Audi introduced a mid-cycle update for its E-Tron electric mid-size SUV for 2024, with the update also introducing the new Q8 E-Tron name to better reflect the vehicle’s positioning in Audi’s lineup.
The update also extends to the sporty E-Tron S, making it an SQ8 E-Tron. It’s in showrooms now with a starting price of $90,895 for the regular body style and $93,695 for the coupe-like SQ8 Sportback E-Tron body style.
The standard Q8 E-Tron is priced from $75,495 and the Q8 Sportback E-Tron from $78,895.
All figures include a $1,095 destination charge.
The SQ8 E-Tron features a three-motor powertrain, with one motor at the front and two at the rear for more precise torque distribution—a boon during hard cornering.
With one more motor than in the standard Q8 E-Tron, the SQ8 E-Tron’s peak output registers at 496 hp, up 94 hp on the standard model. Using boost mode, the SQ8 E-Tron will sprint to 60 mph from rest in 4.2 seconds, according to Audi. Top speed is limited to 130 mph.
That performance is the same as in the previous E-Tron S, but there has been a big improvement when it comes to range and charging. The battery has grown 23% to 114 kwh, which has seen the EPA-estimated range grow by 20% to 253 miles with the standard 20-inch wheels and 218 miles with the available 22-inch wheels.
Charging at up to 170 kw is now possible, which will enable the battery to be topped up from 10-80% in around 30 minutes, according to Audi. Buyers will receive two years of DC fast-charging included at no additional cost via the Electrify America network.
Beyond the powertrain, the SQ8 E-Tron also benefits from performance tuning of the suspension and steering systems. The vehicle also packs upgraded brakes, in this case with six-piston fixed calipers and 15.7-inch rotors up front and sliding single-piston calipers and 13.8-inch rotors at the rear.
The SQ8 E-Tron is also wider than the standard Q8 E-Tron, by almost two inches. This has allowed the engineers to fit wider wheels and tires. Drag remains low thanks to clever flow-optimized wheel arch extensions and flaps in the front brake ducts which remain closed as much as possible to streamline airflow.
Inside, there are a number of sporty touches including bolstered seats up front with leather trim and 12-way power adjustment. Buyers will also find a number of “S” logos around the cabin, along with the top version of Audi’s infotainment system and a Bang & Olufsen sound system. A head-up display is available.
Audi is also working on an update for the gas-powered Q8, though there are rumors this model will no longer be offered in the U.S. following the update.
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