Say hello to…
…the Audi Q8 E-tron Sportback. A large SUV that replaces the car Audi simply called E-tron. Now with a much larger battery and therefore better range, plus a new name and design which pulls it into line with the Q8 line-up.
Answering criticism about a small real-world range in the original E-tron (which was less than 200 miles), Audi has given the Q8 version a whopping 106kWh battery. As a result the official range is now well above 300 miles.
Audi offers the Q8 E-tron in three different power outputs; 340hp, 408hp and 503hp, however the top power model is designated SQ8.
There are four trim levels:
- Black Edition
Standard equipment on the Sport includes 20-inch alloys, powered boot lid, adaptive air suspension, drive modes, powered and heated front seats with memory, leather upholstery, dual-zone climate control, 10-inch infotainment screen, reversing camera, wireless phone charging and cruise control with speed limiter.
S-line adds 21-inch alloys, adaptive sport suspension, bodykit and uprated seats.
Black Edition adds an exterior styling kit.
Vorsprung adds 22-inch alloys, super sports seats, virtual door mirrors, uprated headlights, panoramic roof, four-zone climate control and several option packs including head-up display.
Is The Audi Q8 Sportback E-tron Suitable For My Fleet
With the much improved range, the Q8 E-tron makes a lot more sense for higher mileage drivers. The 170kW DC charge capability is also a big plus. Also working in the SUV’s favour is a huge boot, despite the sleeker Sportback styling, which looks bigger than the 528 litre official figure. There’s also good under floor storage and an under-bonnet mini-boot for the charging cables.
Leasing An Audi Q8 Sportback E-tron
Intelligent Car Leasing is offering the Q8 E-tron in top Vorsprung trim for £1,679 a month on a 3+36 contract including 20,000 miles a year. Gensen Reports predicts monthly running costs of £96, however, Class 1A NIC is just £22 a month.
Driving An Audi Q8 Sportback E-tron
Adding more range solves the only real issue with the first E-tron. The car may not be any more efficient, but the extra 50 miles of real-world range is hugely reassuring.
We only saw an efficiency figure of 2.3 miles per kWh in mixed driving, which is some distance off the best EVs, but for a 2.5 tonne SUV, reliably being able to travel well over 200 miles is what you’d expect.
The way it covers miles is impressive. Comfort levels are first class and refinement is pretty close too.
Audi’s automated brake energy regeneration system that reads the road and traffic ahead to judge how much the car slows takes a little time to get used to, but works very well.
As you’d expect from a car with a touch over 400hp, the Q8 E-tron isn’t at all slow. However, in the world of high-power electric cars it’s not quite as mind-bendingly fast as some rivals. In reality it’s probably all the better for this.
The drive modes offer noticeable, and welcome, differences too.
Only letting the side down in terms of driving experience are the digital door mirrors which use cameras on stalks and a small screen on the inside of the door as a replacement for physical mirrors.
These are standard on the top Vorsprung trim level. They don’t just take some getting used to, they’re just not as good and easy to use as a regular mirror. While they’re fine in low light, they seem to get dazzled in bright sunlight more than glass mirrors. Ours also misted up on one wet morning. However, the biggest issue is that you can’t tilt them down and in enough when parking alongside a kerb. This makes parking in the right place a bit more of a guessing game than it should be.
However, pick one of the lower trim levels and none of this would be an issue.
Inside the Q8 E-tron, the cabin is up there with Audi’s best which means the quality and feel is also close to industry best. Audi’s double touch-screen set up works well for infotainment and other controls such as the climate control, but the menu system could be simpler.
Overall, the Q8 E-tron is an impressive SUV and one that works very well for the higher levels of business motoring.
FleetandLeasing.com Verdict On The Audi Q8 Sportback E-tron
Avoid versions with the digital door mirrors and the Q8 E-tron is all-round impressive now it has greater range.
Audi Q8 Sportback E-tron
- Model: Q8 Sportback E-tron 55 quattro 300kW Launch Edition
- Power: 408hp
- Torque: 664Nm
- Max speed: 124mph
- 0-62mph: 5.6s
- Official range: 336 miles
- Test range: 243 miles
- CO2 emissions: 0g/km
- BIK tax band 2022/23: 2%