Audi is trying to steal the spotlight with its 2024 Q8 e-tron and its sportier sibling, the Q8 e-tron Sportback. After official data dropped from the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), the specifications for these all-new models have now been confirmed. Sure, they are flashy and give you more mileage, but let's cut through the glitz and glam for a moment. Are they truly as groundbreaking as Audi wants us to believe?
First off, you might want to forget the older Audi e-tron. The 2024 Q8 e-tron series arrives with a 114-kilowatt-hour (kWh) battery pack (106 kWh usable), which is a considerable step up from the e-tron's 95 kWh. And in simple terms? That's a lot more juice for your road trips—specifically a 20% increase in total capacity. But let's not roll out the red carpet just yet; the main feature is more storage, not exactly technological innovation.Improved range is due to larger battery
And speaking of range, the new Audi Q8 e-tron claims an EPA combined range of 300 miles, with a small asterisk—only if you opt for the 19-inch wheels and if you go for the more aero-friendly Sportback model. If your heart is set on 20-inch wheels, prepare for a slight dip in the mileage. For comparison, the outgoing e-tron was rated around low 200 miles. Hey, it’s progress, but not something we'll be telling our grandkids about.
Ah, but what about performance? Well, the yet-to-be-EPA-verified SQ8 e-tron versions are on the horizon. These are the hotter, snazzier, tri-motor editions Audi promises will hit around 253 miles of range. We'll reserve judgment until those numbers get the EPA stamp of approval.ArenaEV comparison tool
Slightly unmentioned in the hoopla around the 2024 models is the minute improvement in energy efficiency. A few percentage points up from the older e-tron. That's akin to bragging about taking the stairs instead of the elevator—to the first floor. Additionally, the Sportback offers some aerodynamic advantages that make it slightly more efficient, particularly at high speeds.
Charging the behemoth 114-kWh battery can go relatively quick if you have access to a fast charger. It accepts up to 170 kW of power and can go from 10% to 80% charge in approximately 31 minutes. Not groundbreaking, but certainly not a slouch either.2024 Audi Q8 e-tron faces stiff competition
Price-wise, prepare to cut a hefty check as these electric SUVs start at around (($75,000}} in the US. That places them squarely against stiff competition from BMW, Mercedes-Benz, Rivian, and the infamous Tesla Model X - you can use our comparison tool to see how close or how far from each other they get. A federal tax credit of up to $7,500 might soften the blow, but only if you go for the leasing option.
The 2024 Audi Q8 e-tron and its Sportback variant come with bigger batteries, slightly better efficiency, and a modestly quicker charging time. While these attributes mean a better driving experience, they don't necessarily redefine the EV landscape. It's a solid move forward, but in an increasingly competitive market, the Audi Q8 e-tron makes a stroll rather than a sprint toward the future of electric vehicles.