The high-performance version of Audi’s new Q8 e-tron – dubbed the SQ8 e-tron – is now available to order in the UK with prices starting at £97,500. The performance model sits above the two existing ‘50’ and ‘55’ versions in the Q8 e-tron line-up, and the first UK customers are expected to receive their cars this summer.

As the flagship model in the Q8 e-tron range, the new SQ8 e-tron will be offered in both standard SUV and fastback-inspired Sportback body styles. Prices will start at £97,500 for the SUV, while the Sportback will command a premium of £2,500 to start at a nice, round £100,000.

Customers get a choice of two different trim levels – Black Edition and Vorsprung – as well as getting the SQ8 e-tron’s high-performance powertrain. Like the ‘55’ versions of the Q8 e-tron, the SQ8 e-tron comes with a 106 kWh battery pack, but whereas the ‘55’ variants have two electric motors, the SQ8 e-tron gets a third for extra power.

Gallery: Audi SQ8 e-tron Sportback 2023

With two motors positioned at the rear and one at the front, the car produces a combined power output of 496 bhp and 718 lb-ft of torque. With that system providing all-wheel-drive traction, the SQ8 e-tron will be capable of 0-62 mph in 4.5 seconds and a top speed of 130 mph.

Customers who choose the Black Edition trim will get adaptive air suspension, S-specific exterior styling and a Park Assist Pack that includes a 360-degree camera. Interior equipment includes electrically adjustable front super sport seats with S embossed logo in Valcona leather, along with the Audi Virtual cockpit digital instrument display. Keyless entry and start, a head-up display and a Bang & Olufsen sound system are also included, not to mention four-zone automatic climate control.

Moving up to the Vorsprung increases the price significantly – the SUV starts at £114,500 – and you get larger alloy wheels, as well as the Virtual Door Mirrors, which use cameras and small screens in the door card to ‘see’ the road behind, rather than using conventional door mirrors.

“We’ve already seen huge interest and demand for our new Q8 e-tron model lineup with its introduction to the UK market back in March,” commented Andrew Doyle, the director of Audi UK. “The arrival of the SQ8 e-tron completes our new-look electric flagship model range and sets a new benchmark for performance and driving dynamics in the segment.”

Gallery: Audi SQ8 e-tron 2023