It was a glorious holiday weekend with both the weather and my means of dignified transportation represented by the 2024 Q8 e-tron, Audi’s all-new, all-electric luxury SUV. The German EV features increased range, higher-powered charging, and improved driving dynamics to ascertain that your daily commutes are not only pleasurable but simultaneously exhilarating.
Introducing the e-tron Brand
First introduced in 2018 in the form of the Audi e-tron, newer and more advanced e-tron variants are popping up across the lineup from the sporty e-tron GT to the utility-focused Q4 e-tron. Audi also offers the Q4 and Q8 as Sportback e-trons. The proliferation of the electric brand will become a staple since every new Audi model introduced in 2026 and after will be fully electric. In fact, 30% of Audi’s US sales stem from plug-in hybrids and EVs.
Q8 and Q8 e-tron Differentiations
Based on the flagship Q8 gasoline model in name and body type, which Automotive Rhythms has in its fleet for long-term testing, the Q8 e-tron receives aero cues up front and in the rear, squats lower, is a bit shorter, and highlighted by an array of aerodynamic rim styles and sizes including my Q8 e-tron’s optional 21” 5-arm aero structure design wheels with a bi-color finish. For traction, they pair with Hankook all-season tires. The Singleframe grille remains but with a new lighting signature. Additionally, the electric SUV inherits Audi’s first laser-etched badging on the B-pillar.
From a driving perspective, a new sliding gear shifter replaces the Q8’s traditional hand shifter and opens up the center console for additional storage space which the Q8 lacks. More direct steering input results from enriched hardware upgrades and dynamic handling manifests from the adaptive air suspension’s software updates, all of which provide quicker and sharper responses to traffic patterns. At the same time, acceleration from the dual battery is swift and engaging.
e-tron Electric Performance
The 402-horsepower Q8 e-tron is engineered with a dual electric motor setup (front and rear), a 114-kilowatt-hour battery (kWh), optional dual charging ports at the front of the vehicle, a rear wheel-biased quattro AWD system, and an EPA-estimated range of 285 miles. If you choose the Q8 Sportback e-tron with the ultra package, range will increase to 300 miles. Utilizing DC Fast Charging, the electric SUV recharges from 10 to 80% in roughly 31 minutes. And depending on the equipment and amp rating, 240v Level-2 charging can take 6 to 13 hours. Ideally, EV owners should install a home charger to reduce possible public charging frustrations that may arise. The unit will also increase EV ownership satisfaction since your day will always begin with a full energy tank. Audi states they will work with Qmerit to help set up your installation and roll the costs into the monthly payment.
Inside the Cockpit
The Q8 e-tron cabin incorporates a wide panoramic sunroof with a sunscreen, a 4-spoke sporty steering wheel with regenerative brake paddles, and Audi MMI Navigation plus with MMI touch response. The dual-screen multimedia system consists of a 10.1” upper screen and a smaller 8.6” lower display which mainly handles the 4-zone automatic climate control. The top screen houses navigation, audio, apps, EV status, and Apple CarPlay. Though, many features can be activated through natural voice control. Audi Drive Select vastly differentiates the Q8 e-trons driving characteristics from 7 modes: off-road, all-road, efficiency, comfort, auto, dynamic, and individual. Lastly, premium audio by Bang and Olufsen will satisfy your musical taste, or you can power it off and naturally take in the e-tron’s soul through electric soundwaves.
EV Charging Ecosystem
There are three levels of charging: Level 1 (your home outlet), Level 2 (240v in-home installation or public), and Level 3, aka DC Fast Charging, mostly installed at public retail locations. Level 1 is the slowest, giving you 3 to 5 miles per hour. Level 2 is the most convenient since it will majorly take place at home and energizes your ride 15 to 30 miles an hour. DC is the way to go when traveling with a low battery and is available from 25 kW to 350 kW for passenger EVs. Electrify America is Audi’s partner network and builds ultra-fast 150 kW and hyper-fast 350 kW chargers. Yet, Tesla has the most stable and efficient charging ecosystem, which is partly why they sell so many EVs.
Q8 e-tron Trims and Pricing
The 2024 Audi Q8 e-tron quattro has a starting MSRP of $74,400 for the Premium model. You may also choose the $78,800 Premium Plus, the $84,800 Prestige, or the $87,550 Launch Edition featuring metallic black 21” 5-arm aero structure rims, the S line package, high-tech mesh anthracite inlays, and Valcona/Milano leather interior with piping. Each will supply you with two years of complimentary Electrify America DC fast charging.
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