And there's an all-new tri-motor SQ8.
Audi has been building dedicated battery electric vehicles (BEVs) for roughly four years - notwithstanding the Audi A3 e-tron that shared a platform with the regular A3. The full BEV lineup started with the basic e-tron, and its name became the basis for all models that came after. But the e-tron has now been facelifted, and with it, Audi has rechristened it the Q8 e-tron, replete with a Q8 e-tron Sportback coupe-SUV sibling.
The two 'new' models obviously have several e-tron design cues, but Audi is also using these new models to introduce a new corporate identity. These design features include a two-dimensional four rings logo, a projection light for the Singleframe grille, and a new model badge with Audi lettering on the B-pillar.
It's the largest of all the e-trons, measuring 193.5 inches long, 74.8 inches wide, and 63.7 inches tall. It's smaller than the gas-powered Q8 in every direction, but thanks to a flat-floor layout, customers get copious amounts of interior space and a useful 2.2 cubic-foot frunk.
Both body styles will have access to three drivetrain options, all of which are all-wheel-drive.
The Q8 50 e-tron's dual-motor setup produces 335 horsepower (in Boost mode) and 490 lb-ft of torque. According to the WLTP test cycle, the standard SUV has a range of up to 307 miles, while the slippier Sportback can reach 316 miles.
The 55 models increase the power to 402 hp, but the torque figure remains the same. The range increases to 364 miles for the SUV and 375 miles for the Sportback.
Speedier drivers will enjoy the all-new SQ8 e-tron, powered by a three-motor setup. With three motors, the power output increases to 496 hp and 718 lb-ft. The SUV can achieve 309 miles in SQ trim, while the Sportback will go 321 miles.
Obviously, these figures are not worth much in the USA. The EPA's testing cycle is more thorough, but Audi's local representatives said the range would be more than 300 miles.
Because it now carries the Q8 badge, the revised e-tron needed to be sportier. All models come standard with an adaptive air suspension and revised stability control system that Audi says will allow for more maneuverability in tight corners. Audi also revised the progressive steering for quicker responses and added more rigid suspension bearings on the front axle.
The tree-motor setup in the SQ8 allowed Audi to play around a bit more. It has a 124 kW motor at the front and two 98 kW at the rear. Each rear motor powers a single wheel, and the torque can be diverted in a split second, resulting in strong torque vectoring capabilities.
The 50 e-tron's battery has a storage capacity of 89 kWh (95 kWh gross), while the 55 and SQ8 are equipped with a larger 106 kWh (114 kWh gross) battery. This has increased the weight of the battery by roughly 44 pounds.
Thanks to the battery management system upgrades, the Q8 50 can use a 150 kW fast charger, while the more powerful models can charge up to 170 kW. The larger 106 kWh battery can be charged from 10% to 80% in roughly 30 minutes. At an AC charging station or wallbox, the Audi Q8 e-tron charges up to 11 kW. Audi offers an optional AC charging performance of up to 22 kW. That means charging at home will take roughly 11 hours using an 11 kW outlet and six hours at 22 kW.
All models come standard with Audi's Plug & Charge function. At compatible stations, you merely plug the car in, and the billing happens automatically. Audi also announced that its existing e-tron Charging Service will be replaced by a new charging service in 2023.
On the inside, the layout is pretty much the same as it was on the e-tron; a big VW Group interior update is only expected in 2025. You get more screens than you'll find in the local electronics store. Audi's 12.3-inch virtual cockpit is standard, as is a 10.1-inch diagonal top display and an 8.6-inch diagonal display right beneath it. It still lacks physical buttons, so we can only hope that Audi made some improvements to this system, which has been a thorn in the side of many since the stacked center console made its debut in 2019 on several Audis.
Other standard features include perforated leather, dual-zone climate control, a glass panoramic roof, and new optional wood and sustainable material inlays.
Audi also says the Q8 e-tron will be certified as net-carbon-neutral for customers in Europe and the USA. In short, the Germans are using recycled materials for insulation, dampening, and carpeting.
The order books for the Audi Q8 e-tron and Audi Q8 Sportback e-tron will open in mid-November. It's expected to arrive in the USA at the end of April.
Audi only released the base price for Germany, which will be 74,400 euros. The outgoing e-tron started at €69,100, so the price increase is not that drastic.
The 2023 e-tron, still available to order, starts at roughly $70k in the USA, so we expect the same pricing structure. Some of the features, such as the optional Digital Matrix LED headlights, illuminated grille, and camera-based side mirrors, are still illegal in the States. The lighting features can be added later via an over-the-air update, but the Q8 will be sold with old-school side mirrors in the USA.