As the electric vehicle market continues to grow, consumers are faced with an abundance of choices. One brand that has made a name for itself in the luxury segment is Audi. With their latest offering, the Audi Q8 e-Tron, they aim to impress even the most discerning drivers. In this article, we’ll delve into the details of this electric SUV, exploring its design, interior, driving experience, and more.
Design and Exterior
The Audi Q8 e-tron is a big-ish electric SUV that falls within the premium end of the market. Priced at around £70,000, it is a heavily face-lifted version of the original e-tron that was introduced in 2018. The Q8 e-tron boasts a better-looking front grille, featuring extra black cladding and the distinctive Audi RS e-tron family design. The side profile remains largely unchanged, although new wheel designs, including up to 22-inch options, enhance its overall appearance. Notably, the top-spec models come with cameras instead of traditional mirrors, further contributing to its sleek aesthetics. While the Q8 e-tron is visually improved over its predecessor, some aspects, such as the name and similarities to the standard petrol Q8, can be a bit confusing.
Interior and Infotainment
Step inside the Audi Q8 e-tron, and you’ll find yourself immersed in a premium environment. The interior is a blend of high-quality materials, including leather, glossy plastic, and strategic metal accents. Attention to detail is evident throughout, with beautiful stitching and solid construction. The center console offers ample space, wireless phone charging, and conveniently placed cup holders. The infotainment system is what you would expect from Audi, with a separate screen for climate control and an upper screen housing the usual icons. While it may lack some of the latest features found in other electric models, such as games or web browsing, it remains easy to use and understand.
Driving Experience and Performance
The Audi Q8 e-tron delivers an impressive driving experience that is both refined and comfortable. The suspension is plush and absorbs imperfections on the road exceptionally well, surpassing many other electric cars in this regard. The cabin is exceptionally quiet, thanks to various sound-dampening measures, including double glazed windows, textile materials, and acoustic boxes for the motors. Even the controversial camera mirrors contribute to reducing wind noise. However, some features might not satisfy all preferences. The brakes can feel a bit sharp at times, and the lack of one-pedal driving may disappoint enthusiasts seeking a more regenerative braking experience.
The Q8 e-tron offers two battery options: the 50 and 55. The former comes with an 89-kilowatt-hour net (or 95-kilowatt-hour gross) battery pack, providing a range of approximately 290 miles. Meanwhile, the latter features an even larger 106-kilowatt-hour battery pack (or 114-kilowatt-hour gross) and boasts an impressive range of around 343 miles. Power output varies as well, with the 55 version producing 407 horsepower and reaching 0 to 62 mph in about five and a half seconds. The 50 version is slightly slower, with 340 horsepower and a 0 to 62 mph time of around six seconds.
Efficiency, Range, and Charging
Audi claims the Q8 e-tron can achieve 343 miles on a full charge, but real-world numbers may vary. During testing, the car achieved between 1.5 and 2.5 miles per kilowatt hour, translating to an estimated range of 159 to 265 miles. The efficiency can be affected by various factors, including driving style, weather conditions, and terrain.
When it comes to charging, the Q8 e-tron supports both AC and DC charging. With a standard 11 kW AC charger, it takes approximately 8.6 hours to charge the 50 model and around 10.6 hours for the 55 model. However, using a faster 150 kW DC charger can significantly reduce charging times. For example, the 55 model can reach an 80% charge in just 22 minutes when using a high-power charger.
Safety and Technology
The Audi Q8 e-tron is equipped with advanced safety features to provide a secure driving experience. It includes a comprehensive suite of driver-assistance systems, such as adaptive cruise control, lane-keeping assist, and automatic emergency braking. Additionally, the Q8 e-tron offers advanced connectivity features, including Audi’s virtual cockpit, wireless Apple CarPlay, and Android Auto integration. The vehicle also supports over-the-air software updates, allowing for future improvements and enhancements.
The Audi Q8 e-tron is a premium electric SUV that combines luxury, performance, and a generous electric range. Its refined driving experience, stylish design, and comfortable interior make it an enticing option for those seeking an electric vehicle in the premium segment. While it may lack some of the cutting-edge features found in newer electric models, it compensates with the solid build quality, advanced safety technologies, and the prestige of the Audi brand. If you value comfort, range, and a touch of luxury, the Audi Q8 e-Tron is certainly worth considering.