Audi SQ8 Sportback e-tron (2024): Test;  Price;  Configuration

Audi SQ8 Sportback e-tron (2024): Test; Price; Configuration

Just born e-tron in 2018, Audi’s first electric model changed its name during its upgrade at the beginning of 2023. The leader of Audi’s electric cars now answers to the label Q8 e-tron or SQ8 e-tron in that case . of its more sporty version. And if you like, you can always choose the SUV Coupé silhouette (Sportback, in Audi jargon) in both modes. This name change is the same as the general change in the Audi catalog, which is still ongoing, when switching to electric mobility. What hasn’t changed, however, is that the (S)Q8 (Sportback) e-tron is still manufactured in Belgium. They are built at Audi Brussels in Forest, to be more precise. Another constant: these electric starters in the Audi catalog are still manufactured on a “hybrid” platform that has not yet integrated the latest fashion developments in the field of electromobility. There is no 800-volt architecture on the horizon, for example, unlike the recently developed Audi e-tron GT and Q6 e-tron.

Big, but organized

The cosmetic changes made to the Q8 e-tron (Sportback) during the redesign focus mainly on the front. We especially notice the arrival of the redesigned grille stamped with the new Audi logo and highlighted by an LED bar. Engineers also worked to improve airflow, using various flaps, to reduce the aerodynamic coefficient to benefit freedom. With its reduced aggressiveness, it is the Q8 Sportack e-tron that emerges as the most aerodynamic vehicle of the family. Its Cd can now drop to 0.24 compared to 0.27 for the previous e-tron version of the Q8.

Although larger, with a length of 4.92 m and a width of 1.94 m, the Q8 Sportback e-tron has balanced proportions. If you want, you can always add camera mirrors, as an option, to strengthen its future side and its ability to cut the wind. But in practice, 7-inch screens mounted on storm doors make their use impractical. In addition, the rendering on the screen does not make it possible to recognize the distance during driving as easily as with the “good old mirrors”. You can also try before signing the purchase order…

“Authentic Audi” interior

Audi hasn’t succumbed to the temptation to slide a giant wiper onto the dashboard of its electric SUV. Not much has changed during the reset. So we still get an ergonomic driving position, even if here also the classic buttons and switches are largely replaced by touch surfaces. With its two superimposed screens, the MMI touch response however makes it easy to find the required command without having to go through complicated menus.

Offered as standard, the Audi cockpit completes the picture, with stylish graphics and good looks. A header display can also be added if desired. But note, for those interested, that the Q8 e-tron cannot carry an additional screen to entertain its front passengers, unlike its recent younger brother the Q6 e-tron.

More generally, what we really appreciate about the Q8 e-tron / Q8 e-tron Sportback is the care taken in the finish and the quality of the materials. Before being electric cars, these models are above all … “real” Audis!


With its nearly 3-meter (2.93 m) wheelbase that it shares with the regular Q8 e-tron, the SQ8 e-tron Sportback offers plenty of legroom for its rear passengers. Its detailed roof penalizes the cabin a bit, especially if you opt for the large panoramic glass roof. But the living space in the back remains more than enough for two adults. The middle rear seat, however, is a little sacrificed and therefore less comfortable.

Note that if the Q8 e-trons have not adopted the style of removable handles that are sometimes difficult to use, the opening of their doors is sometimes watertight. Unlocking doesn’t always happen on the first try, requiring two pulls on the handle to get into the board. It’s not that heavy. But sometimes it’s a bit annoying…

On a practical level, the Q8 e-tron Sportback has a large trunk of 528 liters. This is definitely smaller than its more aggressive sibling (569 l). But by using, we will already have a lot to look forward to. Especially since the small frunk in front (62 l) allows you to store charging cables and / or carry a small additional bag if necessary.

Improving freedom, but …

In addition to the targeted aerodynamic modifications, it was above all the powertrain improvements of the Q8 e-tron family that were at the heart of the mid-career modification of the German electric SUV. With the aim of increasing the electric range of the Q8 e-tron. In fact, the battery of the basic version of the “quattro 50” (two motors, 340 hp / 664 Nm) increased from 71 total kWh to 95 kWh. It is enough to give it 492 km of official freedom or even 504 km in Sportback. The evolution is a little interesting, but it is appreciated only on the “55 quattro” (two engines, 409 hp / 664 Nm) and the top version of the SQ8 e-tron (three engines, 504 hp / 973 Nm) with the battery went from 95 to 114 total kWh. It is enough to theoretically give them respectively 582 and 458 km of freedom (or even 599 and 471 km in the case of the best Sportbacks).

So much for theory. And in practice, how many kilometers can you drive the SQ8 e-tron Sportback like our test model? You should rely on +- 350 km. With 106 kWh net, usable, and real average consumption around the 30/100 kWh mark in mixed driving, you shouldn’t hope to go more than 300 kilometers before you start looking for a charging point. Of course we can go a little lower (+- 26 kWh/100 km), limiting highway travel by driving very lightly. But, the opposite is also true. At the end of our test week, our actual final consumption was 31.8 kWh/100 km.

The good news is that Audi has also changed the maximum DC charging capacity. It increased to 170 kW with a large battery (still 150 kW on the access battery). It’s a little better than before. But it remains “down” to the flag. And far from the 270 kW reached by the younger sister Q6 e-tron or even the 240 kW of the Kia EV9. Models boasting an 800 volt design.

Irrevocable performance/consent

On the road, however, the SQ8 Sportback e-tron does not suffer from criticism. Because if it’s not an inexpensive electric SUV and one capable of recovering its electrons at the highest current speeds, it is certainly one of the most pleasant examples of its kind to drive. As mentioned, it has three electric motors, including two on the rear axle that drive the left and right wheels independently. This allows you to benefit from the torque vector distribution, and to promote the lightness of this machine, which still weighs more than 2,700 kg. But it is only when standing up that this mass is clearly visible.

In terms of performance, accelerating from 0 to 100 km/h of the SQ8 Sportback e-tron requires only 4.5 seconds using Boost mode, allowing you to enjoy up to 370 kW (503 hp) at peak and almost 1,000 Nm of torque (973). Nm). To make a comparison, remember that the SQ6 e-tron has 380 kW (517 hp) at peak and 0 to 100 km / h in 4.3 s. All for the longest WLTP range (598 km). Respect for elders is lost…

To return to our SQ8 Sportback e-tron, note that while acceleration is explosive, it remains linear and natural. In addition, here, the whole car seems perfectly adapted to this generous reserve of power unlike some electric dragsters … The steering and body support prove to be here.

But ultimately, it is also in the smooth driving that this SQ8 Sportback e-tron is appreciated. Then we benefit from careful soundproofing and walking comfort that remains appreciated despite its sporty design.

Prix ​​Audi SQ8 Sportback e-tron

The fall of the “Sportback” silhouette means an additional price of € 2,000 compared to the standard SUV outfit. The Audi Q8 Sportback e-tron then starts from €81,480 for the 50 quattro and €93,690 for the 55 quattro. If you want to splurge on an S-branded version like our test model, you’ll have to pay at least €105,490. If the basic equipment is complete, the final score can quickly increase if we take out from the many and interesting extras offered by Audi. Our beautiful SQ8 Sportback e-tron had, for example, a list price of €137,460. In comparison, the SQ6 e-tron starts from €96,150.

Our decision

If the Audi SQ8 Sportback e-tron is perhaps not the most durable or least expensive electric car, it is certainly the best SUV Coupé: versatile, well equipped and well finished. In this way, it deserves its status as the “flag” of the family. But with more modern electric characteristics, his younger brother SQ6 e-tron can put obstacles in his way at the end of his career …

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