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    2024 Audi Q8 e-tron Review

    Authors Image

    Sagar Bhanushali

    3,568 Views
    Audi Q8 e-tron Right Front Three Quarter

    Why would I buy it?

    • Quality interior
    • Hushed ride
    • Real-world range

    Why would I avoid it?

    • Doesn't feel special
    • Rivals offer more features

    What is it?

    Here, we have the Audi Q8 e-tron, roughly three years after the original e-tron arrived in India as Audi India’s flagship EV. Essentially, it’s a facelift for the e-tron with a slightly new look, more range, and more features. This time around it also gets the Q8 nameplate, indicating that it’s amongst the top-shelf products from Audi India. The Q8 e-tron can be had as either a flat-roof SUV or a Sportback which gets you a coupe-like profile. We have driven the Sportback already and this time around, it’s the all-purpose standard Q8 e-tron that we have tested here.

    Right Side View

    The Sportback certainly looks the part. It’s got the right proportions, which is quite an achievement given how ungainly coupe SUVs tend to look. The sloping roofline, big wheels, and the finely prominent haunches give it plenty of road presence. In comparison, the Q8 e-tron here looks a bit vanilla but it is still a good-looking SUV. It’s a well-balanced design that will age well, pretty much like all modern Audis.

    Left Rear Three Quarter

    How is the Audi Q8 e-tron on the inside?

    8 / 10

    Dashboard

    The Q8 e-tron is unassumingly good on the inside, too, and that could either be good or bad, depending on what side of the aesthetic fence you happen to be on. It’s a straightforward cabin with simplified lines and clean design elements. Nothing in here has been made to look like a piece of jewellery or overly stylised to appeal to the gen Z crowd. In fact, the interior look and appeal are headlined by the two large touchscreen displays - one for the infotainment system and the lower secondary unit houses the climate controls. Admittedly, the screens look brilliant, especially at night, but they are also big-time fingerprint magnets. The rest of the cabin is typically Audi, which means everything you touch or operate has a quality feel to it, right down to the wiper/indicator stalks and controls for the wing mirrors.

    The Q8 e-tron’s dimensions are fairly large which translates to an airy comfortable cabin. The front seats are big and supportive and because the e-tron is so wide the seats are set at a good distance apart. Again, legroom and shoulder room at the back are plentiful and the rear bench is also equally supportive with good cushioning all around.

    Rear Seats

    Is the Audi Q8 e-tron nice to drive?

    8 / 10

    Right Side View

    The biggest advantage that comes with the e-tron facelift is the new 114kWh battery pack. In terms of energy efficiency and real-world range, it offers noticeable improvements over the original model. Audi claims over 400bhp and 670Nm of torque which are standard figures at this price point for EVs. The best part about the everyday driving experience of any EV is the lack of noise and vibration at any point. The fact that there is zero noise and vibration before you slot the gear lever in Drive and set off takes some getting used to if you are new to EVs. This is also where the fun part begins because, in typical EV fashion, the Q8 e-tron reacts like a firm athlete as soon as you push the throttle pedal, accelerating strongly compared to all other vehicles around you.

    Right Front Three Quarter

    With 670Nm of instantaneous torque under your right foot, the Q8 e-tron pins you back in your seat under full-bore acceleration. Speaking of which, we managed to strap our timing gear during the drive and the results were quite impressive. The acceleration from 0-60kmph takes just 2.88 seconds and you will need only 5.35 seconds to hit 100kmph. The Q8 e-tron is phenomenally quick in-gear, too, taking just 3.53 seconds for the 40-100kmph run.All that said, nobody goes flat out every time they get behind the wheel. Everyday commutes or leisure drives, comfortable rides, a hushed cabin, and good visibility are what matters and the Q8 e-tron delivers on those counts. Not surprisingly, the Q8 e-tron is quiet, comfortable, and easy to drive.

    The adaptive air suspension does a great job of delivering a cushy ride in Comfort mode and a safe, planted handling in Dynamic. It also allows the driver to raise the ride height on the move. This not only reduces the chances of underbody scraping but more crucially, keeps the battery pack safe. As for the ride quality, the e-tron is just like any petrol/diesel luxury SUV when it comes to smothering the harshness of bumps and potholes. There is no underlying stiffness to its ride and for something that weighs over 2,500kg, there isn’t much side-to-side movement over undulations either.

    Right Rear Three Quarter

    The Q8 e-tron has a real-world range of around 400km on a full charge. Of course, that depends on several factors such as driving style and traffic conditions. According to Audi, the car’s regeneration system accounts for up to 30 per cent of the total range. Basically, every time the driver hits the brakes or gets off the accelerator, the e-tron regenerates power back into the battery. In both cases, the electric motors function as a generator and convert the kinetic energy of the Q8 e-tron into electric energy to leverage more charge into the battery. The driver can adjust the extent of re-gen using the paddle shifters on the steering wheel. In the highest re-gen setting, the Q8 e-tron will decelerate and come to a stop rapidly as soon as you get off the accelerator. Ideally, then, one can drive the Q8 e-tron in traffic using just the accelerator pedal.

    Should you buy the Audi Q8 e-tron?

    8.5 / 10

    Tail Light/Tail Lamp

    The Q8 e-tron has the BMW iX xDrive 40 and the Mercedes EQE 500 as its rivals. The BMW has a more radical design on the outside, whereas the EQE offers more features as standard. The Q8 e-tron, like I said, is more subdued in terms of visual appeal but it still makes for a convincing buy whether you are looking for a luxury SUV or a straight-up electric vehicle. It’s plenty comfortable and it feels and drives like a conventional luxury vehicle which is probably the most impressive thing about it.

    Pictures by Kapil Angane

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