Audi has had an electric SUV on the market, the E-Tron, since 2018, but now for its mid lifecycle update, the automaker has made a multitude of improvements and also changed the model’s name. The automaker chose simply call it the E-Tron at the time because it was its only EV, but now that it’s part of a growing range of electric models, it has been renamed Q8 E-Tron to better fit into the lineup.
Just as before, two body style versions are available: the Q8 E-Tron and the Q8 E-Tron Sportback, the latter being the coupe-like model with a fastback style roof. All-wheel drive is standard for all three model variants: the 50, 55 and SQ8 model, and the latter still comes with a tri-motor setup, making it the quickest of the three by far.
Gallery: Audi Q8 e-tron 2023
The Audi Q8 E-Tron S has two motors powering the rear axle and one in the front, together producing 496 horsepower (370 kilowatts) and 717 pound-feet (973 Newton meters) of torque. It can sprint to 62 mph (100 km/h) in 4.5 seconds and it’s also the fastest model, with a top speed of 130 mph (210 km/h).
One step down is the dual-motor 55 model, with a combined power output of 402 horsepower (300 kW) and peak torque rating of 490 lb-ft (664 Nm); it accelerates to 62 mph in 5.6 seconds. The least powerful variant is the 50 whose power output is slightly lower than the 55’s - 335 hp (250 kW) and the same torque output. It needs 6 seconds to reach 62 mph and just like the 55, it tops out at 124 mph (200 km/h).
Gallery: Audi Q8 e-tron Sportback 2023
Audi says it has improved the battery technology that is in these vehicles, and they are now around 20 percent more energy-dense than before. The 55 and S models get a larger battery pack with a total capacity of 114 kWh, while the 50 will come with a smaller 95 kWh pack. The former can store up to 104 kWh, while the latter has 89 kWh capacity.
With the facelift, Audi has also lowered the vehicles’ coefficient of drag and between the two body styles, the Q8 Sportback model is the slipperier of the two, allowing it to travel up to 373 miles (600 km) on one charge compared to 360 miles (580 km) in the SUV model. With the smaller battery, the Q8 is expected to achieve a range of around 298 miles (480 km), while the Q8 Sportback brings that up to 311 miles (500 km).
The range numbers are not EPA estimates, they are based on the WLTP test cycle, so they will change when the vehicle comes to the US.
Gallery: Audi SQ8 e-tron 2023
The Q8 E-Tron comes as standard with an 11 kW on-board charger, which can optionally be upgraded to 22 kW. Vehicles with the smaller battery pack will be able to DC fast charge at up to 150 kW and those with the larger pack get a boost to 170 kW; recharging to 80 percent takes 28 minutes for the small battery and 31 minutes for the big battery.
The exterior makeover isn’t the most noticeable, but Audi says the vehicle has revised front and rear fascia designs. It is the first Audi to feature the redesigned four-ring logo that is now flatter and more two-dimensional. Inside, the vehicle features new trim materials, seat belt buckles made out of recycled materials, revised infotainment screen and new sports seats covered in Dinamica microfiber.
Audi will begin deliveries of the Q8 E-Tron in early 2023 first in Europe, then in the US, so pricing and EPA range information will be announced closer to its debut.
Gallery: Audi SQ8 e-tron Sportback 2023