By Otsile Kadiege
Back in 2018 Audi revealed the all-electric e-tron range which has sold around 150 000 units since its market launch. The new, top-of-the-line Audi Q8 e-tron is now building on the success story of this electric pioneer. The Q8 e-tron range boasts an optimized drive concept improved aerodynamics, higher charging performance, and battery capacity and increased range of up to 582 kilometers in the SUV version (WLTP) and up to 600 kilometers in the Sportback version (WLTP).
Q8 e-tron exterior design
The Audi Q8 e-tron and Q8 Sportback e-tron are immediately identifiable as fully electric models at first glance. This is thanks to the new front and rear designs with the characteristic Singleframe mask, the inverted grille, and blade above the redesigned rear diffuser, which systematically carry Audi’s electric design language forward. An exclusive highlight on the edition S line package is the Singleframe grille, which is finished in body color. The Q8 e-tron optionally comes with digital Matrix LED headlights.
As a prestigious electric SUV model from Audi, the Q8 e-tron ushers in the new corporate identity with a two-dimensional design of the four rings on the exterior. In order to elevate the family logo as a central element, Audi highlights the vehicle’s face with the projection light Singleframe. Additionally, the Q8 e-tron is the first model to feature the new model badge with Audi lettering on the B-pillar.
Q8 e-tron range dimensions
With a vehicle length of 4.915 meters, a width of 1.937 meters, and a height of 1.619 meters for the Sportback and 1.633 meters for the SUV, the Q8 e-tron offers a maximum amount of space and comfort. The SQ8 e-tron and SQ8 Sportback e-tron are each two millimeters lower and 39 millimeters wider. Its wheelbase of 2.928 meters allows for a lot of legroom in the back seats too. It has a generous storage volume of 569 liters for the SUV and 528 liters for the Sportback. There are also 62 liters available in the front storage area, the so called “frunk”.
Q8 e-tron interior design and technologies
Inside, the Q8 e-tron range sports a familiar modern Audi design accentuated by an MMI touch response operating system, its two large high-resolution displays – the top one with a 10.1-inch diagonal and the bottom one with an 8.6-inch diagonal – replace nearly all conventional switches and knobs. Beyond operation with the two touch displays, a lot of features can be activated through natural voice control. The digital display and operating concept in the Audi Q8 e-tron is rounded out by the standard Audi virtual cockpit with full HD resolution. The range also features a glass panorama roof and a three-spoke multifunction steering wheel with red contrast stitching for S line models.
As an alternative to the standard two-zone automatic climate control, Audi is also offering four-zone automatic climate control and an air quality package. The three-stage ventilation provides for comfortable seating, even at high outdoor temperatures. This is available for the standard seats, whose leather is intricately perforated.
For better driving dynamics Audi has revised the rear-axle motor and electric torque vectoring. The Q8 e-tron range comes standard with an air-spring suspension with controlled shock absorption for improved comfort and sportiness.
Q8 e-tron range performance
For both body shapes, three drivetrain variants with electric all-wheel drive can be selected. With their two motors, the base models of the Audi Q8 50 e-tron and the Audi Q8 Sportback 50 e-tron generate 250 kW in boost mode and 664 Nm of torque, and they get a range of up to 491 km (SUV) and up to 505 km (Sportback), in accordance with the WLTP.
With their two motors, the Audi Q8 55 e-tron and Audi Q8 Sportback 55 e-tron generate 300 kW in boost mode and 664 Nm of torque. Their ranges are up to 582 km for the SUV and up to 600 km for the Sportback, in accordance with the WLTP. Their top speed, and that of the Q8 50 e-tron, is limited to 200 km/h.
The top-end Audi SQ8 e-tron and Audi SQ8 Sportback e-tron are powered by three motors – a 124-kW electric motor is at work on the front axle, two electric motors each with 98 kW of output each. Their boost performance amounts to 370 kW and 973 Nm of torque. The range of the S models is up to 494 km for the SUV and up to 513 km for the Sportback. Their top speed is limited to 210 km/h.
Q8 e-tron range battery performance
Two battery sizes can be selected. The battery of the Q8 50 e-tron has a storage capacity of 95 gross kWh, while the more powerful versions of the Q8 55 e-tron and SQ8 e-tron have 114 gross kWh. Thanks to an adjustment to the battery management system, the battery capacity usable for customers has increased as well. At a high-powered charging station, the Audi Q8 50 e-tron reaches a maximum charging performance of 150 kW.
With the Q8 55 e-tron and SQ8 e-tron, the maximum charging performance increases to up to 170 kW. The big battery can be charged from ten to 80 percent during a roughly 31-minute charging stop – under ideal conditions, this corresponds to a range of up to 420 kilometers (according to WLTP). At an AC charging station or wallbox, the Audi Q8 e-tron charges at up to 11 kW. Audi offers an optional AC charging performance of up to 22 kW. Under ideal conditions, the Audi Q8 50 e-tron can completely charge in around nine hours and 15 minutes (22kW: around four hours and 45 minutes) using alternating current. The big battery’s numbers are around 11 hours and 30 minutes at 11 kW and six hours at 22 kW.
Audi’s electric portfolio now comprises 8 models. By 2026, plans on having more than 20 electric vehicles. At that point, Audi will only be releasing fully electric models on the global market. The market launch of the new Audi Q8 e-tron and Audi Q8 Sportback e-tron, which will be available to order starting in mid-November 2022, is planned to happen at the end of February 2023 in Germany and the most important European markets.
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