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New moves for Audi Q8 and SQ8 e-trons

55 SUV e-tron dropped for 50 e-tron, 55 Sportback e-tron stays; SQ8 SUV and Sportback arrive

6 Jun 2024

AUDI Australia has rationalised its Q8 SUV and Sportback range this month as the new Q8 50 SUV e-tron variant joins the freshly launched SQ8 SUV and Sportback in Aussie showrooms.


The Q8 50 SUV e-tron will replace the Q8 55 SUV e-tron in the German brand’s growing local battery electric vehicle (BEV) portfolio, leaving the Q8 55 Sportback e-tron to fill the gap between Q8 50 SUV e-tron and SQ8 variants.


Pricing for the Q8 range now begins from $140,600 plus on-road costs for the Q8 50 SUV e-tron.


The carryover Q8 55 Sportback e-tron is now offered from $154,600 + ORC, while the SQ8 e-tron range is priced from $173,600 + ORC in SUV body style and $180,600 for the flagship SQ8 Sportback e-tron.


Speaking at the Australian media launch of the Audi Q8 50 SUV e-tron and SQ8 SUV and Sportback e-tron in Victoria this week, Audi Australia product manager Esther Choi said the revamped Q8 e-tron portfolio will take some of the complication from the top end of Audi’s flagship BEV range.


“You’ll see the Q8 55 SUV e-tron has dropped off from the range moving forward as we launch the Q8 50 SUV e-tron and the two SQ8 e-tron variants – SUV and Sportback – at the top of the range,” she said.


As has been rolled-out previously in other Q8 variants, the newly arrived trio sports Audi’s new corporate identity with two-dimensional badging, refreshed exterior and interior styling, improved battery and DC charging capacity, and what Audi refers to as an “optimised driving experience”.


Virtual mirrors remain optional on the range, with as many as 30 per cent of Audi customers ticking the box for the option. The Q8 range is further available with updated Digital Matrix headlights, the LED units now offering 1.3 million micro mirrors per lamp and the ability for each to tilt (adjust) up to 5000 times per second.


The Digital Matrix Headlights further offer new functions including an orientation light feature and advanced traffic information display (projection onto the road surface).


Aerodynamics are likewise improved, with SUV models now offering a drag coefficient of 0.27Cd and Sportback models 0.24Cd while motor efficiency gains come courtesy of an increase in the number of coils in each stator, up from 12 to 14.


Elsewhere, Audi says it has sharpened the steering ratio for its Progressive Steering system, taking the ratio from 15.8:1 to 14.6:1 (when compared with the previous e-tron). The front axle now receives stiffer lateral control arm bushings, while the stability control, integrated brake control, adaptive air suspension and dampers are all recalibrated.


The battery fitted in the Q8 range now offers 20 per cent more capacity from the same packaging, thanks to 12 addition stacked prismatic cells (to now total 432).


For the Q8 50 SUV e-tron battery capacity (lithium-ion) is listed at 95kW gross (89kW net) with DC charging at 150kW. The WLTP range is listed 411km.


By contrast, the Q8 55 Sportback e-tron offers a battery capacity of 114kW, 170kW DC charging and a range of 454km (WLTP), while the SQ8 SUV and Sportback each feature a 114kW battery capacity and 170kW DC charging, with WLTP ranges of 417km and 430km respectively.


Charging times fall between 28 and 31 minutes against the 10-80 per cent standard when charged with a DC fast charger. The maximum AC charging rate is listed at 22kW with times there of around five hours.


Vital stats see the Q8 50 SUV e-tron offer up 250kW of power and 664Nm or torque to provide a 0-100km/h time of 6.0 seconds.


For the Q8 50 SUV e-tron we find standard equipment including 20-inch alloy wheels, adaptive air suspension, front heated seats, leather appointed upholstery, pre-conditioning (climate control), a 12.3-inch Virtual Cockpit (digital instrument panel), head-up display, 360-degree camera system, active lane assist, and adaptive cruise control with Stop & Go functionality.


The Q8 55 Sportback e-tron continues to feature highlights such as Audi’s S line exterior styling package, 21-inch wheels, Sport front seats, Valcona leather upholstery, quad-zone climate control, coloured LED ambient cabin lighting, and electric steering column adjustment with memory.


For the SQ8 duo we find S body styling, a panoramic glass sunroof, Singleframe projector light, red-painted brake callipers, 22-inch wheels, Matrix LED headlights, dynamic rear indicators, S sport front seats, a 16-speaker Bang & Olufsen sound system, Virtual Cockpit plus, a heated sports steering wheel, and included metallic paint.


Optionally, the Q8 50 SUV e-tron is available with a Sport Package ($5400) offering 21-inch wheels, Sport front seats, Valcona leather upholstery, black exterior styling package, and LED colour ambient lighting.


The SQ8 duo is available optionally with Audi’s Sensory Package ($9600) offering Digital Matrix LED headlights, LED entrance lights, soft close/power latching doors, outboard rear heated seats, fine Nappa leather dashboard upper and lower elements, air quality package, and sunshades for the rear windows.


Finally, the 22kW AC charging package adds $6900 to the bill, while the inclusion of Virtual Mirrors is a further $3500.


Owners will receive six years complimentary access to public charging via the Chargefox network, six years complimentary scheduled servicing (with 24 month / 30,000km service intervals), and six years complimentary roadside assist with their Q8 or SQ8 purchase.


The complimentary installation of a standard home charger is also included.


Q8 and SQ8 models are covered by warranty for five years/unlimited kilometres, and the high voltage battery eight years/160,000km.


Q8 55 Sportback e-tron


Now offered exclusively in Sportback body style, the 55 Sportback e-tron is said to deliver an optimised drive, improved aerodynamics, and expanded battery capacity when viewed against its predecessor.


Pricing begins at $154,600 + ORC with the Q8 55 Sportback e-tron offering updated two-dimensional badging, new ‘Q8’ logos, a newly sculpted Singleframe frontal mask, wheel spoilers on the fully clad underfloor and new aerodynamic air curtains, optional virtual mirrors, and air suspension with up to 76mm of height adjustment.


Luggage space for the Q8 55 Sportback e-tron is listed at 528 litres at the rear and 62 litres in the front.


Motive drive comes from an asynchronous electric motor on each axle (to offer all-wheel drive) with the rear unit now enhanced to offer 14 coils (up from 12) to generate a strong magnetic field with similar energy consumption.


Subsequently, the Q8 55 Sportback e-tron delivers 300kW and 664Nm and can accelerate 0-100km/h in 5.6 seconds. Top speed is electronically limited to 200km/h.


Audi’s seven-mode dynamic handling system offers “superior stability on all terrain and in all weather conditions” while a reduction in the steering gear “gives more agile control over the vehicle”.


Interior highlights include a pre-conditioning HVAC system and quad-zone climate control, LED ambient cabin lighting, leather-appointed upholstery, front seat heating, driver’s seat position memory, and 40:20:40 split-fold rear seats.


The Q8 55 Sportback e-tron is further equipped with a trio of screens for instrumentation (12.3-inch), infotainment (10.1-inch) and auxiliary functions (8.6-inch), as well as high resolution head-up display. Wireless Apple CarPlay and wired Android Auto connectivity are standard, as is wireless device charging and dual USB ports front and rear.


Further, Audi says the model range now includes approximately 40 driver assistance systems with up to five radar sensors, five cameras and 12 ultrasonic sensors supplying the central driver assistance controller with “environmental information interpretation”.


A comprehensive suite of driver assistance systems is offered as standard, including parking sensors, a 360-degree camera system with kerb view function, adaptive cruise control, rear cross-traffic alert, lane change and departure assistance, autonomous emergency braking, and tyre pressure monitoring.


Battery capacity is now listed at 114kWh (gross) increasing DC charging performance to 170kW (+20kW). Audi says the battery may be charged from 10 to 80 per cent in approximately 31 minutes. A 7.2kW AC charging port is also available. The WLTP driving range is listed at 454km.


Complimentary installation of a JetCharge home charger is included in the purchase price of the vehicle.


Audi Australia is also offering all e-tron vehicles with a six-year subscription to the Chargefox public EV charging network, six years of scheduled servicing and six years of roadside assistance, as well as an eight-year battery warranty.


SQ8 SUV and Sportback e-tron


The keenly anticipated SQ8 SUV and Sportback e-tron range is now available locally priced from $173,600 and $180,600 + ORC respectively.


The numbers see Audi’s flagship BEV models compete with the likes of the BMW iX xDrive50 (from $185,400 + ORC) and Mercedes-AMG EQE 53 (from $189,900 + ORC).


Developing a zesty 370kW of power and 973Nm of torque from its three-motor driveline, the SQ8 e-tron can accelerate from standstill to 100km/h in an impressive 4.5 seconds on its way to an electronically limited v-max of 210km/h.


Each SQ8 e-tron variant features a 114kWh (net) battery pack to offer a driving range of up to 417km/430km (WLTP) and features high-capacity DC charging at a rate of up to 170kW. The claimed 10-80 per cent recharging time is listed at 31 minutes.


As standard, the 2024 Audi SQ8 e-tron range will feature 22-inch alloy wheels, air suspension, LED headlights, autonomous emergency braking, and 360-degree camera and parking assistance.


Inside, a strong equipment list includes sport seats with Valcona upholstery, a 12.3-inch Audi Virtual Cockpit (digital instrument panel), a 10.1-inch infotainment array with 16-speaker Bang & Olufsen 3D sound, wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto connectivity, DAB+ digital radio reception, an 8.6-inch climate control array with quad-zone climate control, and wireless device charging.


A long list of optional equipment is further offered, including an Air Quality feature as part of the climate control system, a leather dashboard upper, integrated rear window sun blinds, heated outboard rear seats, soft-close doors, LED entrance lights, and LED digital matrix headlights.


A 22kW AC charger may also be optioned.


Visit GoAuto again soon for our local launch review of the 2024 Audi Q8 50 SUV e-tron and 2024 Audi SQ8 SUV and Sportback e-tron models.


2024 Audi Q8 and SQ8 e-tron pricing*:


50 quattro SUV (a)


New variant

55 quattro SUV (a)



55 quattro Sportback (a)



SQ8 quattro SUV (a)


New variant

SQ8 quattro Sportback (a)


New variant


*Pricing excludes on-road costs.


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