6 Things We Need To Know About Audi’s Q8 e-tron
During our sneak preview of the electrified Q8, Audi’s spokesperson was quick to point out that the biggest change was its name. Previously, we had to second guess which e-tron the brand was referring to as they could be characterised from sedans to cosmic SUVs. But now it has made a definite attempt to streamline proceedings, starting with the brand’s hulking flagships - Q8 e-tron and Q8 Sportback e-tron. Electrified versions of the Q4 and Q6 with similar naming conventions will soon follow, but for now here are 6 things we need to know about the electrified Q8.
Apart from the new name, the Q8 e-tron ushers in a new corporate identity with a two-dimensional design of the four rings on the exterior. The model lettering with an Audi logo on the B-pillar is new as well.
For both body shapes, 3 drivetrain variants with electric all-wheel drive can be selected. The Q8 50 e-tron and Q8 50 Sportback e-tron are base models, while the Q8 55 e-tron and Q8 55 Sportback e-tron are mid-spec trims. These 4 variants are powered by 2 motors. The SQ8 e-tron and SQ8 Sportback e-tron are top spec trims and feature 3 motors. There are no plans yet for a RS variant.
Battery, performance and range
Two battery sizes can be selected. The battery of the Q8 50 e-tron has a capacity of 95 kWh, while the more powerful versions of the Q8 55 e-tron and SQ8 e-tron pack a 114 kWh battery. Its predecessor came with 71Kwh and 95 kWh options. Torque figures range from 664Nm to 973Nm, and range spans from 494km for the SQ8 e-tron up to 600km for the base Q8 50 Sportback e-tron.
Maximum charging performance ranges from 150 to 170 kW. Under ideal conditions, the larger battery should take 31 minutes to juice up. When quizzed about its lower peak charging capability compared to other brands, Audi mentioned that they are prioritising a flat charging curve, and peak charging capability should not be of prime importance. A 11 kW AC charger will be offered, with a choice to tick a 22 kW AC option. Audi has no plans yet to feature 800-volt architectures on their cars.
More torque, increased efficiency
The asynchronous motor concept of the Q8 e-tron on the rear axle was modified. There are now 14 instead of 12 coils generating electromagnetic fields. This simply means that more torque can be generated with similar electric input. If torque isn’t required, the electric motor requires less energy to generate torque, which in turn lowers consumption and increases range.
Air-spring suspension with controlled shock absorption now comes standard across the entire Q8 e-tron range. The gear ratio of the steering system has also been tuned to be more responsive. The “regular” Q8 powered by internal combustion engines do not benefit from the quicker steering ratio as they are based on different platforms.