Audi SQ8 e-tron and SQ8 Sportback e-tron – all the details

Is the Audi SQ8 e-tron any good

Audi SQ8 e-tron and SQ8 Sportback e-tron have just been released in Australia. They round out the full Q8 model range. SQ8 e-tron models are immediately identified by their distinctive styling cues and offer even greater power and performance as well as fast-charging.

Audi Sportback e-tron front grill 1

  • Distinctive styling, appointment and outstanding performance put the SQ8 e-tron models in a class of their own
  • Three electric motors, 370kW and 973Nm of torque, for scintillating performance from the brand’s large, luxury SUV models
  • Mannering: “The SQ8 e-tron adds the brand’s renowned ‘S’ performance and handling to an already impressive package”

Audi SQ8 e-tron and SQ8 Sportback e-tron

“The Audi ‘S’ models have always stood apart with their exceptional performance and handling as well as distinctive styling and additional equipment,” says Jeff Mannering, Director of Audi Australia. “The new SQ8 e-tron models now apply that coveted ‘S’ treatment to the top of our electric SUV range with results that impress right across the board.”

“The SQ8 e-tron makes a compelling case for those who value all of the benefits of electric mobility but equally want to enjoy the excitement and engagement of high-performance motoring without compromise.”

Audi SQ8 e-tron profile 1

Audi SQ8 e-tron SUV and SQ8 Sportback e-tron Video

What does the SQ8 e-tron look like

Well pretty much like all the other Q8 models. Stylish, purposeful and sleek.

The Sportback design, however, is something else.

This ‘coupe’ style SUV has become popular of late. Started by the BMW X6, Mercedes now has some and the latest Genesis GV80 also has joined the pack.

However the Audi Q8 Sportback is the best of the lot. It gets the blend of style and purpose just right. Its not quite as beautiful as the RS e-tron GT, but close in its own way.

Audi SQ8 Sportback e-tron profile 1

The SQ8 e-tron’s strong design is further enhanced with the addition of an S exterior. They also feature subtle additional design cues that point to its specialist nature. Such as the new two-dimensional treatment of the brand’s four-ringed logo. I also like the “B” pillar model identification. It adds a touch of class.

There is also the Singleframe projection light which is unique to SQ8 e-tron. This serves as a visual link between the Matrix LED headlights, providing the vehicle with its own unique light signature.

Aerodynamic design

Both body styles have been optimised for reduced drag and maximum efficiency. A drag coefficient of 0.30 for the SUV design and 0.27 for the Sportback not only a testament to their aerodynamics but also enhancing their sporty look.

Less obvious visually but aiding in achieving the aerodynamic efficiency are controllable cool-air intakes and new wheel spoilers on the underbody of the vehicle which ensure streamlined airflow around the wheels.

This new S model rides on larger wheels than its predecessor. With 22-inch Audi Sport alloy rims in a distinctive five-arm interference design in titanium grey, while brake callipers that are finished in red.

The side mirrors are of course electrically adjusted and heated and feature auto-dimming and memory functions and as with all S models, they feature an aluminium-look finish.

Metallic paint (excluding Soneira Red), privacy glass and a panoramic sunroof are all standard equipment on the SQ8 e-tron models.

Audi SQ8 Sportback e-tron interior front 1

What about the interior

Inside the e-tron models its the same as any other Q8 ‘S’ model.

Spacious, comfortable, luxurious and driver focused.

Audi virtual cockpit plus with three individual display options (e-tron, Sport and Classic) provide ample driver information.

The leather multi-function steering wheel is electronically adjusted and is also heated for the driver’s comfort. While head-up display allows the driver to monitor speed and navigation without looking away from the road.

Heated S Sport front seats are especially comfortable with Valcona leather throughout. They are embossed with the familiar S logo and distinctive diamond pattern – the feel is sporty yet elegant.

Adding to the premium ambience are features such as:

  • Sublime Bang & Olufsen 3D sound system with 16 speakers.
  • Four-zone climate control allows the occupants to tailor the temperature to perfection,
  • Colour interior ambient lighting which helps tailor the mood,
  • Floormats with the S logo,
  • Gloss black finishes on the operating controls and
  • Aluminium look interior trim.

Audi SQ8 e-tron front interior 1

Technology and connectivity

One thing Audi does extremely well is the central screen configuration and functionality.

The extensive vehicle and infotainment functions are controlled via the touchscreen with audio and haptic feedback positioned within easy reach of the driver and front passenger.

These include all of the connected functions available through the Audi connect plus such as navigation and infotainment as well as security and assistance.

Audi smartphone interface (Android Auto and wireless Apple CarPlay) are standard inclusions.

Along with

  • Audi phone box light with wireless charging (for mobile phones with the Qi standard),
  • Digital radio DAB+ and
  • two USB outlets both for the front seats with charging and connectivity and
  • two more for the rear with charging function.

Audi e-tron front charging point 1

SQ8 e-tron motor and drivetrain

New SQ8 e-tron employs three asynchronous motors to deliver its impressive performance, with two driving the rear axle and another driving the front.

The three motors produce 370kW and 973Nm of torque on boost. Resulting in a 0-100km/h sprint of just 4.5 seconds, on the way to a governed top speed of 210km/h.

This is relatively quick, especially for a large SUV. Coupled with electric quattro all-wheel drive and adaptive air suspension sport, the SQ8 e-tron and SQ8 Sportback e-tron have agility and handling that belie their size and level of luxury appointment

Audi e-tron transmission lever 1

The SQ8 e-tron uses a powerful, 106 kWh (net) battery (114 kWh gross). This is the largest battery currently available in a Battery Electric Vehicle (BEV).

This offers DC charging performance of up to 170 kW which can deliver charging (under ideal conditions) from 10 percent to 80 percent in just 31 minutes.

Charging ports

Charging port on drivers side (AC / DC) and 2nd charging port on passenger side (AC) comes with a 3 pin 240V charging cable as standard.

Audi SQ8 charging ports

For e-tron home/portable charging system. LEDs on the control unit indicate status of charging system and charging process. There is a 4.5m Type 2, Mode 2 charging cable including domestic and industrial plug with up to 7.2kW (AC) single phase charging capability2

Battery energy recuperation – 3 stages enable to adapt recuperation to preferred setting, each stage having a different level of deceleration for recovering different amounts of energy

However the large battery doesn’t translate to extended range. That’s always a soft point for the Audi EVs. The WLTP range is about 380km. This is under par when the KIA EV9 GT has a genuine 500km plus out of its 99kw/h battery.

Max. charging capacity AC / DC in kW 11.0 / 170 Max. charging capacity AC / DC optional in kW 22.0 / – Charging time AC 0-100%, 3ph 16A@230V in min 690

Audi SQ8 e-tron front grill 1

Audi SQ8 e-tron driving impressions

COMING June 6 

Safety and Driver Assistance 

Audi Q8 e-tron models (Sept 23) come with a five star ANCAP safety rating from 2019. So they are up for retesting soon.

Driver assistance and safety systems as standard equipment include:

  • Adaptive cruise control with speed limiter and traffic jam assist,
  • Autonomous Emergency Braking (AEB) including pedestrian and cyclist detection,
  • collision avoidance assist,
  • turn assist,
  • exit assist,
  • intersection assist,
  • rear cross-traffic assist and
  • lane charge warning (side assist).
  • front and rear parking sensors and
  • 360-degree cameras which include kerb view function for negotiating difficult parking situations,
  • tyre pressure loss indicator notifies the driver if tyre pressures dip below optimal for whatever reason.

Additional equipment: Sensory package

A Sensory package will be offered which includes additional equipment and interior trim. From the addition of Digital Matrix LED headlights to door entrance LED lights for the front and rear, the Sensory Package includes both practical and cosmetic enhancements. Soft close and latching doors heighten the luxurious experience, along with heated outer rear seats, manually operated sunshades for the rear windows and the upper and lower dashboard elements upholstered in leather. Even the atmosphere within the sumptuous cabin receives attention with the addition of an air quality package.

Customers will also be able to opt for a 22kW AC charging package for even greater convenience, with an additional second onboard charger (up to 22kW three phase) and an Audi connect charger, up to 22kW AC three phase.

Peace-of-mind for Audi owners

The Audi SQ8 e-tron and SQ8 Sportback e-tron come with six years Audi scheduled servicing as well as six years Audi roadside assist and a six years public charging subscription to the Chargefox network – Australia’s largest EV charging network of which Audi Australia is a founding partner.

The models also come with the peace-of-mind of a five-year warranty and 12 years manufacturing warranty for bodywork against corrosion perforation for new vehicles, as well as an eight-year battery warranty.

Market Introduction

The new Audi SQ8 e-tron and SQ8 Sportback e-tron models will arrive in Audi dealerships in the second quarter of 2024.

Pricing*
Audi SQ8 e-tron $173,600
Audi SQ8 Sportback e-tron $180,600

Audi SQ8 e-tron front driving 1Audi SQ8 e-tron final thoughts

Audi has quite the range in Q8 vehicles. The SQ8 e-tron SUV and SQ8 Sportback e-tron round out that range.

They are first and foremost Audis. That means luxurious, comfortable and safe.

They are also drivers cars.

With sub 5.0 second times for 0-100km/h and instant torque availability, they are exhilarating. For a vehicle that is as big and heavy as these are, the level of compliance and responsiveness is impressive.

The SQ8 Sportback e-tron is amongst the most stylish such vehicles on the market. It gets the proportions just right.

If only Audi would put the SQ8 V8 engine in this model.

More thoughts and details

What is good?

  • Audi luxury and comfort
  • Stylish Sportback design
  • Performance, ride and handling

What is not so good?

  • Below par EV range. These should be 500km plus.
  • Expensive
  • Poor economy in kWh/100km

Audi SQ8 battery technology

Audi SQ8

Model

SQ8 e-tron and SQ8 Sportback e-tron

Model Price $173,600 SQ8 e-tron, $180,600 SQ8 Sportback e-tron MLP*
Engine Triple motor , two rear one front.
Drivetrain 2-stage ratio planetary gearbox with a single gear Quattro
Battery Capacity / type 114kWh / Lithium Ion
Voltage / Capacity TBA
Power 370kW
Torque 973Nm
Range (WLTP) / ADR 381km max /
Economy / efficiency 28.0kWh/100km claimed
Fast Charge**/ Home  SOC 10-80% 31 mins. on a 170kw charger
Safety TBC
CO2 Emissions Zero driving emissions
0-100kmh/Top Speed 4.5secs / 210km/h governed
Servicing 24mth / 30,000km Capped price service plan
Warranty 5yr/ Unlimited km 160,000km/ 8 years high voltage components
Roadside Assist 6Yr. conditional roadside assist

*MLP Includes GST and LCT but excluding statutory charges, dealer costs and dealer delivery. See your dealer for RDAP. Does not include price of options. Some features mentioned in the article are options. RDAP means Recommended Drive Away Price (without options but including all other charges)

Audi SQ8 e-tron front interior 2

Overall Rating    

88/100

Behind the Wheel 9
Comfort 9
Equipment 9
Performance 9
Ride and Handling 9
Practicality 8
Fit for Purpose 9
Style / Appeal 9
Technology/connectivity 9
Value for Money 8

Audi SQ8 e-tron boot space

Dimensions

 
Overall Length 4915mm
Wheelbase 2928mm
Width 1976mm
Height 1617mm
Wheels 22-inch Alloys
Tyres 285/35 R22
Max ground clearance TBC
Wading Depth N/A
Approach 15 degrees
Rampover N/A
Departure angle 21 degrees
Turning Circle KTK 12.2m
Boot Min 528L
Boot Max 1567L
Kerb Weight 2650kg
Battery weight TBC
Payload (kg) 640kg
GVM (kg) 3290kg
GCM 5090kg
Towing Capacity 1800kg
Tow Ball rating 170kg
  • 8.8/10
    Overall Rating - 8.8/10
8.8/10

Summary

Audi has quite the range in Q8 vehicles. The SQ8 e-tron SUV and SQ8 Sportback e-tron round out that range.

They are first and foremost Audis. That means luxurious, comfortable and safe.

They are also drivers cars.

With sub 5.0 second times for 0-100km/h and instant torque availability, they are exhilarating. For a vehicle that is as big and heavy as these are, the level of compliance and responsiveness is impressive.

About Rob Fraser 2504 Articles
Rob Fraser – General dogsbody & Director Rob is the founder of the business. He constantly mutters something about way too many red wines one evening being to blame. Often known for taking the 4WD in the driveway over the sports car, he has travelled pretty much everywhere in Australia and when he is bored goes for a drive. He first learned to drive on the farm in a left hand drive WW11 Jeep when he was 11, and was hooked on 4WDriving way back then. In addition to 4WD he is an avid motoring enthusiast and has maintained a strong interest in the industry ever since his teens. He has owned way too many cars in his time as well. Having previously lived at the top of corporate life he retired in 2000 and hasn’t put a suit and tie on since. Cars are his passion so why not have a business doing what you love he figures. He has towed either a caravan or camper trailer to most parts of Australia, has run guided tours for camper trailers’ and instructed drivers in off road towing.