2024 Audi Q8 E-Tron Realigns Itself With Bigger Battery And Improved Looks


In an attempt to make Audi’s electric lineup slightly less confusing, the e-tron SUV officially becomes the 2024 Audi Q8 e-tron and SQ8 in both regular and Sportback bodystyles. The facelift to the outgoing electric crossover will also bring with it revised looks, more battery capacity for an extended range, and faster recharge times.

Other changes include improvements to the rear-axle motor, standard air suspension, a reduction in drag coefficient, and a greener manufacturing process.

Nomenclature Retcon 

Back in 2018, when EVs were more of a toe-in-the-water effort, there was apparently very little foresight in Audi’s naming strategy. The E-Tron was introduced as the brand’s first fully electric production model (Audi hoped we would forget the ill-fated R8 e-tron), and it wore the standalone e-tron badge with pride.

Of course, since then, seven other electric Audi’s have been introduced, each adding the e-tron tag to their titles. Audi’s aggressive strategy over the next three years will see more than 20 EV models in the lineup, with ICE options to be withdrawn from sale in 2030.

So it only makes sense that the e-tron SUV and Sportback have been renamed as the Q8 e-tron and Q8 e-tron Sportback, respectively. We suspect the naming retcon won’t be the last we see from automakers (we certainly wish BMW and Mercedes took note), but it also reaffirms to buyers that the Q8 e-tron sits at the top of the electric SUV crossover tree within Audi’s lineup.

New Face, Better Aerodynamics, And A New Logo

The 2024 Q8 e-tron’s facelift is mild but poignant — at least, once you know what you’re looking for. The single-frame mask has been revised in line with Audi’s electric vehicle design language. Visually, it ditches the cheese-grater-cum-Chesire-cat-smile for a less fussy inverted grille. The air damns on either side of the snout are larger too, while the rear diffuser has been redesigned.

The new looks are only half the story, as the drag coefficient has been cut from 0.28 to 0.27 cw for the SUV, and from 0.26 to 0.24 cw for the Sportback. Part of this achievement is attributed to the self-sealing system around the grille, which works in conjunction with electric shutters that automatically close the radiator.

Other aerodynamic improvements are less visible, with wheel spoilers on the front axle that have been enlarged (absent from the SQ8 Sportback) and added spoilers for the rear wheels.

Read: Audi’s EV Range Will Include City Cars And Avant Models

Also new on the Q8 e-tron is Audi’s revised corporate identity, with the four rings following the pattern set by everyone from Pepsi to Warner Brothers: ditching the 3D computer-generated effect and opting for a simple and cleaner 2D look. The Q8 e-tron will also be the first Audi to adopt a new trend of adding the brand’s name script to the B-pillar.

Inside, changes will remain minor. Audi’s MMI touch response operating system returns, shunning physical buttons for two large high-resolution displays. New interior trim options include light brown walnut wood and a sustainable technical material made partially from recycled PET bottles.

Faster Charging, Better Range

The most significant boost for the Q8 e-tron is found in the battery department. For the entry-level Q8 50 e-tron the battery capacity has increased from 69 kWh to 89 kWh (95 gross kWh), representing an increase of 29 percent.

Combined with new battery management software that improves usable capacity, the Q8 50 e-tron’s range jumps from 212 miles (341 km) to 307 miles (491 km) for the SUV and 316 miles (505 km) for the Sportback — although it should be mentioned that these stats are according to the WLTP cycle, so expect EPA figures to be lower.

Moving up the range, the Q8 55 e-tron, and SQ8 e-tron get a 106 kWh (114 gross kWh) battery — up from 86 kWh (95 gross kWh) in the outgoing models.

More: The Audi A6 e-tron Avant Could Become One Of The Best-Looking EVs In The Market

The twin motored 55 e-tron returns 364 miles (582 km) for the SUV and up to 375 miles (600 km) for the Sportback vs the outgoing e-tron’s 273 miles (440 km). The boost in range puts it on par with other recently launched EVs, including Mercedes’ EQE SUV. The most powerful of the range, the SQ8 e-tron with three motors, returns 309 miles (494 km) for the SUV and up to 320 miles (513 km) for the Sportback.

While the 150 kW DC charging speed of the Q8 50 e-tron remains the same, the 55 and SQ8 models feature a modest bump to 170 kW. It’s still some way away from what’s found on the 270 kW-capable e-tron GT (or Hyundai’s 350 kW 800V tech for that matter), but it is enough to fast charge from 10 to 80 percent in 31 minutes.

Meanwhile, for AC, 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). The big battery’s numbers are around 11 hours and 30 minutes at 11 kW and six hours at 22 kW.

More Torque For The Entry Level Model 

The Audi e-tron’s rear motor features an increase in output thanks to the addition of two coils, bringing the total to 14. The result is a more efficient and powerful asynchronous motor that uses less energy to generate more torque.

The Q8 50 e-tron outputs 250 kW in boost mode and 664 Nm of torque — an increase of 20 kW, but crucially up by 104 Nm of torque. Further up the food chain, the figures stay the same as the outgoing models. The Q8 55 e-tron delivers 300 kW in boost mode and 664 Nm of torque with a top speed of 200 km/h, while the SQ8 e-tron offers up 370 kW and 973 Nm of torque.

Certified Net-Carbon-Neutral 

For European and US customers, the 2024 Audi Q8 will be certified as net-carbon-neutral. There are also multiple instances of recycled material used in the car’s cabin, including the insulation and damping.

The seatbelt buckle covers have been made with mixed automotive plastic waste, while the Dinamica microfibre for the optional sports seats is made up from up to 45 percent polyester fibers that are manufactured from recycled PET bottles, used textiles, and fiber residue.

In Showrooms Spring 2023

Order books for the 2024 Audi Q8 e-tron and Q8 Sportback e-tron will open later this month, with a US launch expected at the end of April 2023. Customers in Germany and other “key European markets” won’t have to wait as long, with the updated model appearing at the end of February 2023.

North American pricing will be announced at a later date, while in Germany the Audi Q8 e-tron will start from €74,400 (approximately $75,000 at current exchange rates).

Audi Q8 e-tron SUV

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Audi SQ8 e-tron SUV 

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