Once spearheading the electrification of Audi, the Audi e-tron is now known as the Audi Q8 e-tron. The brand’s updated flagship electric vehicle (EV) SUV is now offered in three trims, with the range-topping one powered by a triple-motor setup making close to 1,000 Nm of torque.
The three trims of the Audi Q8 e-tron are the Q8 50 e-tron, the Q8 55 e-tron, and the SQ8 e-tron. All trims are offered in both SUV and Sportback body styles, so there are a total of 6 versions of the all-electric Audi Q8 e-tron.
On the outside, the Q8 e-tron’s new look consists of a new front and rear design whilst maintaining the same headlight shape. The front end gets the Singleframe mask and inverted grille while the rear gets a “blade” above the rear diffuser. It is the first model to feature the new model badge with Audi lettering on the B-pillar.
Powering the Q8 e-tron are three different electric all-wheel drive (AWD) systems. The base Audi Q8 50 e-tron gets a dual-motor setup that makes 250 kW (340 hp metric) and 664 Nm. Storing power is an 89-kWh (net) battery pack that provides 491 km of range (WLTP) for the SUV version and 505 km of range (WLTP) for the Sportback version.
A step above is the Q8 55 e-tron which gets a dual-motor setup that makes 300 kW (408 hp metric) and 664 Nm. The Q8 55 gets a larger 106-kWh (nett) battery pack that gives the SUV version 582 km of range (WLTP) and the Sportback version 600 km of range (WLTP). Its top speed is limited to 200 km/h.
The hottest version of the Q8 e-tron would be the Audi SQ8 e-tron which gets a triple-motor setup that makes 370 kW (503 hp metric) and 973 Nm. It is the first mass-produced EV by the brand to have a triple-motor configuration. Two of the three motors are mounted in the rear, making 98 kW (133 hp metric) each. As for the battery, the SQ8 gets the same 106-kWh (net) battery as the Q8 55, providing 494 km of range (WLTP) in the SUV version and 513 km of range (WLTP) in the Sportback version.
For the new Audi Q8 e-tron, Audi says it has increased the number of coils in the rear-mounted asynchronous motors from 12 to 14. This generates a stronger magnetic field, allowing more torque to be generated with the same amount of electric input. Besides increasing torque, the motor is also more efficient, meaning it uses less energy overall when the high torque is not needed.
In the handling department, the Q8 e-tron gets air-spring suspension with controlled shock absorption as standard. This allows the car’s height to be varied by 76 mm. It also gets a revised progressive steering system and more rigid suspension bearings on the front axle.
As for charging, the Audi Q8 50 e-tron can handle 150-kW DC fast charging while the Q8 55 and SQ8 can handle 170-kW DC fast charging (DCFC). With 170-kW DCFC, the 106-kWh battery pack charges from 10% to 80% in 31 minutes.
AC charging is rated at 11 kW as standard for the Audi Q8 e-tron, but customers do have the option to upgrade to 22 kW AC charging. With 11-kW AC charging, the smaller 89-kWh battery fully charges in 9 hours and 15 minutes while the bigger 106-kWh battery fully charges in 11 hours and 30 minutes. With the optional 22-kW AC charging upgrade, the 89-kWh battery charges from 0 to 100% in 5 hours and 45 minutes while the 106-kWh battery does it in 6 hours.
Inside, the Audi Q8 e-tron gets a glass panoramic roof, standard dual-zone climate control (with optional 4-zone automatic climate control), perforated leather upholstery, and optional porous wood veneers. There is also a 10.1-inch head unit and a bottom 8..6-inch digital control unit. A head-up display is optional for the Q8 e-tron.
There are around 40 driver assistance systems available in the Audi Q8 e-tron*. Up to five radar sensors, five cameras, and 12 ultrasonic sensors provide environmental information that’s then analyzed by the central driver assistance control unit. Something new is remote park assist plus, which will be available to order in Europe starting in 2023.