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Test Drive: 2024 Audi Q8 e-tron

Five years after the original e-tron was introduced an evolution in design and engineering is delivered

In the growing and evolving landscape of electric vehicles, Audi has consistently been early and pushed the boundaries of innovation with their e-tron models with a focused intent to smoothly transition new customers to the EV world. With the introduction of the Audi Q8 e-tron, they have revisited their original electric SUV from 2019 that was based largely on the Q5 and pushed it forward with more streamlined aerodynamics, better battery efficiency, improved driving performance and now a Sportback version. The Q8 e-tron also marks the introduction of a subtly evolved, new brand direction applied to the four rings and model badging.

Audi Q8 e-tron, by Josh Rubin

Drawing inspiration from the original Q8, married it with the original e-tron, this new car is the same dimensions as the former but bears more aggressive proportions. For customers interested in a less SUV-like shape, the coupe-like roofline of the Sportback version flows effortlessly to the taillights. On both shapes the sharp lines and sculpted contours create a sense of dynamic movement, while the front grille showcases the brands four rings which have been redesigned as narrower, flat lines that read as more sophisticated than the three dimensional version and also likely constitute an improvement (albeit minimal) to the overall aerodynamics.  Lines on the nose of the car have been extended to create a wider look and a new line of LED light spans between the headlamps to create a more futuristic look. In addition to the four rings, the model badging is also evolved and presented subtly on the outside of the B-pillar.

New Audi B-pillar model badging, by Josh Rubin

Inside the Q8 e-tron’s interior offers all the comfort, technology and sophistication seen in the current high-end of Audi’s line-up. Brushed metal, open-pore wood veneers and other premium materials are sculpted to define space without creating distraction. Audi’s Virtual Cockpit, a fully digital instrument cluster that seamlessly integrates with the dual-screen MMI touch response infotainment system, also remains consistent across the brand’s vehicles providing information and controls that are future-forward and at the same time, no frills. The Q8 e-tron’s interior is a quiet and generous space offering ample room for all passengers and cargo.

Audi Q8 e-tron interior, courtesy of Audi

As for the driving experience, the Audi Q8 e-tron sets new benchmarks for electric performance among their SUVs. Its powertrain delivers the instant torque that’s familiar among all EVs pushing the vehicle forward with impressive acceleration coming from front and rear motors. The motors and batteries are carefully integrated into the chassis, providing a low center of gravity that enhances agility and stability so the Q8 e-tron effortlessly glides through corners, thanks to its precise steering and well-tuned suspension system, offering a sporty yet refined driving experience. It’s a big SUV that drives like a performance sport sedan. And a forthcoming SQ8 model will add a third motor so there’s one on each rear wheel which we anticipate will offer an even more exciting cornering experience.

Audi Q8 Sportback e-tron, by Josh Rubin

Audi has equipped the Q8 e-tron with an updated battery system with 23% more capacity fit into the same physical space as the previous model resulting in an estimated 300 miles of range per charge. The system also supports faster DC charging which means it only takes 31 minutes to get from 10% to 80% on a Level-3 charger.

Audi Q8 Sportback e-tron, by Josh Rubin

The Audi Q8 e-tron is a thoughtful evolution of design and engineering, showcasing Audi’s clear commitment to electric mobility. Its striking aesthetics, luxurious interior and exhilarating driving dynamics make it a significant reference point in the electric SUV segment.

Audi Q8 Sportback e-tron with new four ring logo design, by Josh Rubin

Audi will begin deliveries of Q8 e-trons this Summer and its starting price is $74,400.

Lead image by Josh Rubin


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