Audi is not saying directly that the vehicle in these photos is the facelifted version of the E-Tron electric SUV, but we’re pretty sure that’s what it is, at least in part. We can see that grille has a different pattern and the strong red color used in the livery could suggest the manufacturer may in fact also teasing the first RS performance variant of the e-Tron - Audi has teased performance models in this way in the past.
The prototype took part in the third edition of the E-Cannonball, the biggest electric vehicle rally in Germany that started and ended in Hamburg. It wasn’t the only unusual one-off EV that took part because Opel brought its Manta GSe EV conversion restomod, although only the former is actually previewing something that will go into production.
Gallery: Possible 2023 Audi Q8 E-Tron teaser
In the press release accompanying the photos you see in the gallery, Audi said absolutely nothing about the vehicle, other than the fact that it had taken part in the E-Cannonball. The release actually says the automaker is deliberately trying to keep some secrets, but we believe we already know some of them.
They may be based on speculation and rumors, but an older report published by Autocar said that the updated Audi e-Tron would get a significant battery update that will improve its range and charging speed. The same report also said the vehicle would feature new and more efficient motors and that together these changes would result in a dramatic increase in usable range to over 373 miles (600 km).
Another secret may be the fact that the camouflage is hiding the first RS-badged version of the e-Tron, which may also get a never-before-seen three-motor setup that will make it considerably quicker than any previous version. Before the arrival of the Tesla Model S Plaid, Audi was proudly announcing that it would be the first automaker to bring a tri-motor EV to market, and even though it hasn’t fulfilled that promise, we know it’s in the works.
Audi is expected to reveal an updated e-Tron this year (possibly at the Paris Motor Show in October), and it will be kept on sale until 2026 when it will be replaced by an all-new model called the Q8 e-Tron, which will sit above the Q6 e-Tron in the lineup.