If you want a premium electric SUV that combines luxury, technology, performance, and efficiency, check out the new Audi Q8 e-tron. This is Audi's flagship electric SUV, based on the popular Q8 model, but with a redesigned exterior, improved battery capacity, and higher charging performance. The Q8 e-tron is available in two body styles - SUV and Sportback - and three powertrain options - 50, 55, and S - each offering different levels of power and range. The Q8 e-tron also comes in four trim levels - Sport, S Line, Black Edition, and Vorsprung - each featuring a variety of standard equipment and optional packages.
The Q8 e-tron is designed to appeal to existing Audi customers who want to switch to electric mobility and new buyers looking for a premium electric SUV that doesn't compromise on quality or comfort. The Q8 e-tron doesn't look like a typical electric car; it has a sleek and elegant appearance that blends in with the rest of the Audi lineup. However, it also has some distinctive features that set it apart from its combustion counterparts, such as the closed-off grille with horizontal slats, the Matrix LED headlights with digital daytime running lights (optional on some models), and the aerodynamic wheels.
The Audi Q8 e-tron is powered by two electric motors, one on each axle, that provide all-wheel drive and instant torque. The 50 e-tron model has a total output of 308 horsepower and 398 lb-ft of torque, while the 55 e-tron model has 402 horsepower and 490 lb-ft of torque. The SQ8 e-tron is the most powerful version, with 496 horsepower and 718 lb-ft of torque. The acceleration of the Q8 e-tron is strong but not as thrilling as some of its rivals. The 50 e-tron can sprint from zero to 60 mph in 6.8 seconds, while the 55 e-tron can do it in 5.7 seconds. The Audi SQ8 e-tron is the quickest, with a zero-to-60-mph time of 4.5 seconds.
The Audi Q8 e-tron has a large battery pack that provides a long driving range and fast charging capability. The battery pack has a nominal voltage of 396 volts and two different sizes: 89 kWh net (95 kWh gross) for the 50 e-tron models and 106 kWh net (114 kWh gross) for the 55 e-tron and SQ8 e-tron models. The battery pack consists of prismatic cells that are stacked in layers to increase energy density and efficiency. The battery pack also has an indirect cooling system that keeps it in the optimal temperature range for performance and longevity.
The Audi Q8 e-tron can charge at up to 150 kW for the smaller battery pack or up to 170 kW for the larger battery pack, using a DC fast-charging station with a CCS (combined charging system) connector. It can charge from ten to eighty percent in about half an hour, which is very convenient for long-distance trips. Under ideal conditions, this corresponds to a range of up to 261 miles for the smaller battery pack or up to 420 kilometers (261 miles) for the larger battery pack, according to WLTP standards.
The Audi Q8 e-tron also supports AC charging at home or at public stations using a Type-2 connector. It can charge at up to 11 kW with a single-phase or three-phase connection, which takes about nine hours for the smaller battery pack or eleven hours for the larger battery pack to charge fully.
The Q8 e-tron also has an intelligent energy management system that optimizes efficiency and performance based on various factors such as driving style, route profile, traffic situation, weather conditions, and battery status. The driver can choose from seven driving modes using the Audi drive select system: comfort, auto, dynamic, efficiency, individual, offroad, and allroad. Each mode adjusts the settings of the suspension, steering, throttle response, transmission, and quattro system to suit different driving scenarios.
One of the key features of the Q8 e-tron is its regenerative braking system, which recovers kinetic energy during deceleration and converts it into electricity to recharge the battery. The Audi Q8 e-tron has three ways of regenerating energy: automatic recuperation, manual recuperation via paddle shifters on the steering wheel, and brake pedal recuperation. In automatic mode, the Q8 e-tron decides when to recuperate based on predictive data from sensors and cameras or adaptive cruise assist. In manual mode, the driver can select from three levels of recuperation using the paddle shifters: level 0 for coasting with no drag torque, level 1 for balanced deceleration, and level 2 for strong deceleration. In brake pedal mode, the Q8 e-tron uses a combination of electric motors and hydraulic brakes to slow down smoothly and efficiently.
The regenerative braking system can recover up to 90% of kinetic energy during normal deceleration scenarios, which can significantly extend the driving range of the Q8 e-tron. Using GPS data and navigation information, the system can also adapt to different road conditions, such as downhill slopes or curves. The Audi Q8 e-tron also has a brake-by-wire system that ensures a consistent brake feel regardless of whether electric or hydraulic brakes are used. The brake discs are coated with tungsten carbide to reduce wear and dust.
The Audi Q8 e-tron has a luxurious, high-tech interior that offers comfort and convenience for both the driver and passengers. The interior is centered around two touchscreens - a 10.1-inch unit situated above an 8.6-inch display - that handle almost every function, although drivers can also use voice commands. The upper screen controls the infotainment system, which features Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, wireless charging, navigation, and Audi connect services. The lower screen controls the climate settings, seat heating and ventilation, and other vehicle functions. The Q8 e-tron also has a 12.3-inch digital instrument cluster that displays various information such as speed, range, battery status, driving modes, and navigation directions.
The Q8 e-tron offers a range of options to customize the interior according to personal preferences and needs. Options include features such as a head-up display, four-zone climate control, massaging seats, panoramic sunroof, Bang & Olufsen sound system, ambient lighting, advanced key, and leather upholstery. A light brown walnut wood interior trim is new for the Q8 e-tron. The Audi Q8 e-tron also offers plenty of space for five adults and their luggage, with generous headroom and legroom in both rows. The cargo capacity is 28.5 cubic feet behind the rear seats, which can be expanded to 57 cubic feet by folding them down.
The Q8 e-tron is a comfortable and convenient electric SUV and a safe and smart one. The Q8 e-tron comes with many standard safety features such as lane departure warning, rearview camera, parking system with 360 sensors, and camera traffic sign recognition. It also offers optional features such as adaptive cruise control with active lane assist, park assist plus with parking aid plus, side assist with rear cross-traffic alert, traffic jam assist, and night vision assistant. These features help prevent or mitigate accidents by monitoring the vehicle's surroundings and providing warnings or interventions when needed.
The Audi Q8 e-tron is a compelling choice for luxury electric SUV buyers who value comfort, technology, and efficiency over performance and range. The Q8 e-tron offers a refined and spacious interior, a smooth and quiet ride, a sleek and elegant design, and a host of advanced safety and convenience features. The Q8 e-tron also has improved battery capacity, range, and charging performance compared with the previous e-tron model, making it more competitive with its rivals.
However, the Q8 e-tron has its drawbacks. The Audi Q8 e-tron is slower and more agile than some of its competitors, such as the BMW iX or the Tesla Model X. The Q8 e-tron also does not have a standout feature that sets it apart from other electric SUVs in terms of innovation or style. The Q8 e-tron looks very similar to its combustion siblings, which may appeal to some buyers who want a conventional-looking Audi but may disappoint others who want something more distinctive or futuristic.
The Q8 e-tron is a very conventional Audi, built to persuade regular SUV buyers to make the EV jump. It is not a radical departure from the brand's DNA but rather an evolution of it. The Audi Q8 e-tron is a well-rounded and well-executed electric SUV that delivers on most aspects of luxury and technology. However, it may not be enough to sway buyers who are looking for something more exciting or groundbreaking in their electric mobility experience. @via Audi.