Audi Q8 E-tron 2023: Review, Prices, Specs

Maybe it’s the nature of the know-how and the stress of change, however EVs appear to age extra quickly than their now doomed ICE forebears. Can it actually be 5 years since WIRED first tried the Audi E-tron?

Almost. So it’s time for a significant refresh, one thing this huge Audi may actually use as key rivals such because the BMW iX and Mercedes EQE have since entered the fray. Note that they’re each purpose-built, clean-sheet EVs that share little to nothing when it comes to their structure with current combustion-engined siblings.

However, though the Q8 E-tron is renamed to cement its standing on the prime of an EV line-up that features the Q4 E-tron and the incoming Q6 E-tron, it’s nonetheless based mostly on the identical platform that you just’ll discover beneath the fossil-fuel-powered Q7 SUV and the associated Porsche Cayenne, each of the VW family.

The exterior visible adjustments introduce some EV-ness into Audi’s more and more expressive design language, to the extent that even non-brand aficionadoes ought to have the ability to spot that change is afoot. There’s a brand new grille, the Audi emblem is extra outstanding, and the bumpers entrance and rear are redesigned. A light-weight bar now stretches between the headlights, and there’s a brand new alloy wheel design.

The E-tron can be accessible as a Sportback, although I can’t assist considering that every one SUV-coupes are considerably specious. WIRED wouldn’t commerce the common automotive’s longer rear and higher versatility for this supposed fashion assertion.

Five-Year Service

Photograph: AUDI AG

More necessary are the tech upgrades. Five years is a very long time on the planet of electrification, and battery power density is all the time enhancing. The entry-level 50 model sees its usable capability rise from 71 to 89 kWh, whereas the 55 mannequin (and performance-oriented SQ8 E-tron) goes from 89 to 106 kWh, which can be greater than the approaching Kia EV9. Now we’re speaking.

The motors have additionally been revised, and the automotive’s aerodynamic effectivity additional optimized. Audi claims a variety of “up to 330 miles” for the 55, and DC charging speeds are improved too. These have gone from 150 to 170 kW, although that’s nonetheless a way off the 240-kW restrict loved by the wonderful Genesis GV70 and others. The battery will go from 10 to 80 p.c cost in 31 minutes, however this time that may’t beat the EV9’s 800V electrical structure, which may do the identical in beneath 25 minutes.

The Q8 E-tron has additionally gained some dynamic enhancements. The steering is quicker and extra alert, the suspension has been finessed—all variations trip on air springs—and the soundness and traction management algorithms have been tweaked. The 55 has a complete of 402 bhp and 490 pound-feet of torque, and it sits between the 335-bhp 50 model and the 496-bhp SQ8. That one positive factors a 3rd motor.

Imperious, Not Interactive

Photograph: AUDI AG

The dual-motor 55 is a automotive that has an imperious really feel with out being what you would possibly name interactive. But then no electrical SUV is actually working off a mission assertion to entertain—not least as a result of, whatever the chassis wizardry or engineering smarts at play, the E-tron weighs north of two.5 tons, and the physics at work are immutable.

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