New Audi Q8 e-tron and Audi Q8 Sportback e-tron: prices, specs and range revealed
Audi’s facelifted flagship electric SUV now offers up to 372 miles of range thanks to bigger batteries, plus a tri-motor performance model
The Audi e-tron was the brand’s first electric car and one of the very first premium electric SUVs back when it was unveiled in 2018. But now with fierce competition from the BMW iX, Lotus Eletre, Polestar 3 and Mercedes EQE SUV, and plenty more waiting in the wings, the flagship SUV and its Sportback coupe counterpart have been given a new name and significantly updated.
The new Audi Q8 e-tron starts from £67,800, while the Audi Q8 Sportback e-tron costs £2,500 more, starting at £70,300. Order books for both models are now open, with four trim levels to choose from – Sport, S Line, Black Edition and Vorsprung – on top of three powertrain options, all of which come with all-wheel drive.
The entry-level Q8 50 e-tron and Q8 50 Sportback e-tron feature two electric motors and a total of 362bhp (plus 664Nm of torque) for a range of 305 miles and 313 miles respectively. They both use an upgraded 89kWh usable battery, compared to the outgoing e-tron 50's 64.7kWh battery which offered a sub-200-mile range.
Next up is the Q8 55 e-tron (£77,800) and Q8 55 Sportback e-tron (£80,300) which generate 402bhp and 664Nm of torque from their dual motor setups, and offer 361 miles and 372 miles of range respectively thanks to a new, larger 106kWh usable battery.
Both cars will do over 100 miles more than the equivalent pre-facelift models, with the bigger battery car managing slightly more than the latest Tesla Model X (348 miles). The Audi’s maximum is also just shy of the longest-range BMW iX (380 miles), Lotus Eletre (373 miles) and Polestar 3 (379 miles).
Finally, serving as the replacement for the e-tron S and e-tron S Sportback are the new SQ8 e-tron (£97,500) and SQ8 Sportback e-tron (£100,000). In these models the 106kWh battery pack is used to power three electric motors – one on front axle, and two at the rear – boosting power to 496bhp and 973Nm of torque, but simultaneously reducing range to 306 miles for the SUV and 318 miles for the coupe. It's also available exclusively in the pricier Black Edition and Vorsprung trim levels.
The 0-62mph sprint takes exactly six seconds in 50 e-tron, or 5.6 seconds for the 55 e-tron. The more powerful tri-motor SQ8 e-tron (below) slashes that to 4.5 seconds, and boasts a higher top speed of 130mph compared to 124mph for the rest of the range.
The 50 e-tron can charge at a maximum rate of 150kW, which allows for a 10-80% top-up in 28 minutes. Meanwhile, the 55 e-tron and SQ8 e-tron top out at 170kW, but the bigger batteries mean the same 10-80% charge takes 31 minutes.
All Q8 e-tron models get an 11kW on-board charger; enough to fully replenish the 50 e-tron’s 89kWh battery in a little over nine hours, or around 11.5 hours for the 106kWh unit in the 55 e-tron and SQ8 e-tron. Optionally, you can upgrade to a 22kW on-board charger, reducing those times to nearly five or six hours respectively.
Standard kit on all models includes adaptive air suspension, Quattro all-wheel drive, heated front seats, matrix LED headlights, powered tailgate, two-zone climate control, keyless go, and safety kit like a reversing camera and traffic-sign recognition. Plus, a 10.1-inch central touchscreen for media and navigation, a 8.6-inch unit for the climate control and other functions, and a digital driver’s display.
Upgrading from Sport to S Line trim adds 21-inch alloy wheels, sports air suspension, some styling tweaks, privacy glass for rear passengers, sport seats up front and a new steering wheel. Black Edition models come with a different set of 21-inch alloy wheels, black door mirrors and surrounds, a flat bottomed steering wheel and e-tron logo project from the headlights.
Finally, there’s the range-topping Vorsprung specification which gets you 22-inch alloy wheels, virtual door mirrors, digital matrix lights, power close doors, ‘super sports’ front seats, heated leather steering wheel and upgraded virtual cockpit driver’s display. Not to mention several option packs as standard, including the city assist pack and tour pack which bundle together safety systems like adaptive cruise control, lane change assistant and predictive efficiency assistant.
The tour pack (£1,995) and city assist pack (£1,495) are available on the rest of the range, as are the technology pack (£2,995) and technology pack pro (£5,995) which include a Bang & Olufsen sound system, head-up display and a 360 degree camera set-up among other luxuries. Audi’s virtual door mirrors are also available separately for £1,750.
The new Q8 e-tron and Q8 Sportback e-tron badges better align the flagship SUV with other models in the Audi EV range, which currently includes the Q4 e-tron and e-tron GT saloon. The brand-new Q6 e-tron will join the ranks soon, alongside A6 e-tron saloon and Avant estate models.
The biggest styling changes for the Q8 e-tron are at the front end where it’s received a new grille design, complimented by a full-width LED light strip on top-spec models or if you get the technology pack pro. The grille is also flanked by gloss black panels surrounding the main air inlets and a revised set of LED headlights.
There’s also a handful of recycled materials in the cabin now, while upgrades under the metal include modified air suspension, more rigid components and tweaks to the progressive steering which, according to Audi, improve the car’s agility and responses. Boot space in the SUV stands at 569 litres and 528 litres for the Sportback, with both body styles also getting a 62-litre storage area under the bonnet.
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