Audi Q8 e-tron puts a focus on range and charging in flagship electric SUV update - MrLiambi's blog


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Wednesday, 9 November 2022

Audi Q8 e-tron puts a focus on range and charging in flagship electric SUV update

It has been 4 years since the launch of the Audi e-tron, the model that kicked-off Audi's charge into pure electric vehicles - and the launch of the Audi Q8 e-tron looks to address some of the shortcomings of that original model.

Firstly on the naming. When the Audi e-tron launched, it was positioned as Audi's first EV. The e-tron name wasn't new, it had been used on the A3 e-tron in 2016 which was a plug-in hybrid, but this was a repurposing of the nomenclature - and not one that wasn't entirely clear.

But the Audi e-tron launched alongside the Audi Q8, its largest SUV which was combustion only. The new naming brings these together, making it more obvious how the positioning sits in relation to other models - like the Audi Q4 e-tron for example.

The Audi Q8 e-tron will be available in SUV and Sportback styles, the latter getting the sloping roof for a more sporty look, while also claiming better aerodynamic performance. According to Audi's figures, you'll get an additional 18km of range (11 miles) thanks to this design change.

And range is the focus here, with a top range of 582km (361 miles) and that comes down to a massive increase in battery size. The Audi Q8 55 e-tron will have a 106kWh usable battery (114kWh gross), with 170kW charging. This is one of the largest battery capacities you'll find in an electric car right now.

Even the step-down model, the Audi Q8 50 e-tron, has a massive battery at 89kWh usable (95kWh gross) and 150kW charging, so this a serious boost to the range.

All models are all-wheel drive, with the base 50 model offering 250kW in boost mode, while Audi is delivering on one of its hallmarks - power - offering 300kW on the 55 models.

Audi is also going to be releasing an SQ model in the range. This is the sporty version, badged as the Audi SQ8 e-tron which will have a triple motor arrangement and offer 370kW power. That will see two motors controlling the rear wheels independently with the promise of better dynamics thanks to torque vectoring.

The increase in battery capacity really addresses the biggest problem we had with the original e-tron. For all the power, comfort and sophistication it offered, the range was pretty poor, sometimes stuggling to give you much more than 200 miles of range. That simply came down to the size and weight of the car - and the new models will get over that issue, meaning a more competitive positioning for the Audi flagship.

Elsewhere Audi has focused on boosting aerodynamics to increase overall efficiency, while there are a couple of external design changes, including new badging on the B pillar, and a new nose design.

The Audi Q8 e-tron will be certified as net carbon neutral in the US and Europe, while there's use of recycled materials on the interior. Yes, your new flagship Audi SUV will be partly made from old plastic bottles.

As with all Audis, it will be loaded with tech, with the remote parking feature highlighted, allowing you to park the car using the smartphone app, while it will continue to use Audi's MMI system spread across a pair of interior displays and using Audi's Virtual Cockpit.

The Audi Q8 e-tron is due on the roads in March 2023, with prices starting from €74,400, which would be about £65,000 or $75,000.

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