A 496-hp electric powertrain gives the 2024 SQ8 e-tron a kick in the pants and a credible place among the brand’s hotted-up models. Based on the comfort-oriented Q8 e-tron SUV and available in two wholly conventional looking body styles—squareback and fastback (called the Sportback)—the SQ8 e-tron duo offers much the same luxury treatment as their tamer cousins but with a sportier look and more go-power. A 106-kWh battery pack should deliver decent driving range, although not as much as rivals such as the BMW iX and the Tesla Model X. The SQ8 e-tron can be charged quickly via a DC fast-charging station. We think the 240 miles of range it will likely deliver should be enough for most people. All of Audi’s best tech is included on every SQ8 e-tron, including its Virtual Cockpit digital gauges, touchscreen infotainment with Wi-Fi connectivity, and a comprehensive suite of driver-assistance features that includes adaptive cruise control and lane-keeping assist.
What’s New for 2024?
The SQ8 e-tron is a new nameplate for the Audi lineup for the 2024 model year. It’s essentially a renamed version of the 2023 e-tron S SUV, with no major changes to the squareback and Sportback body styles.
Pricing and Which One to Buy
Audi hasn’t released pricing for the 2024 SQ8 e-tron yet, but we expect it to follow the same trim structure as the 2023 e-tron S. While it’s possible to spend six figures on an SQ8 e-tron, we think the one to buy is the entry-level Premium Plus trim. It comes standard with all of the luxury and convenience features that you’d expect—including a panoramic sunroof, genuine leather upholstery, and four-zone automatic climate control—without having to add a single option package.
EV Motor, Power, and Performance
While the SQ8 e-tron shares its platform with the Q8 e-tron, it sports a more powerful three-motor electric powertrain that makes 496 horsepower. We haven’t tested it yet, but Audi estimates it can arrive at 60 mph a full second sooner than the Q8 e-tron. Based on our test of an e-tron Sportback, that means the SQ8 could reach 60 mph in roughly four seconds—but our testing will confirm if that’s the case once we run it against the clocks. Because there are two electric motors on the rear axle rather than one, the SQ8 e-tron can mimic a torque-vectoring differential by sending more power to the outside rear wheel as needed to enhance cornering We drove a prototype on a race course back when it was called the e-tron S and found it easy to execute tire-destroying, smoke-tastic drifts. We’re not sure what SQ8 buyers will do with this capability in the real world, but watch for smoke signals. In normal driving, the SQ8’s handling is confident and reasonably athletic, but don’t expect the same crisp responses you’ll find on other S-branded Audi models.
Range, Charging, and Battery Life
All SQ8 e-tron models come with a 106.0-kWh battery pack that can be charged up utilizing 170 kW DC fast-charging connection. Audi says this battery should give the SQ8 e-tron a range of 307 miles per charge, but that’s according to the European WLTP test cycle which is notoriously optimistic. We think the EPA will give it a rating of about 240 miles, but that’s not official yet.
Fuel Economy and Real-World MPGe
The outgoing e-tron S was rated by the EPA for up to 73 MPGe city and 78 MPGe highway and we expect the SQ8 e-tron to carry similar estimates. When we get a chance to drive the SQ8 e-tron, we’ll update this story with test results from our 75-mph highway fuel-economy test. For more information about the SQ8 e-tron’s fuel economy, visit the EPA’s website.
Interior, Comfort, and Cargo
The SQ8 e-tron’s cabin is hushed when cruising and offers plenty of space for adults in both rows of seats. The first impression is that of a largely digital experience, as the SQ8 e-tron’s dashboard is packed with multiple high-resolution screens that include Audi’s digital gauge cluster—called Virtual Cockpit—and two flush-mounted touchscreens in the center. Of course, there’s a plethora of upscale features as well, including leather upholstery, a panoramic sunroof, four-zone automatic climate control, heated front and rear seats, a power-operated rear liftgate, and a power-adjustable steering column—all standard.
Infotainment and Connectivity
A large 10.1-inch touchscreen display is flush-mounted into the SQ8 e-tron’s dashboard while a smaller 8.6-inch display connects the dash to the center console. The lower display is used primarily for the SUV’s secondary controls such as the climate settings and the drive modes. Apple CarPlay and Android Auto are both standard, as is in-dash navigation, a wireless smartphone charging pad, a Bang & Olufsen stereo system, and an onboard Wi-Fi hotspot.
Safety and Driver-Assistance Features
A suite of driver-assistance features comes standard on every SQ8 e-tron model and includes automated emergency braking, lane-keeping assist, blind-spot monitoring and adaptive cruise control with lane-centering. For more information about the SQ8 e-tron’s crash-test results, visit the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) and Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) websites. Key safety features include:
- Standard automated emergency braking with pedestrian detection
- Standard lane-departure warning with lane-keeping assist
- Standard adaptive cruise control with a lane-centering feature
Warranty and Maintenance Coverage
The Audi SQ8 e-tron and SQ8 e-tron Sportback offer the same limited and powertrain warranty as the regular Q8 e-tron and smaller Q4 e-tron SUVs.
- Limited warranty covers four years or 50,000 miles
- Powertrain warranty covers four years or 50,000 miles
- Electric components are covered for eight years or 100,000 miles
- No complimentary scheduled maintenance