The Audi Q8 e-tron (formerly the Audi e-tron until 2023) is a battery electric mid-size luxury crossover produced by Audi since 2019. The e-tron was unveiled as a concept car at the 2015 Frankfurt Motor Show. The final production version was revealed in San Francisco on 17 September 2018, publicly debuted at the 2018 Paris Motor Show, and was first delivered in May 2019. It is the company's first battery electric mass production car. The Sportback variant, a coupe style of the e-tron, entered production in 2020.
In 2022, the e-tron was renamed the Audi Q8 e-tron and the SQ8 in both regular and Sportback body styles with the facelift, as Audi is growing the e-tron battery electric vehicle line-up.
The Audi e-tron is based on the e-tron quattro concept that was unveiled at the 2015 Frankfurt Motor Show. It has an EPA range of 204 miles (328 km), or 222 miles (357 km) in the updated model. The Sportback variant has 218 miles (351 km) of EPA range, entered production in early 2020.
The car's certification in Germany by the KBA (Federal Motor Transport Authority) was not obtained until required changes were made to the car's software. In January 2019, United States market deliveries were due to commence in June.
The first customer in Germany received his e-tron in March 2019. In late April 2019 it was reported that prospective customers faced waiting lists of 6–7 months (putting the expected delivery date close to the end of 2019). The delays caused controversy in Norway, where customers were informed that their cars would be delivered up to 6 months later than originally promised unless they paid extra for a significantly more expensive "Fast Track" car. Further to this, some customers were also informed that were they to cancel their reservation they would be liable for a fine equal to 8% of the purchase price.
In Norway, the e-tron was the best-selling car or truck of any kind in October 2019. In November 2019, it ranked #3. It was also the best-selling car or truck of any kind in Norway in the year 2020, outselling the Tesla Model 3.
In the Netherlands, the e-tron was the #2 most registered car of any kind in December 2019.
In 2020 the New Zealand government started purchasing e-trons as official government cars.
Audi paused production of the e-tron in February 2020 due to supply chain problems including issues with adequate supply of batteries for the e-tron. Production resumed in early May.
In 2022, Audi announced that the facelifted e-tron will be renamed to Audi Q8 e-tron (unrelated to the existing Audi Q8) which was revealed at 9 November 2022.
The Audi e-tron is powered by a 95 kWh battery pack, of which 86.5 kWh (formerly 83.6 kWh) is usable. It can be charged from zero to 80% in around 30 minutes using 150 kW DC fast-chargers. For home charging in the EU, a standard 11 kW charger recharges the pack in 8.5 hours, while an optional 22 kW charger halves this time. In the US, a 40A 9.6 kW J1772 charger is used instead. A thermal management system (also serving the motors and power electronics) keeps the battery between 23 and 35 degrees Celsius, and battery modules (twelve 60 Ah cells each) can be replaced.
The quattro electric all-wheel drive uses two electric motors, one mounted in the front and one in the rear. In the "boost mode," the two motors provide a total system output of 300 kW (408 PS; 402 hp) and 664 N⋅m (490 lb⋅ft) of torque enabling the car to accelerate from 0–100 km/h (0–62 mph) in 5.7 seconds. When not in the boost mode, the combined peak motor power is 265 kW (360 PS; 355 hp), with 125 kW (170 PS; 168 hp) from the front motor at a torque of 247 N⋅m (182 lb⋅ft) and 140 kW (190 PS; 188 hp) from the rear motor at a torque of 314 N⋅m (232 lb⋅ft). This allows the car to accelerate from 0–100 km/h (0–62 mph) in 6.6 seconds and on to its top speed of 200 km/h (120 mph).
The car uses an energy recuperation system which, on average, contributes 30% to the range. Recuperation can be achieved both when the driver releases the accelerator and when applying pressure to the brake pedal.
When equipped with the virtual side mirrors the car has a drag coefficient of 0.27. The e-tron also sits slightly lower than a traditional SUV; at 1,616 mm (63.6 in) high, it is 43 mm (1.7 in) lower than the Audi Q5. It has 660 litres (23 cu ft) of boot space, 160 L (5.7 cu ft) more than the Mercedes-Benz EQC, along with 60 litres (2.1 cu ft) of storage space in the front.
In temperatures ranging from −6.5 to −4.5 °C (20.3 to 23.9 °F), with cabin heating on, the e-tron achieved a real-world range of 331 kilometres (206 mi), compared to 370 kilometres (230 mi) in the spring/summer (also with cabin heating/air conditioning on), which means a 10.5% range drop. The tests were done at the speed of 90 kilometres per hour (56 mph).
The real winter range drop might be slightly higher, because in the aforementioned tests the "winter" car had the advantage of more aerodynamic wheels than the "summer" car.
This stands well in comparison to other EVs. Five other electric vehicles, including the 2017 Tesla Model S 75D, were tested at the temperature of −6.7 °C (20 °F) with cabin heating on, and all of them had a range drop of at least 30%, and 41% on average (compared to when the temperature was 23.9 °C (75.0 °F) and cabin heating/air conditioning was off).
The e-tron is, in summer driving, less efficient than the Tesla Model X in terms of distance per kWh of energy. However the e-tron is less affected by low temperatures, so driving in the winter brings the results of these two vehicles closer. In a test done at temperatures in the 13 to 15 °C (55 to 59 °F) range and including high-speed highway driving, the e-tron's efficiency was about 12.4% worse than in the Model X. In slightly below-freezing conditions, the difference was smaller and the e-tron's efficiency was only about 8.6% worse than in the Model X.
The e-tron can be charged at an effective rate of 150 kW using a 175 kW charger. This is possible in a wide state-of-charge window, until the battery is about 80% charged. With such a charger, adding 100 kilometres (62 mi) of range takes only 10 minutes. Audi of America is more cautious with their estimates, saying that 87 kilometres (54 mi) of range can be added in 10 minutes when using a 150 kW charger.
At 90%, charging rate is about 82 kW and it remains above 50 kW until reaching 100%.
Using a 50 kW charger, the car can be charged at a constant rate of 50 kW, up until reaching 100%.
Standard equipment for the e-tron includes 12-way heated and ventilated front seats, a panoramic moonroof, and 20-inch wheels. Upgrades include massage seats, power door closers, leather upholstery, 21-inch wheels and orange brake calipers. The interior is in line with other Audi models with a 10.1-inch infotainment screen, a smaller 8.6-inch touchscreen display, Amazon Alexa voice control, Virtual Cockpit system, and an optional head up display. Other equipments include a Bang & Olufsen sound system, and an available Driver Assistance package with enhanced adaptive cruise control, automatic parking assist and night vision. The e-tron is the second production car to offer optional virtual side mirrors, which replaces the traditional side-view mirrors and instead use cameras transmitting images to a high-contrast 7-inch OLED embedded in the door panels.
In addition to the conventional SUV body style, Audi released a 'Sportback' version with a sloping rear part of the roof, similar to the BMW X6 and the Mercedes-Benz GLE Coupe. Audi decided to compete with these ICE-powered rivals by offering only a pure electric vehicle. It entered production in early 2020 and became available in Europe and in the US in 2020. Comparisons to the styling of the Audi A7 have also been made.
The production version debuted at AutoMobility LA in Los Angeles in November 2019. The length and width are the same as in the standard model, while the height is 1.3 cm (0.5 in) lower. A drag coefficient is lower than in the standard model (0.25 vs. 0.27), while the powertrain and battery are the same as in the original model.
The 2020 e-tron Sportback has an EPA range of 218 miles (351 km). It is better than in the 2019 e-tron conventional SUV, partially because a larger percentage of the battery capacity is usable. The e-tron's battery management system keeps part of the battery capacity as a buffer, which is not part of the usable capacity; now the size of that buffer is decreased to unlock more usable capacity. This change (as well as some others like reducing usage of the AWD mode) was introduced in the e-tron conventional SUV during the production run; while the Sportback already had these modifications when it first went on the market.
Cargo space measured by European standards is reduced from 660 L (23.3 cu ft) to 615 L (21.7 cu ft). American sources, however, measure cargo space in a different way and indicate that the original e-tron has as much as 821 L (29.0 cu ft) of cargo space, so the reduction to 615 L (21.7 cu ft) is substantial.
The e-tron logo can be seen in the last scene of Iron Man 3 but the car is not revealed, probably since it wasn't publicly released as concept by then. The e-tron made an appearance in an Audi commercial tied to Avengers: Endgame, where it was introduced to Captain Marvel who was briefed about the events of Avengers: Infinity War and the things that had changed on Earth while she was gone, although it never made an appearance in the movie itself. Later, the e-tron appeared in Spider-Man: Far From Home where it was used by characters played by Samuel L. Jackson and Cobie Smulders.
Reports surfaced in April 2019 that the e-tron was subject to production delays and a cut in production targets due to supply of batteries and electric motors. Subsequently, weekly production hours at the assembly plant were foreseen to be reduced from 30 to 24. Audi announced a recall of certain e-tron models in early June 2019. The recall relates to a water leak that could lead to the high voltage electronics shorting, potentially causing a fire in extreme cases.
The facelifted Audi Q8 e-tron and Audi Q8 Sportback e-tron was launched in India on 18 August 2023 with prices starting at INR 11,370,000.
The e-tron and e-tron Sportback were launched in Australia in 2020. Prices start from AU$137,100 plus on-road costs (50 quattro) and AU$146,100 plus on-road costs (55 quattro).
The e-tron has a 5 star ANCAP Safety Rating as tested in July 2019.
The e-tron was launched in Pakistan in March 2020. It is the best selling electric car in Pakistan and Audi's most successful car in Pakistan.It is offered in standard body styling as well as sportsback styling.
The e-tron will be launched in Thailand by Meister Technik in 2019. On 15 October 2020, the e-tron Sportback will be introduced as well.
The Audi Q8 e-tron was introduced in Malaysia on 17 May 2023. It is available in advanced 50 quattro spec and is priced from RM369,000. On 16 June 2023, the Q8 e-tron was later launched along with the S line 55 quattro spec. The sportback version was also launched as well, with two variants (50 quattro and 55 quattro).
The vehicle went on sale in Canada in 2019. The price starts at CA$90,000.
The e-tron will be launched in Mexico for the 2021 model year. It will be priced at MXN$1,919,900.
Deliveries to American customers started in early 2019. There were 3,540 e-trons registered in the United States during the first three quarters of 2019, ahead of Germany (2,997 units), though still less than in Norway (3,824 units).
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