The Audi Q8 E-Tron is the new name for the updated E-Tron. The revised moniker lets customers understand that this is the brand's flagship electric SUV. It arrives in both the standard, boxy body and Sportback with a rounder exterior.

Fresh Styling

Gallery: Audi Q8 e-tron 2023

The Q8 E-Tron has updated styling that includes a fresh nose. The area around the grille now has a self-sealing system and electric shutters that close around the radiator. The headlights have a new lamp signature, and there are illuminated sections of the grille.

Audi also tweaks the wheel spoilers on the underbody. The ones in front of the standard Q8 E-Tron are larger. In addition, the Q8 Sportback E-Tron now has these aero elements on the front and rear. The SQ8 Sportback E-Tron only has wheel spoilers at the back.

Compared to the E-Tron, the Q8 E-Tron has a drag coefficient of 0.27, rather than 0.28 previously. The Sportback's figure drops to 0.24 from 0.26 for the earlier model.

The Powertrain And Batteries

Gallery: Audi Q8 e-tron Sportback 2023

The Q8 E-Tron is available with two battery capacities and three powertrain options. The Q8 50 E-Tron and Sportback have a motor turning each axle making a total of 335 bhp (340 PS / 250 kilowatts) in Boost mode and 490 pound-feet (664 Newton-metres).

The battery has a capacity of 89 kilowatt-hours (95 kWh gross). In the WLTP test, this setup provides 281 miles for the boxy body and 290 miles for the Sportback.

The Q8 55 E-Tron and Sportback produce 402 bhp (408 PS / 300 kW) in Boost mode and 490 lb-ft. They get a battery with 104 kWh net (114 kWh gross). This provides 330 miles for the more angular body or 343 miles for the Sportback.

Finally, the SQ8 E-Tron and its Sportback counterpart have three electric motors – one at the front axle and two at the rear. This setup makes 496 bhp (503 PS / 370 kW) and 718 lb-ft (973 Nm). The vehicles use a 104-kWh battery. The boxy version of the model can go 284 miles on a charge, and the Sportback pushes the distance to 295 miles.

In terms of performance, the 50 model hits 62 miles per hour (100 kilometres per hour) in 6.0 seconds. The 55 cuts that time to 5.6 seconds, and the SQ8 E-Tron drops the figure to 4.5 seconds.

The 50 and 55 variants have a 124-mph (200-kph) limited top speed. The SQ8 pushes the maximum velocity to 131 mph (210 kph).

The table below shows these figures in a handy table:

Model Q8 50 E-Tron Q8 55 E-Tron SQ8 E-Tron
Horsepower 335 bhp 402 bhp 496 bhp
Torque 490 lb-ft 490 lb-ft 718 lb-ft
0-62 MPH Acceleration 6.0 seconds 5.6 seconds 4.5 seconds
Top Speed 124 mph 124 mph 130 mph
Battery Capacity (Net) 89 kWh 104 kWh 104 kWh
Range (UK version) 281 miles / 290 miles Sportback 330 miles / 343 miles Sportback 284 miles / 295 miles Sportback

Gallery: Audi SQ8 e-tron 2023

The Q8 50 E-Tron models can charge at up to 150 kW from a DC fast charger. The 55 and SQ8 variants increase this figure to 170 kW. The larger one can recoup 240 miles after plugging in for 31 minutes.

As standard, the vehicles can charge at 11 kW on AC power. A 22-kW capacity is an optional upgrade.

The Q8 E-Tron rides on an air suspension. Depending on the situation, it can vary the ride height by 76 millimetres (3 inches). Audi also tweaks the steering ratio for quicker response when the driver turns the wheel.

The Cabin

Gallery: Audi SQ8 e-tron Sportback 2023

Inside, the front occupants look at several high-resolution screens. The driver gets a digital instrument cluster. On the centre stack, there are a 10.1-inch diagonal infotainment monitor and an 8.6-inch diagonal one for the HVAC controls. A heads-up display is an option. In markets where they are allowed, there are available rear-facing side cameras instead of mirrors, and displays for them are on each side of the cabin.

The interior includes an opening, panoramic glass roof with blackout sunshades. Two-zone automatic climate control is standard, but buyers can upgrade to a four-zone setup. Massaging front seats are another option.

The Q8 E-Tron will have net-carbon-neutral certification in Europe and the US. The cabin uses recycled materials for the insulation, sound damping, and carpeting. The decoration above the centre-stack display partially comes from PET bottles.

The Q8 E-Tron driver assistance tech suite includes a new remote parking system. Customers can control the tech from a smartphone without being in the car.

The Q8 E-Tron and Sportback will launch in Europe in February 2024. In the UK order books open in November with first deliveries commencing in April. No UK pricing has been announced yet. Prices in Germany will start at €74,400. Deliveries in the US will start in late April, but Audi USA will disclose prices closer to launch.