The Audi e-tron is now called the Q8 e-tron, making the company lineup a little less confusing. To make the renamed electric vehicle (EV) stand out, it gets a facelift and a big range upgrade as well as quicker charging.
Naming the vehicle e-tron made sense when it was the only one with the name, but as Audi expanded its electric offerings, having an e-tron alongside the Q4 e-tron, e-tron GT, and other upcoming models got confusing. This one is Q8-sized, so it becomes the Q8 e-tron and Q8 e-tron Sportback. The sporting e-tron S lives too and is now the SQ8 e-tron.
You'll find the new name etched on the model's B-pillars as part of the refresh, something new that Audi is doing to brand its lineup. The other changes are much more significant, with a new single-frame grille design sporting a revised honeycomb insert. The grille gets a new LED projector bar that shines a light on the new four-ring grille badge as well.
They're not huge changes, but they do play a part in the newly extended range. The coefficient of drag has dropped for both the Sportback and standard versions of the Q8, letting it cut through the air more smoothly. The spoilers around the front axle are larger and the Sportback gets rear wheel spoilers, all for the same effect. The grille shutters can now completely seal as well, optimizing the airflow.
The base Q8 e-tron 55 model's power levels stay the same at 402 hp and 490 lb-ft. The SQ8 has the same power levels as well, using three motors to provide 495 hp and 718 lb-ft. The rear motor is new, though, with two extra coils of winding, which gives more torque from less electricity and helps improve efficiency.
Audi has expanded the battery pack to 106 kWh, up from 95 last year thanks to a new design and cell chemistry, but it fits in the same space. Combine the new pack, new motor, and aero improvements, and Audi expects around 30 per cent more range. Audi says the Q8 e-tron now manages 582 km on the European WLTP testing cycle and 600 km for the Sportback, up from 453 and 441, respectively. While we don't have Canadian figures yet, the 357-km range of the 2023 model could likely end up right around 500 after the 2024 improvements.
Charging is a bit quicker now too, at 170 kW max versus 150. It's enough to bring a 10 to 80 per cent charge down to 31 minutes, but, more importantly, you'll get more distance out of each one of those percentage points.
Other small changes include new trim colours and some new materials. Audi will also use more post-consumer and recycled materials to help make the e-tron lineup more sustainable.
Orders for the 2024 Audi Q8 e-tron and SQ8 e-tron are expected to open in the next few weeks. Canadian deliveries are expected to start in the spring. Pricing has not been announced, but expect it along with more details closer to the on-sale date.