Audi Q8 Offers Increased Range, Faster Charging

Audi pays particular attention to the Q8 e-tron’s aerodynamics, enlarging and adding spoilers while updating the front fascia to streamline airflow through, around and under the automaker’s flagship e-tron CUV.

Tanya Gazdik

June 13, 2023

5 Min Read
Audi Q8 Sportback e-tron
Audi Q8 Sportback BEV arriving at dealerships now.Tanya Gazdik

HEALDSBURG, CA – Audi is rolling out its renamed ’24 Q8 e-tron with improved range and faster charging.

Powertrain upgrades improve performance and efficiency while steering and chassis refinements result in a more engaging drive.

Enhanced aerodynamics result in a 6% drag coefficient improvement due in part to a self-sealing aero system in the front grille and a more aerodynamic standard wheel design, says Anthony Garbis, senior manager for product planning at Audi of America.

The design includes enlarging the spoilers ahead of the front axle on both CUV and Sportback models, and the addition of new rear spoilers on the Sportback models.

Working closely with the updated design of the front fascia, which routes incoming air through apertures in the front bumper cover and helps create a virtual air curtain from the front of the vehicle, management of airflow through, around and under the car has been streamlined, lowering air resistance, Garbis says.

“The drag reduction is very helpful, especially at high speed,” Garbis tells Wards. “When you get above 67 mph (108 km/h), then the aerodynamic efficiency of your car really comes into account.”

With 23% greater net capacity of 106 kWh (114 kWh gross) from the previous model e-tron, the new Q8 e-tron improves on the battery pack’s usable capacity, utilizing 93% vs. the previous 91%, thanks to adjustments to the battery-management system.

Coupled with advancements in cell technology and cell chemistry, the maximum DC charging power increases from 150 kW to 170 kW, permitting recharging from 10% to 80% capacity in about 31 minutes. Under ideal Level 2 charging conditions, the Q8 e-tron can recharge in about 13 hours at 9.6 kW, or about 6.5 hours at 19.2 kW.

The asynchronous rear motor now includes 14 windings instead of 12 to generate a stronger magnetic field with similar electric input, Garbis notes. The rear-biased drivetrain prioritizes the more efficient rear motor and offers more than a 30% increase in EPA-estimated range, up to 300 miles (483 km) for the Q8 Sportback e-tron with ultra package.

Audi says the CUV accelerates to 60 mph (97 km/h) in 5.4 seconds with a top speed of 124 mph (200 km/h). A 114-kWh lithium-ion battery provides an EPA-estimated 285-mile (459-km) range.

Both the Sportback and CUV drivetrains make 402 hp and 490 lb.-ft. (664 Nm) of torque.

Audi Q8 e-tron Sportback interior (T.Gazdik).jpg

Audi Q8 e-tron Sportback interior (T.Gazdik)

The front axle is used when higher performance is sought, particularly in low-traction situations, or where additional stability is needed, such as the curvy roads on our test drive.

To further leverage the improved driving dynamics of the vehicle and enhance the personalization, the drive select functions have been recalibrated to incorporate greater differentiation between the seven modes (offroad, all-road, efficiency, comfort, auto, dynamic and individual).

We tried out dynamic mode on winding roads and noticed improved cornering response. The recalibrated electronic stability control program allows for a more dynamic, engaging driving experience. Comfort and auto offered a similar feel during the flat and straight portions of the drive.

Audi is offering the Q8 e-tron (formerly known as simply the e-tron) as both a Sportback and CUV. We drove both the Sportback S line in the limited-issue Launch edition and the CUV in the Prestige trim level.

The name change highlights the Q8’s position as Audi’s flagship e-tron CUV, Garbis says. The vehicle features a new, laser-etched, B-pillar badging (standardized across all future models) and a new Singleframe projection-light grille and a minimalist two-dimension logo.

We drove the Sportback two legs. In the first 28-mile (45-km) segment, we record 2.9 mi/kWh and use 24 miles (39 km) of range. In the second 33-mile (53-km) segment, we record 2.5 mi/kWh and use 49 miles (79 km) of range.

We also drove the SUV two legs. On the first, which was 59 miles (95 km) of primarily twisty mountain roads, we used 58 miles (93 km) of range and recorded 2.5 mi/kWh.

The second portion of the drive (53 miles [85 km]) was through a redwood forest plus a stretch of freeway. We recorded 2.5 mi/kWh and used 76 miles (122 km) of range. The outdoor temperature had climbed from 63° F (17° C) in the morning to 89° F (32° C) by late afternoon, so the afternoon drive in the CUV required considerably more A/C usage.

Audi Q8 e-tron 2nd row screenshot.png

Audi Q8 e-tron 2nd row screenshot

We noticed improved driving dynamics thanks to a 50% stiffer front control arm bushing for more direct steering response and a quicker 14.6:1 steering ratio. The result is a more agile but also sure-footed driving experience. The vehicle performed beautifully on winding mountain roads.

NVH is reduced – Garbis calls the vehicle “freaky quiet” – thanks to available dual-pane acoustic window glass. The interior features standard four-zone automatic climate control with a heat pump and comfort pre-conditioning. Available individual contour front seats with massage and pneumatic bolsters add comfort while the open-pore wood decorative inlays imbue a touch of elegance.

The Q8 vehicle is arriving at dealerships now and will be broadly available by summer.

Pricing on the CUV starts at $74,400 for the Premium trim level. Premium Plus starts at $78,800 and features a Bang & Olufsen audio system along with ventilated front seats. The Prestige edition starting at $84,800 features Valcona/Milano leather seats.

The Launch edition starts at $87,550 and includes orange piping on the seats, 21-in. wheels in a metallic black finish and an S-line exterior with body-color front grille along with black roof rails, mirror housings and exterior trim.

Pricing on the Sportback starts at $77,800 for Premium, $82,200 for Premium Plus, $88,200 for Prestige and $91,500 for the Launch edition.

Purchases include two years of Electrify America DC fast charging. Also included is one week of Always Audi rental service where customers can opt for a gas-powered vehicle at participating dealers.

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