First Drive: 2023 Audi Q8 e-tron 50 - More Than Just a New Name

Published by on
Editors%2 Fimages%2 F1690178505709 Q8 Featured
As the world continues to embrace electrification, and as electric cars continue to garner traction in the mainstream, manufacturers like Audi are increasingly normalising their offerings by integrating them into their mainstream lineup.

Audi is the latest manufacturer to do so, renaming their first-ever production electric car to cement its position as the electric alpha in the Ingolstadt stable. However, there’s more to the Q8 e-tron than just its newfangled badge.

In the coming years, Audi will number their electric offerings with even number model designations, with ICE cars taking up the odd numberings. Locally, the revised e-tron SUV is the first vehicle to adopt this new naming nomenclature.

What’s New?

The exterior changes are the most obvious. It is worth noting that the facelift isn’t strictly cosmetic, as the new fascia also happens to reduce the overall aerodynamic efficiency to 0.24 from 0.26, and from 0.28 to 0.27, for the Q8 Sportback e-tron and the Q8 e-tron respectively.

Editors%2 Fimages%2 F1690178516797 Q8 6

Further aerodynamic improvements were made with the inclusion of new wheels and wheel spoilers, as well as a self-sealing system. The latter consists of a rubber lip and plastic element. When the louvres are closed, the air pressure presses the seal onto the body components, so there are no leaks and resulting pressure losses.

Mechanically, these Q8 e-trons have revised battery and motor technology, helping them to achieve significant range increases over the cars they replace. The car featured here has a 95 kWh battery pack, some 24 kWh more capacity than the 71 kWh battery in the outgoing car.

Editors%2 Fimages%2 F1690178525663 Q8 2

They are now also capable at much higher rates of DC charging, at 150 kW versus the 120 kW of the original e-tron SUV. The greater energy density also means increased range, with the new Q8 e-tron 50 models being able to do 491 and 505 kilometres for the SUV and Sportback variants respectively. 

To put that into perspective, its predecessor will only do 328 and 347 kilometres respectively.

But Enough About Statistics, How Does It Drive?

Well, the new cars drive very similarly to the original e-tron SUVs. But you’d have expected that anyways, as the basic chassis isn’t altered in this update. However, there are a few key improvements that you’d be able to notice.

One key difference right off the bat is the subtle, but still noticeable, increase in the throttle response. This is probably due to the mechanical changes in the drive units, with the new motors being able to generate higher torque with less current.

Editors%2 Fimages%2 F1690178534225 Q8 1

On the move, the car definitely feels more engaging to drive, with the chassis providing greater levels of confidence when compared to the e-tron SUV. The increased agility is a result of minor tweaks to enhance the steering performance, though the reprogrammed ESC system does play a part too. 

As of the 17th of July, the new Audi Q8 e-tron and Sportback e-tron will be officially available for public sale. Both models are available at the Audi Centre Singapore, with prices starting from $436,708 and $455,228 respectively.

Editors%2 Fimages%2 F1690178538237 Q8 7

The prices indicated are inclusive of VES and COE, and are only accurate at the time of this article. We’ll be publishing an in-depth review of the car at a later date!

Photo Credits: ACube Creative (@weareacube)

Download the Motorist App

The easiest and smartest way to manage your vehicle in Singapore.

Download Now

Read More: mReview: Audi e-tron S Sportback - The Good Kind Of Excess

Download the Motorist App now. Designed by drivers for drivers, this all-in-one app lets you receive the latest traffic updates, gives you access to live traffic cameras, and helps you manage LTA and vehicle matters.

Did you know we have a Motorist Telegram Channel? Created exclusively for drivers and car owners in Singapore, you can get instant info about our latest promotions, articles, tips & hacks, or simply chat with the Motorist Team and fellow drivers.