The 2019 e-tron mid-size electric crossover was Audi's first electric car and, as the poster child for Audi electric mobility, bore the new-wave e-tron name. Since then, the e-tron GT sedan and Q4 e-tron compact SUV were added and "e-tron" is now Audi's EV brand and no longer just a single model. So, after a teaser or two were released over the past few months, the substantially upgraded 2024 e-tron SUV has finally gone public and gets a proper name, Q8 e-tron, indicating its rightful status in Audi's e-tron lineup. There was nothing wrong with the e-tron; it was a refined and luxurious electric crossover that drove with a confident surefootedness, managing to hide its weight well. The biggest chink in its armor was its poor range, and the new Q8 e-tron finally brings that metric in line with the class average.
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While Audi already unveiled it on November 9, 2022, the new Audi Q8 e-tron electric crossover is a 2024 model with its release date in the USA set for the end of April 2023. Its official market launch will take place at the end of February 2023. Order books in the US are open from mid-November 2022.
The price of the 2024 Audi Q8 e-tron starts at $74,400 MSRP, excluding a destination charge of $1,195. This is right on par with what our estimate was for the cost of the electric SUV.
When first coming out in 2019, the e-tron could count its rivals on one hand; these included the Jaguar I-Pace and Tesla Model X. In the meantime, the electric SUV segment expanded dramatically and many compelling new alternatives are clamoring for a piece of the pie. The BMW iX and Cadillac Lyriq are perhaps the Q8 e-tron's most obvious premium crossover rivals, priced on either side of it and also offering more than 300 miles on a charge.
It might not look like it at first glance, but turning the Audi e-tron into the Q8 e-tron required various changes to the exterior. Most noticeable is Audi's new 3D Singleframe mask grille hiding electric grille shutters to reduce drag. The lighting elements have been restyled and there are new animations and a light bar, while the flattened new Audi grille logo is subtly illuminated by LEDs along its top. Various aerodynamic refinements are responsible for a significant reduction in the drag coefficient, which is down to 0.27. The 2024 Q8 e-tron also debuts new model badging on the B-pillar, which will spread to other Audis in due course. At the rear, the changes are subtle, but the eagle-eyed will notice that there's a new rear diffuser blade, while "e-tron" is now embossed in the lower bumper.
Audi has not confirmed the paint colors for the Audi Q8 e-tron, so we'll have to see whether the manufacturer is going to stick with what we can already get on the e-tron or whether some of the gas-powered Q8 colors will be added to the Q8 e-tron's options. The current e-tron has access to a range of more subdued grayscale options with only two blue shades offering any reprieve. The Q8 gets more light hues and the extroverted Dragon Orange, which should look splendid on the Q8 e-tron. As for now, we can only speculate which way Audi will go.
The Audi Q8 e-tron's exterior dimensions are similar to the 2023 e-tron. Its length, width, and height are 193.5, 76.3, and 65.6 inches, respectively, and it has the same 115.3-inch wheelbase. This means it's more compact than a Q8 by a few inches all around. For comparison's sake, the BMW iX has smaller dimensions, still, but rides on a longer 118.1-inch wheelbase.
In terms of curb weight, the Q8 e-tron tips the scales at 5,798 pounds. .
The Audi Q8 e-tron's electric motors have the same specs as last year and still produce 355 horsepower and 414 lb-ft of torque in the Q8 55 e-tron, which will be the base US powertrain. This is increased momentarily to 402 hp and 490 lb-ft in boost mode. No 0-60 mph figures haven't been published, but Audi has limited the top speed of these models to 124 mph. The potential weight increase does seem to affect performance and the 2024 Q8 e-tron's 0-60-mph time comes in at 5.4 seconds - a little slower than the previous model.
The front motor stays the same, but the rear motor now has 14 coils generating its electromagnetic field, up from 12, which means it can generate more torque with the same electricity or the same with less electricity, helping increase efficiency. The Q8 e-tron's towing capacity remains at a maximum of 4,000 lbs.
To drive, the Q8 e-tron should be even better than before. It has a standard air-spring suspension which has been retuned. Revised progressive steering, more rigid suspension bearings on the front axle, and other adjusted chassis control systems have been implemented for enhanced responsiveness.
The electric range on a fully charged battery is 362 miles according to the optimistic European WLTP cycle, but Audi states an EPA range of 285 miles. MPGe figures are provided of 80/83/81 MPGe on city/highway/combined cycles. This is not as good as the 324-mile iX and 312-mile Lyriq, but is well clear of the aging Jaguar I-Pace's specs; the latter has a range of only 246 miles. The Audi Q8 Sportback e-tron with Ultra Package will manage a more competitive 300 miles, however.
There is a European Q8 50 e-tron with a smaller battery, but the US will only get the Q8 55 e-tron with the 114-kWh battery - of which 106 kWh is its usable capacity. This is 19 kWh up on the 2023 e-tron's 95-kWh battery. Fitted in the same space as the previous battery, the new one is more energy-dense, while charging performance has also been improved. The maximum charging speed on a Level 3 DC fast charger has been increased from 150 kW to 170 kW, which means the battery can be charged from ten to 80 percent in 31 minutes.
Audi says that the Q8 e-tron will come standard with the Plug & Charge function but has not clarified whether this refers to the GM-hosted system in the US, in which case the Audi would be able to make use of GM's Ultium Charge 360 ecosystem. What we do know is that you'll be able to charge your Q8 e-tron at any of VW's Electrify America charging stations and, hopefully, soon at any Tesla Supercharger station as well.
The interior of the Audi Q8 e-tron hasn't changed and that's because there was no need. It's still as tastefully presented and luxuriously trimmed as it's always been, and made from top-quality materials. Leather seating surfaces are standard and various types of aluminum, wood, and sustainable materials are on the trim menu. Several parts of the interior, including the Dinamica faux Alcantara used on the seats of the Audi Q8 e-tron (when equipped with the S Line package), are made from recycled PET bottles, and even the carpets and sound deadening feature extensive use of recycled materials. This helps the Q8 e-tron achieve a net-carbon-neutral certification in both the US and Europe.
The array of high-resolution screens looks futuristic but there is no rotary controller like BMW's iDrive offers. This means you'll be poking at all those screens a lot while on the move, which is never a satisfactory substitute for hard buttons that can be located and operated while keeping your eyes on the road. At least you can use voice commands too. The HD Audi Virtual Cockpit digital gauge cluster is standard and there are twin center-console displays - a 10.1-inch infotainment screen higher up and an 8.6-inch HVAC touchscreen below that.
There is plenty of space inside and it's even more practical thanks to a flat floor. The second row is spacious, with nearly 40 inches of legroom, but it doesn't offer quite as much shoulder room for three across as an iX or Lyriq. Cargo capacity for the 2024 Audi Q8 e-tron remains the same, at 28.5 cubic feet with the rear seats in use. This figure is similar to the Lyriq but well short of the iX's 35.5-cube cavern.
With the seats down, the total cargo space of 56.4 cubes is ample but also well short of the competition. The frunk in the nose provides an additional 2.2 cubic feet of storage space.
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