Audi’s first EV, the E-Tron, is undergoing some changes to bring it more in line with the rest of the automaker’s battery-powered models.
The German marque has just announced that starting with the 2024 model year, its mid-size crossover SUV will be known as the Q8 E-Tron. That’s not the only thing that’s changing though. The vehicle, which is also available as a Sportback, is getting a new face and better battery capacity.
When the newly rechristened Q8 E-Tron debuted in 2019, it was Audi’s only EV. In the years since, it’s been joined by two others, the Q4 E-Tron and E-Tron GT. Because of this, the “E-Tron” name has come to signify an entire line of battery-powered vehicles, rather than just one model. The name change helps alleviate any possible confusion with the buying public and allows the brand’s oldest EV to stand on its own.
The Q8 E-Tron has received a subtle makeover to go with its new moniker. While the body for both the standard and Sportback versions have been left mostly untouched—there are some aerodynamic improvements, like its new wheels—the nose hasn’t. The crossover wears a new, more aggressive front fascia closer to that of the Q4 E-Tron and E-Tron GT. The refreshed grille has a tweaked version of the marque’s interlocking rings logo positioned just below an LED lightbar that connects the headlights. The changes may seem minor, but they help make clear that the Q8 E-Tron is electric.
As with previous model years, there will be two different versions of the crossover available in the US—the Q8 E-Tron 55 and the SQ8 E-Tron (formerly the E-Tron S), both of which offer all-wheel drive. Performance remains the same, though. The 55’s dual-motor powertrain can produce up to 402 hp and 490 ft lbs of torque, while launching the car from 0-to-60 mph in 5.6 seconds and to a top speed of 124 mph. The SQ8’s tri-motor setup, meanwhile, generates up to 495 hp and 718 ft lbs of torque and will rocket the vehicle from 0-to-60 mph in 4.5 seconds and to a top speed of 130 mph.
The battery capacity for both versions has been significantly upgraded. The actual pack itself may be the same size, but its energy density has been boosted by 19 kWh to 114 kWh. Because of this, both versions of the 2024 Q8 E-Tron will have better range. We’ll have to wait closer to the model’s release US release for an EPA rating, but Europe’s more forgiving WLTP test cycle puts the 55’s range at 361 miles (372 miles for the Sportback version) and the SQ8’s at 306 miles (318 for the Sportback). That means the 55’s EPA-certified range should be comfortably over the 300-mile mark EV makers increasingly aim for, while the SQ8’s will be shy of that magic number but close.
Both versions of the crossover will offer faster DC charging speeds. The peak charging rate has been bumped up from 150 to 170 kW, which will allow drivers to go from 10- to 80-percent battery capacity in just over a half hour.
You won’t have to wait long to see the 2024 Q8 E-Tron in action. The refreshed crossover will go on sale early next spring. Pricing has yet to be announced, but should be close to the current starting costs of $71,995 for the Q8 E-Tron 55 and $89,395 for the SQ8 E-Tron.