Audi has given its flagship electric SUV a new moniker to keep things simple and prevent customers from getting confused with their models.
First known as the e-tron, the refreshed EV crossover is now called the Q8 e-tron to differentiate it from the rest of Audi's electric lineup. And yes, the name change also comes with a few tweaks to the crossover's look and its electric powertrain.
The Q8 e-tron has a slightly new face to begin with, as the new grille design now features a light bar, connecting with the headlights. In addition, the revised grille presents a new version of Audi's signature four rings logo, while being masked with a contrasting color. The side faux intakes have also become larger, while the headlights get a new lamp signature.
Inside, the Q8 e-tron is largely unchanged, but Audi added the remote park assist plus which can navigate the SUV through tight parking spots while the owner controls the process via the smartphone app. Much like James Bond in Tomorrow Never Dies.
Like before, the Q8 e-tron is available in either the regular crossover shape and the coupe-like Sportback version, together with the two variants called 50 and 55. But for 2023, there's a hotter version called the SQ8, which has the most potent powertrain in the Q8 e-tron lineup. And since it's an Audi, all variants come with electric all-wheel-drive.
The base Q8 50 e-tron models generate 340 PS and 664 Nm of torque in boost mode, and has an estimated range of up to 505 km in Sportback trim. Meanwhile, the 55 e-tron produces 408 PS and 664 Nm, while having a longer estimated range of up to 600 km.
On the other hand, the top-spec SQ8 e-tron gets three electric motors instead of the standard two, and in turn, makes 503 PS and 973 Nm of torque. The range of the S models are as follows: up to 494 km for the SUV and 513 km for the Sportback. The 50 variant has a 95 kWh battery pack, while the 55 and SQ8 gets the larger 114 kWh unit.
Aside from the bigger battery capacity, the improved range is also credited to the Q8 e-tron's more streamlined body. According to Audi, the SUV now has a drag coefficient of 0.27 (from 0.28), while the Sportback version is much slicker, dropping to 0.24 (0.26 in the earlier model).
For its charging capability, the Q8 50 e-tron models can charge at a 150 kW DC fast charger, while the 55 and SQ8 variants can be plugged in to a faster 170 kW charger, which can juice up the batteries for 420 km of range in just 31 minutes.
In terms of performance, the base 50 model can reach 100 km/h from a standstill in 6 seconds, while the 55 cuts it to 5.6 seconds. The SQ8 e-tron further drops it further to 4.5 seconds. Both the 50 and 55 variants are limited to a 200 km/h top speed, while the SQ8 can reach 210 km/h.
Audi has yet to announce prices for the Q8 e-tron, but said the updated flagship electric SUV will be available to order starting mid-November, with dealer rollouts expected anytime between February to April 2023.