresight in Audi’s naming strategy. The E-Tron was billed as the brand’s first all-electric production model (Audi hoped we’d forget about the ill-fated R8 e-tron), and it proudly wore the self-driving e-tron badge.
Of course, since then seven more electric Audis have been introduced, each adding the e-tron tag to their titles. Audi’s aggressive strategy over the next three years will see more than 20 EV models in the lineup, with ICE options going off sale in 2030.
It is therefore logical that the e-tron SUV and the Sportback have been renamed Q8 e-tron and Q8 e-tron Sportback respectively. We suspect the retcon naming won’t be the last we’ll see from automakers (we certainly wish BMW and Mercedes would take notice), but it also reaffirms to buyers that the Q8 e-tron sits at the top of the tree. electric crossover SUV within Audi. line up.
New face, better aerodynamics and new logo
The 2024 Q8 e-tron’s facelift is mild but poignant – at least, once you know what you’re looking for. The single-frame mask has been revised in line with Audi’s electric vehicle design language. Visually, it ditches the cheese-cum-Chesire-cat-smile grater for a less fussy reverse grille. The air shafts on either side of the nose are also larger, while the rear diffuser has been redesigned.
The new looks are only half the story, as the drag coefficient has been reduced from 0.28 to 0.27 cw for the SUV and from 0.26 to 0.24 cw for the Sportback. Part of this achievement is attributed to the self-sealing system around the grille, which works in conjunction with electric shutters that automatically close the radiator.
Other aerodynamic improvements are less noticeable, with wheel spoilers on the front axle that have been enlarged (absent from the SQ8 Sportback) and spoilers added for the rear wheels.
Read: Audi’s EV lineup will include city cars and Avant models
Also new to the Q8 e-tron is Audi’s revised corporate identity, with the four rings following the pattern set by everyone from Pepsi to Warner Brothers: ditching the computer-generated 3D effect and opting for a simple and cleaner 2D look. The Q8 e-tron will also be the first Audi to adopt a new trend of adding the brand name script to the B-pillar.
Inside, the changes will remain minor. Audi’s MMI touch-response operating system returns, eschewing physical buttons for two large, high-resolution displays. New interior trim options include light brown walnut wood and a durable technical material made in part from recycled PET bottles.
Faster charging, better range
The biggest boost for the Q8 e-tron is in the battery department. For the entry-level Q8 50 e-tron, the battery capacity has increased from 69 kWh to 89 kWh (95 kWh gross), representing a 29% increase.
Combined with new battery management software that improves usable capacity, the range of the Q8 50 e-tron increases from 212 miles (341 km) to 307 miles (491 km) for the SUV and 316 miles (505 km) for the Sportback – although it should be mentioned that these stats are in line with the WLTP cycle, so expect the EPA numbers to be lower.
Moving up the lineup, the Q8 55 e-tron and SQ8 e-tron get a 106 kWh (114 kWh gross) battery, compared to 86 kWh (95 kWh gross) in the outgoing models.
More: The Audi A6 e-tron Avant could become one of the best-looking electric vehicles on the market
The two-motor 55 e-tron returns 364 miles (582 km) for the SUV and up to 375 miles (600 km) for the Sportback compared to the outgoing e-tron’s 273 miles (440 km). The increased range puts it on par with other recently launched electric vehicles, including Mercedes’ EQE SUV. The most powerful of the range, the three-motor SQ8 e-tron, returns 309 miles (494 km) for the SUV and up to 320 miles (513 km) for the Sportback.
While the 150 kW DC charging speed of the Q8 50 e-tron remains the same, the 55 and SQ8 models feature a modest increase to 170 kW. That’s still a far cry from what’s found on the 270kW e-tron GT (or Hyundai’s 350kW 800V tech for that matter), but it’s enough for 10-80% fast charging. in 31 minutes.
Meanwhile, for AC power, under ideal conditions, the Audi Q8 50 e-tron can fully charge in about nine hours and 15 minutes (22 kW: about four hours and 45 minutes). The large battery figures are around 11 hours and 30 minutes at 11kW and six hours at 22kW.
More torque for the entry-level model
The Audi e-tron’s rear motor features an increase in power with the addition of two coils, bringing the total to 14. The result is a more efficient and powerful asynchronous motor that uses less energy to generate more torque.
The Q8 50 e-tron produces 250kW in boost mode and 664Nm of torque – an increase of 20kW, but more importantly 104Nm of torque. Further up the food chain, the numbers remain the same as the outgoing models. The Q8 55 e-tron delivers 300 kW in boost mode and 664 Nm of torque with a top speed of 200 km/h, while the SQ8 e-tron offers up to 370 kW and 973 Nm of torque.
For European and American customers, the 2024 Audi Q8 will be certified carbon neutral. There are also several examples of recycled materials used in the car interior, including insulation and cushioning.
Seatbelt buckle covers were made with mixed automotive plastic waste, while Dinamica microfiber for the optional sports seats is made up of up to 45% polyester fibers made from recycled PET bottles, used textiles and fiber residues.
In showrooms spring 2023
Order books for the 2024 Audi Q8 e-tron and Q8 Sportback e-tron will open later this month, with a U.S. launch slated for late April 2023. Customers in Germany and other “key European markets won’t have to wait that long, with the updated model appearing in late February 2023.
North American pricing will be announced at a later date, while in Germany the Audi Q8 e-tron will start from €74,400 (about $75,000 at current exchange rates).
Audi Q8 e-tron SUV
Audi SQ8 e-tron SUV
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