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Sunday, May 28, 2023

2024 Audi Q8 E-Tron First Drive: Completely Nice Expertise

I’m not completely certain the place this fallacy that each automobile must be good at every thing got here from. Certain, fashionable automobiles are extra versatile and succesful than ever, however your minivan doesn’t must set a Nurburgring lap time, ? Making an attempt to be good at each being a minivan and being a monitor rat means it will likely be unhealthy at each.

The identical factor is true of electrical vehicles. For instance, your heavy, two-row electrical SUV doesn’t must do a 10-second quarter mile and carve corners like a sizzling hatch. Many EVs have tried this, and they’re in the end disappointing. That’s why I discover a automobile just like the 2024 Audi Q8 E-Tron SUV so refreshing. It doesn’t have delusions of grandeur. It’s targeted on being a horny, relentlessly nice electrical luxurious SUV, and it’s actually good at that.

Full Disclosure: Audi needed me to drive the 2024 Q8 E-Tron so badly that they let me fly out of Burbank to SFO and drove me to an costly lodge in wine nation the place they let me order room service so I may work as an alternative of getting dinner with everybody else. I had a Meyer lemon tart for dessert.

What Is The Audi Q8 E-Tron?

A gray-blue 2024 Audi Q8 E-Tron SUV is parked in front of green hills. Rear three-quarter view.

Picture: Audi

The Q8 E-Tron is the brand new identify for the electrical SUV previously recognized as E-Tron. It was meant to make it much less complicated for buyers on the lookout for Audi’s electrified automobiles, and assist set up its place because the halo mannequin within the E-Tron lineup. Functionally, it’s similar to the previous automobile however notably improved in lots of key methods.

First, it presents higher vary because of a reworked battery pack that’s the identical bodily measurement because the previous one, however Audi organized the cells in another way inside it, permitting for extra cells, and now has 114 kilowatt-hours of capability, an enchancment of 16 kWh over the earlier model. The brand new pack design presents up a complete EPA-estimated vary of 285 miles within the SUV or 296 miles within the slipperier Sportback. Is it Tesla territory? Nope, nevertheless it needs to be a lot for most individuals virtually all the time.

Energy is up as effectively, because of a reworked electrical motor design that gives extra windings that translate into a complete peak of 402 hp. That’s not a mind-melting determine, and neither is the claimed 0-60 time of 5.4 seconds, however this isn’t a efficiency EV and shouldn’t be judged as one. It feels fast sufficient round city, and though freeway on-ramps is probably not the thrill you would possibly go after, it’s fast sufficient they don’t grow to be an problem both.

A gray 2024 Audi Q8 E-Tron Sportback is parked in front of the ocean, side view.

Picture: Audi

Audi additionally determined to fiddle round with the suspension and steering for this new Q8 E-Tron. Management arm bushing stiffness up entrance has been elevated by 50 p.c, which, when mixed with a faster steering rack, makes for a fairly nimble car. Steering help has additionally elevated, so that you’re paying nothing in driving consolation for sooner steering. Audi has fitted air suspension to each ends of the automobile, which presents an incredible journey and handy journey top changes on the fly.

Persevering with the theme of small however significant enhancements, the Q8 E-Tron now helps as much as 170kW DC quick charging. You’ll need to take benefit as a lot as you may as Audi is protecting two years of limitless Electrify America charging with each 2024 Q8 E-Tron. Degree 2 charging can be sooner because of a newly out there 19.2kW onboard charger. The usual one continues to be respectable, too, at 9.6kW. It’s value mentioning that the elective charger would require a a lot beefier service to your wall field in case you’re charging this at dwelling. In the event you’re not charging at dwelling, Audi’s out there twin cost ports are fairly helpful, permitting you significantly extra flexibility at charging stations.

How Does The Audi Q8 E-Tron Drive?

The charge door is open on a gray 2024 Audi Q8 E-Tron Sportback.

Picture: Audi

Driving the Q8 E-Tron may be finest described as completely nice. It’s roomy and comfy with very adjustable seats, which make lengthy stints behind the wheel a snap. Certain, you received’t discover barn-burning efficiency right here, nevertheless it has sufficient to have a bit enjoyable, enjoying into the strengths of EVs whereas asking little or no in compromise from a day-to-day use standpoint.

The automobile’s weakest level from a driving perspective is Audi’s weird regenerative braking settings. Like most German vehicles, there isn’t any true one-pedal drive mode, and when you can choose totally different ranges of regen with the steering wheel paddles, it returns to its default mode everytime you get again on the accelerator. It was so annoying to must guess what sort of regen I used to be going to get after I let off the accelerator pedal that I gave up on controlling it altogether and simply used the mechanical brakes. Clearly, in case you don’t like regen, it is a non-issue, however in case you’re a regenerative braking fiend like me, this might be a dealbreaker for you.

Past that admittedly minor problem, the Q8 E-Tron’s total street manners are wonderful. It presents excessive ranges of journey consolation with gentle however correct steering paired with sufficient efficiency to make the automobile type of fade into the background as you’re driving it round. It’s not a automobile that ever screams for consideration – from you as the motive force or from different individuals – and as an alternative it simply goes about doing its job of being a really good luxurious SUV with out a ton of fanfare. This can be a big win for Audi, so far as I’m involved, as a result of in need of having a charger put in at your own home, you usually don’t have to consider the Q8 E-Tron. You simply get to get pleasure from it.

Audi Q8 E-Tron’s Inside and Tech

The gray and black interior of the 2024 Audi Q8 E-Tron Launch Edition.

Picture: Audi

As an Audi, and a flagship mannequin at that, the inside of the Q8 E-Tron is a really good place to spend time. It’s extraordinarily well-assembled utilizing very upscale supplies and has been designed in a considerate extremely ergonomic method, which makes most issues within the cabin straightforward to search out and to make use of. I’m not a giant fan of the all-haptic controls that Audi has gone inside many latest fashions, however of the totally non-physical management programs in vehicles immediately, that is among the many finest.

On the heart of the sprint, the MMI Contact infotainment system stays tremendous snappy and simple to make use of. Apple CarPlay and Android Auto each join wirelessly, which is a plus. The Bang and Olufsen stereo system can be just about the identical as you’d discover in most different fashionable Audis. It’s not unbelievable, nevertheless it’s not overly fatiguing to hearken to.

The center console of the 2024 Q8 E-Tron as seen from the driver's seat.

Picture: Audi

Security tech on the Q8 E-Tron is fairly stable, together with fashionable conveniences like adaptive cruise with energetic lane-keep help, computerized emergency braking, parking sensors and computerized excessive beams as customary on the bottom mannequin. Step as much as the center trim degree (aka the candy spot), and also you get a 360-degree digital camera, site visitors signal recognition and LED headlights. The highest-tier Status trim will get a parking assistant and intersection help.

Pricing and Competitors

A blue and a white 2024 Audi Q8 E-Tron SUVs, one a Sportback, are parked in gravel near a bridge.

Picture: Audi

Pricing for the Q8 E-Tron SUV begins at $75,595, together with a $1,195 vacation spot charge. The highest-spec Launch Version will run you a bit extra, with a beginning worth of $88,745. The Sportback fashions are costlier, with the bottom mannequin coming in at $78,995 and the Launch Version promoting for $93,145.

Proper now, if you need a completely battery-electric luxurious SUV, your choices are restricted, however the competitors is stiff. Rivian has its R1S, which presents extra vary as an elective further however begins with simply 260 miles, although with significantly extra energy at 600hp. It additionally begins at $78,000. The BMW iX xDrive50 begins at $88,095, together with vacation spot, and comes with 307 miles of vary and 516 hp, nevertheless it’s not precisely subtle-looking. The Mercedes EQE SUV will possible be a reasonably sturdy competitor, however the EPA hasn’t launched its estimated vary but.

A 2024 Audi Q8 E-Tron SUV is charging at an Electrify America charging station.

Picture: Audi

As so usually is the case with Audi, specializing in issues that make a car nice to stay with fairly than issues that make huge headline figures makes their vehicles rather less fascinating on paper, however in the end it finally ends up being the mannequin I’d most certainly select to stay with.

Certain, you’re making some sacrifices with vary and energy by going with the Q8 E-Tron, however none you’d possible discover throughout your commute and even on the weekends. What you achieve is a extremely properly made and thoughtfully designed EV SUV from a longtime firm that’s not going to make your neighbors name the owners affiliation on you in case you depart it parked outdoors. Audi’s flagship EV SUV needs to be hitting sellers very quickly.

Audi's new flat-design logo on the front of a 2024 Audi Q8 E-Tron SUV.

Picture: Audi

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