An In-Depth Look at the New Audi Q8 e-tron Electric SUV

Audi Q8 e-tron Electric SUV

Audi has recently given a mid-life update to its e-tron all-electric SUV, and added the ‘Q8’ prefix to its name. The updated model is now called the Audi Q8 e-tron, and it brings revised styling, upgraded interiors, new technology features, and enhanced electric powertrains. In this detailed article, we take an in-depth look at what the new Audi Q8 e-tron, set in the backdrop of 18 August 2023, has to offer.

Introduction to the Audi Q8 e-tron

The Q8 e-tron is Audi’s flagship electric SUV that sits at the top of the e-tron range. It made its global debut in 2021 and has now received a substantial update for the 2023 model year. The updates are focused on styling, interior upgrades, new tech, and upgraded electric powertrains.

Audi is expected to launch the Q8 e-tron in India by August 2023. It will be imported to India as a Completely Built Unit (CBU). The Q8 e-tron is likely to be priced from Rs 1.1 crore (ex-showroom) onwards. It will rival other luxury electric SUVs like the BMW iX, Mercedes-Benz EQC, and Jaguar I-Pace.

Styling and Exterior Updates

Audi Q8 e-tron Electric SUV

In terms of styling, the Q8 e-tron gets a refreshed front fascia. The updates include a new single-frame octagonal grille with black inserts, redesigned bumpers, new matrix LED headlamps with dynamic turn signals, and sequential LED tail lamps.

The side profile remains similar to the outgoing e-tron SUV, with clean surfacing, prominent character lines, flush door handles, and new 20-inch alloy wheels. The Q8 e-tron has an athletic stance with crisper lines that make it look more upmarket compared to the regular e-tron. The overall dimensions remain unchanged.

At the rear, e-tron badging has made way for ‘Q8 e-tron’ lettering. The tail lamps have new LED graphics with sequential turn indicators. The diffuser integrates horizontal aluminum trim that adds to the premium appeal.

The Q8 e-tron employs Audi’s SUV design language but looks more futuristic thanks to details like the new closed-off grille. The styling updates give it a more distinctive road presence over the older e-tron SUV.

Spacious and Luxurious Cabin with New Tech

Audi Q8 e-tron Electric SUV

The Audi Q8 e-tron has a plush and spacious five-seat cabin crafted using premium materials. It gets an extensive tech upgrade on the inside as well. The highlights include a new dual-screen dashboard layout and the latest version of Audi’s MMI infotainment system.

The dual screens include a 10.1-inch touchscreen for infotainment and navigation, and an 8.6-inch lower touchscreen for climate control and convenience functions. The lower screen now offers haptic feedback when using the touch functions.

The digital instrument cluster behind the steering wheel is a 12.3-inch Audi Virtual Cockpit display with brilliant graphics. It offers multiple views, including a power meter for the electric motors. The flat-bottom steering wheel is new as well with touch-sensitive controls.

The Audi Q8 e-tron offers premium comfort with well-bolstered seats. Ventilated seats and massage functions are available along with climate control for all four zones. A large panoramic sunroof further enhances the sense of space. The quality of materials used on the inside matches the luxury standards set by Audi.

Three Potent Electric Powertrains with Enhanced Driving Range

Audi Q8 e-tron Electric SUV

The biggest changes in the Q8 e-tron are found under the hood. Audi has upgraded the electric powertrains and batteries to deliver more power, quicker acceleration, and longer driving range.

The Q8 e-tron will be offered with three all-wheel drive (AWD) configurations globally, all using two electric motors placed on each axle.

The entry-level 50 e-tron model gets an 89kWh battery pack (86kWh net capacity) mated to an asynchronous motor on the front axle and a synchronous motor at the rear. The total output is 340PS and 664Nm.

The 55 e-tron models use a larger 106kWh battery pack (95kWh net capacity) combined with a more powerful asynchronous front motor and synchronous rear motor. Output stands at 408PS and 664Nm.

Topping the range is the S model that also employs the 106kWh battery pack but with a third electric motor placed on the rear axle. Together, the three motors deliver a colossal 503PS and 973Nm.

As per the WLTP test cycle, the different Q8 e-tron models deliver an improved real-world driving range:

  • 89kWh battery pack: Up to 509km
  • 106kWh battery pack (dual motor): Up to 600km
  • 106kWh battery pack (triple motor): Up to 513km

The improved range allows the Q8 e-tron to confidently undertake long-distance road trips between charging stops. DC fast charging capability is also enhanced up to 150kW that can add up to 270km of range in just 10 minutes of charging.

Sharp Handling with Quattro Electric AWD System

Audi Q8 e-tron Electric SUV

The Audi Q8 e-tron utilizes a capable all-wheel drive system that enhances grip and allows precise power delivery. The two or three electric motors enable advanced torque vectoring for splitting drive torque between the axles and wheels as required.

This allows sharper and more agile handling without compromising ride quality. The low center of gravity due to the battery placed within the floor also contributes to the well-balanced dynamics. Audi offers adaptive air suspension and different ride height settings as optional.

Braking performance is strong and confidence-inspiring with ventilated discs all around supplemented by regenerative braking. The latest electronic driving aids, including multi-collision braking, turn assist, and cross-traffic assist, also come standard.

Premium Comfort and Practical Luxury SUV

The Audi Q8 e-tron sets new standards when it comes to comfort, luxury, and practicality. The SUV body style offers a commanding driving position with excellent all-round visibility. Despite the sloping roofline, headroom and legroom even for rear seat passengers is plentiful.

The cabin is well-insulated from outside noise by using acoustic glazing and extra sound-deadening materials. Ride quality is plush at all speeds thanks to the standard adaptive air suspension. Seating comfort is first-rate as well with 16-way adjustable electric front seats. Optional massage functionality with multiple programs is available.

With a volume of 660 liters, luggage capacity is quite flexible. The 40:20:40 split rear seats can be folded fully flat to liberate up to 1725 liters of cargo volume. The wide tailgate and flat loading lip allow easy loading of bulky items. A sliding rear seat option is also available to further increase flexibility.

Overall, the Q8 e-tron deftly combines the practicality of an SUV with the opulent luxury and refinement that Audi is renowned for. Whether commuting in the city or cruising on the highways, it delivers a first-class driving experience.

Key Features of the Audi Q8 e-tron:

  • Premium cabin with dual-screen layout and virtual cockpit
  • New 10.1-inch touchscreen with MMI navigation plus
  • 8.6-inch lower touchscreen with haptic feedback
  • Matrix LED headlamps and LED tail lamps
  • Three potent electric powertrains (340PS to 503PS)
  • Enhanced driving range up to 600km (WLTP)
  • 150kW fast charging capability
  • Quattro electric all-wheel drive system
  • Adaptive air suspension standard
  • Luxurious rear seats with massage function
  • 1725 liters of cargo room with rear seats folded
  • Extensive suite of connectivity and driver assistance tech

Frequently Asked Questions about the Audi Q8 e-tron

What are the different powertrain options available on the Q8 e-tron?

The Q8 e-tron is offered in three AWD configurations globally - a 340PS dual-motor setup with an 89kWh battery, 408PS dual-motor with a 106kWh battery, and a 503PS triple-motor version with a 106kWh battery.

What is the real-world driving range offered by the new Q8 e-tron?

As per WLTP estimates, the driving range varies from 509km to 600km depending on the battery pack and motors. The 89kWh battery delivers 509km while the 106kWh battery offers up to 600km range.

Does the Q8 e-tron support fast charging?

Yes, the Q8 e-tron supports DC fast charging at up to 150kW. This can add 270km of driving range in just 10 minutes of charging.

What are some key features offered by the Q8 e-tron?

Some notable features include - new dual screens with haptic feedback, matrix LED lighting, three-zone climate control, ventilated massage seats, adaptive air suspension, and the latest connectivity and driver assistance tech.

When will the Audi Q8 e-tron launch in India?

Audi is expected to launch the Q8 e-tron luxury electric SUV in India by August 2023. It will be brought to India via the CBU import route.

What will be the starting price of the Q8 e-tron in India?

We expect the Audi Q8 e-tron to be priced upwards of Rs 1.1 crore (ex-showroom) at launch in the Indian market. Being a CBU import, it will be quite expensive.

What are the key rivals of the Audi Q8 e-tron in India?

The main competitors of the Q8 e-tron in India will be the Mercedes-Benz EQC, Jaguar I-Pace, BMW iX, and the Volvo XC90 Recharge hybrid SUV.

Does the Q8 e-tron get a frunk like other EVs?

Yes, the Q8 e-tron features a front trunk or frunk with a capacity of around 150 liters. It provides extra storage on top of the main boot.

What is the seating capacity of the Audi Q8 e-tron?

The Audi Q8 e-tron is a five-seater luxury electric SUV. It gets two seats in the front and a three-person bench seat in the rear.

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