The new Audi Q8 e-tron, the latest addition to Audi’s e-tron family of EVs, made its regional premiere recently. Audi’s new flagship SUV comes with significant changes when compared to its ICE equivalent. It has a sharper design and improved dynamic driving characteristics. It has high battery capacity and charging performance. The Q8 e-tron is the first model to carry the new two-dimensional logo.
Audi entered the age of electromobility in 2018 with the Audi e-tron. With the Q8 e-tron, Audi’s electric portfolio now comprises six models. By 2026, the brand plans to have more than 20 in its collection. At that point, Audi will only be releasing fully electric models on the global market, in line with its corporate strategy ‘Vorsprung 2030’.
Following its presentation, Carsten Bender, Managing Director of Audi Middle East, said: “The introduction of the Audi Q8 e-tron marks an exciting time for the brand in the Middle East, which is one of the first global markets to make this model available to customers. It carries on where our pioneer Audi e-tron left off, but under a new name and refreshed comfort. With the Audi Q8 e-tron, I am excited to introduce customers in the region to the top-of-the-line model in our electric SUV portfolio and to continue our corporate strategy, Vorsprung 2030.”
With its nomenclature, Audi is making a clear statement that the Q8 e-tron is the top model among its electric SUVs and crossovers. The Audi Q8 e-tron and Q8 Sportback e-tron are easily identifiable as fully electric models because of the new front and rear designs. They feature the characteristic Singleframe mask, the inverted grille and blade above the redesigned rear diffuser.
Inside, the Q8 e-tron has four-zone automatic climate control and various optional extras. These include an air quality package, massage seats, contour seats, and an ambient light package that further enhances the SUV’s luxurious feel. There is also an optional glass panorama roof, which makes the interior appear lighter and reinforces the sense of airiness and expansiveness.
Three-stage ventilation delivers comfortable seating, even at high outdoor temperatures. This is available for the standard seats, whose leather is intricately perforated. All interiors come with optional decorative inlays of porous wood veneers such as grainy ash and sycamore, or aluminium. New additions include light brown walnut wood and a technical material made partially from recycled PET bottles.
The Q8 e-tron range comprises three models with two drivetrain variants. The 55 e-tron and Sportback 55 e-tron are both powered by two motors, and generate 300 kW in boost mode and 664 Nm of torque. They have reported ranges of up to 582 and 600 kilometres respectively. The top-of-the-range SQ8 Sportback e-tron is powered by three motors and generates 370 kW in boost mode and 973 Nm of torque. It has a range of up to 513 kilometres. All three come with electric all-wheel drive for the driver to engage when required.
At a fast-charging station, the Q8 55 e-tron’s maximum charging performance increases up to 170 kW. The big battery can be charged from 10 to 80 per cent during a 31-minute charging session under ideal conditions. This corresponds to a range of up to 420 kilometres. At an AC charging station or wall box, the Audi Q8 e-tron charges at up to 11 kW, with Audi offering an optional AC charging performance of up to 22 kW.
The Audi Q8 e-tron will be the first model to feature the new two-dimensional design of the four rings badge along with Audi lettering on the B-pillar. Audi will now use the new Singleframe light spoiler to highlight the four rings as a central element.
Sustainability is a key area of development for Audi, with a stated aim to be a net-zero carbon emissions company by no later than 2050, and carbon neutral by as early as 2025. In line with this commitment, the Q8 e-tron will roll out from the first carbon-neutral high-volume production plant in the premium segment. The Audi Q8 e-tron range is scheduled to be in showrooms across the Middle East in the second half of 2023.