The etron was the name of the first electric vehicle Audi ever launched. Simple and memorable, yet the original e-tron needs its own identity as “e-tron” is now the company’s electric sub-brand (e-tron GT, Q4 e-tron). Here comes Audi Q8 e-tron. The updated e-Tron now occupies a well-established position at the top of Audi’s lineup of electric SUVs thanks to its new nomenclature.
There is a lot new with the renovation in addition to the new name. The range has been greatly increased, which is essential for an EV nowadays. It is also much nicer to drive, and of course, has a new appearance.
The exterior of the Q8 etron
The Q8 e-tron is similar to the original e-tron in that it excludes any radical styling cues that scream electric and has very plain and “normal” aesthetics. However, in our opinion, the Q8 e-tron is more aesthetically pleasing. The grille receives numerous separate apertures at the front, and the outside ends of the bumpers have enormously flared recesses with a multifaceted surface. Audi has done a fantastic job of making the vehicle look bold and sporty.
The grille now has an extremely cool recessed LED light strip that casts a glow over the grille and emblem below. The headlights still have the Audi characteristic light design.
The SUV, as well as Sportback, are the two available body types, like before. The SUV has an inbuilt spoiler on top of the windscreen, but the Sportback has a lip spoiler on the boot lid and a sharply sloped tailgate and windscreen. Apart from that distinction, the two share a lot of similarities. Both cars feature the same bumper and diffuser design as the pre-facelift, and both have an LED light bar that spans the width of the body.
Along with the improvements to the exterior, Audi also decreased the drag coefficient, which went from 0.28 to 0.27 for the Q8 e-tron and from 0.26 to 0.24 for the Q8 Sportback e-tron.
Interior of the Q8 etron
Once inside, you can immediately tell it’s an “Audi.” The only modifications to the components are in the trim pieces and colors, which is wonderful because not many components have changed. The cabin exudes quality and is extremely well-built and comfortable to the touch.
Additionally, it has a very technological vibe to it due to the abundance of screens. Although the HVAC screen has haptic feedback, viewing it requires you to take your eyes off the road. After that, camera-fed screens take the place of the outside rearview mirrors. Although there are times when you may see more clearly because of the light and weather, for the most part, mirrors are just superior.
We were delighted by the e-functional Tron’s interior, and the Q8 doesn’t disappoint either. The Q8’s interior is comparable to that of the older vehicle because it was constructed on the same MLB platform. As a result, the floor is nearly flat, and although the battery is below, you don’t end up kneeling up as you do in some EVs.
The seats are cozy and comfortable, and there is enough room for everyone. Although the headroom in the Sportback is less, it was still adequate for my 5-foot 8-inch frame. Rear space is also acceptable. Additionally, there is a 62-liter front storage trunk or “frunk,” and the SUV’s boot has 569 liters of room compared to the Sportback’s 528.
Driving and Range of the Q8 etron
The major change to the new car is a longer driving range, which has been achieved by the installation of larger batteries and an enhanced battery management system. Thus, the 71kWh battery from the previous 50 versions is no longer available, and the new 50 edition cars now come with the 95kWh battery from the previous 55 trim.
The driving range for the SUV and Sportback has increased from 300 km and 347 km to 491 km and 505 km, respectively, due to the greater size and system upgrades. The new 55-version cars receive a larger 114kWh pack, increasing the range for the SUV and Sportback from 411km to 582km and 600km, respectively, from 411km and 446km.
Naturally, charging periods vary depending on the size and speed of the battery, but the 55 requires 11 and a half hours to recharge completely using an 11 kW AC charger, whereas 10 to 80 percent of the charge may be completed in 30 minutes using a 150 kW DC charger.
Performance and Handling of the Q8 etron
First, the bad news: India will not receive the SQ8 version. Yes, that’s true, but the good news is that 50 and 55 trim cars will be available in both SUV and Sportback body designs. After driving the 55 version on the stunning Canary Island of Lanzarote, I can attest to the 55 variant’s high level of amusement and comfort when operating it.
From behind the wheel, the Q8 really feels rather agile and handles well and predictably. There are also different drive modes that change the weight of the steering, and the ‘Comfort’ setting is the easiest and most practical for city driving. The air springs’ ability to adjust ride height by 76mm will come in helpful in this situation.
Price and Conclusion
So when will the Q8 e-tron be available in India? The anticipated debut window is July to August 2023, and you can anticipate that it will cost slightly more than the existing e-tron. Therefore, the 50 trim’s starting price of Rs 1.3 crore (ex-showroom) is quite expensive. The Q8 e-tron, however, benefits from the fact that the original vehicle was already a wise investment. It was the victor in our group comparison, and the Q8’s interiors are still useful and cosy. Additionally, it now looks smarter, drives better, and has a far greater range. As it stands, the new Q8 e-tron is doing incredibly well.