Home Automotive 2024 Audi Q8 E-Tron and SQ8 E-Tron First Drive: New name, better range and more fun

2024 Audi Q8 E-Tron and SQ8 E-Tron First Drive: New name, better range and more fun

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Lanzarote, Canary Islands — The 2024 Audi Q8 E-Tron enters a very different world of electricity than when it was launched as the E-Tron in 2019. , Mercedes-Benz EQE SUV, Rivian R1S and more join Audi in stealing a slice of Tesla’s pie.

In 2019, we declared the E-Tron to be just a luxury Audi and an electric car. This is everything Q7 or Q8 buyers are used to, but in an electrical package. If you like this, great! That hasn’t changed anything with the Q8 E-Tron, which is just as plug-and-play as an EV, with no gimmicks or weird turn-offs on how it drives. The design also gives off an “I’m normal” vibe.

Of course, the reality of owning an EV is different than just walking to and from the grocery store. Since the E-Tron’s first launch, Audi has said range is the number one customer concern. A minor update brings this number up to 226 miles for the 2023 model year, but the 2024 Q8 E-Tron is trying to fix all range issues. , Audi aims to have the final numbers “starting with 3”, meaning the SUV has a range of over 300 miles. The revived Sportback version is expected to outperform the SUV slightly due to its naturally more aero-friendly silhouette.

How does Audi achieve this? In short, more power-dense battery packs and numerous efficiency improvements. The previous E-Tron had a 95 kWh battery pack with a usable capacity of 89 kWh. The Q8 E-Tron features a new 114 kWh battery pack with a usable capacity of 106 kWh. Audi has increased the battery capacity without increasing the pack’s physical footprint, allowing it to keep the same platform packaging as before. This higher energy density is achieved by E-Tron’s new battery stacking technology. For real battery geeks, note that Audi uses prismatic battery cells instead of the pouch cells used in his E-Tron. Started production.

Just by increasing the size of the battery pack, you can expect about a 19% increase in range. This is before considering the efficiency improvements in the Q8 E-Tron that will help him cover 300 miles. A big improvement is the Q8 E-Tron 55’s new rear electric motor. The following does not apply to the SQ8 E-Tron. The number of stator windings in this motor has been increased to 14 instead of the 12 found in previous motors. Simply put, this ultimately allows Audi to use less energy while maintaining the same power output as before. Audi has also changed how power is distributed to each axle in the all-wheel drive system. Earlier E-Tron used a front motor for constant speed cruising. Cruising now uses a newer, more efficient rear motor, making this type of driving more efficient. Of course, the front motor kicks in as soon as extra traction is needed, providing power whenever the car is in ‘dynamic’ or ‘S’ mode.

Beyond the powertrain, Audi has turned its attention to making the Q8 E-Tron glide easier in the air than the E-Tron. First, a new lower intake grille is implemented and features an electric shutter. It opens when drive components and brakes need cooling, but otherwise remains sealed while driving. A new air curtain design combined with a new wheel spoiler also helps reduce air resistance. The new spoiler is much larger than before and allows better airflow around the tires. Audi attributes half of the Q8 Sportback E-Tron’s aerodynamic efficiency gains (a total drag coefficient of 0.27 from 0.29 on the older model) to these alone.

As for the digital side view mirrors found on the Euro-spec cars we tested, they won’t be coming to the US anytime soon due to state regulations. Take a look and you won’t miss it. Spending more time in familiar environments and different weather conditions can help the adaptation process, but the perspective-switching required to use a screen was disconcerting. and even if you get there, your vision is compromised compared to a regular mirror in that you can’t adjust the position or angle of your head to expand your field of view. you get That said, the yellow and red outlines around the screen showing blind spot information are helpful.

Another big change from the E-Tron to the Q8 E-Tron is the chassis and steering. The E-Tron felt very heavy and bulky, so many updates were made to make it feel more agile and easier to handle. The most noticeable change is the steering. Audi says the ratio has been reduced from 15.8:1 to 14.6:1, which reduces the steering input required to turn the car. Additionally, a new, stiffer front He axle He bearing is present, and Audi says this helps improve both feedback and steering feel. The steering is certainly heavier in “dynamic” mode than before, but not excessively. As a finishing touch, the air suspension and his ESC system have been completely retuned to suit a car meant to change direction in a quicker and sharper way.

These are all small changes, but the end result is a step up from the E-Tron. Although it bears, its heavy metal block is more eager, sprinting down mountain passes without feeling terribly tired. of place. Don’t expect the Q8 E-Tron to behave like the Cayenne or any of his other sport-focused SUVs. you won’t be disappointed. Well, with 496 horsepower and 718 lb-ft of torque he might start to put a smile on his face as he drives the SQ8 E-Tron.

Expect the SQ8 E-Tron to have changes to the air suspension, dampers and chassis tuning compared to the regular E-Tron, but where the SQ is truly agile is its true torque vector. It’s a 3-motor set-up, including 2 rear motors for improved sleekness and better straightness. line acceleration. Swing the SQ8 E-Tron through a few hairpins and you can’t miss the difference with the Q8 E-Tron. The SQ8 E-Tron’s outside rear wheels provide more torque than the inside, allowing it to slingshot through corners in ways you wouldn’t expect for such a big, heavy SUV. 3-motor EVs are still rare with Tesla and soon Lucid making others (unless you count his 4-motor Rivians).

What’s great about the above improvements is that nothing prevents the Q8 E-Tron from being one of the most comfortable and luxurious cruisers you can buy. Audi says it has engineered this duality by making the mode differences bigger and more obvious to the driver. That said, even the SQ8 E-Tron’s ride in dynamic mode with its low air suspension is extremely comfortable.

Its plush, ultra-quiet cabin makes it an ideal vehicle for road trips, but the old E-Tron lags behind with a maximum fast-charging speed of 150 kW. The Q8 E-Tron increases this top speed to 170 kW. Audi promises the same charging curve as before. This should reduce charging time slightly. However, competitors, including the BMW iX, Mercedes EQ models and many other EVs, still beat his Q8 E-Tron in charging speed. Audi says to expect a charging stop where the charge lasts from 10-80% for about 31 minutes.

Hanging inside the Q8 E-Tron during these stops is at least the perfect place to relax. There aren’t any major changes other than a few color and trim updates, but the tech-filled cabin didn’t want anything new. , featuring beautiful graphics.

Outdoors is where the Q8 E-Tron looks and feels the freshest. Audi debuts a ton of new branding, including a flat/light-up four-ring logo, laser-etched model name on the B-pillar and a new rear badging. Don’t be confused if you see the Audi Sport red diamond on many models, not just the S and RS models. Get it now, even for an Audi with the S-Line look package. To move from the E-Tron to the Q8 E-Tron, Audi gave the car a new front end, fancy new Digital Matrix LED headlights (not available in the US for an undetermined period of time), and a new rear valance design. The S model comes in a bright aluminum look, but you can specify a blackout his package if you prefer a more stealthy look. That said, there’s no bad way to spec this car. It’s his one EV with a sleek look, and the continued presence of both SUVs and Sportbacks means you can even choose your own roofline adventure.

If you’re wondering why the name change, Audi has positioned this model at the very top of the line-up as a flagship in the same sense that the petrol-powered Q8 is the flagship model. They say it’s the body. The mediocre “E-Tron” was used to launch the brand as a marketing exercise in the same way the “Quattro” was used as a model, but then the company’s all-wheel-drive system, the Audi was used as the name of He tells me. Now that people know that “E-Tron” means “electric Audi,” it’s time for the company to put the E-Tron into the lineup with a number indicating its location, just like it does with other Audi models. I think you’ve come

Prices for the Q8 E-Tron are expected to rise, but not exorbitantly, ensuring it remains competitive – the existence of an EV tax credit for buyers is unlikely. Keeping pace with a new BMW iX, Mercedes-EQ SUV, or all-new EV isn’t easy, but the Q8 E-Tron stands as a great alternative, especially if you have no other options. to your visual taste. The Q8 E-Tron and SQ8 E-Tron, with 300 miles of range, vastly improved dynamics, elegant new styling and all the luxuries you’ve loved before, are the original his E- Arguments far tougher than Tron.

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