The Audi Q8 E-Tron is easy to miss in a world where new electric SUVs come out as often as your TikTok feed is updated. If you bought this Audi EV in 2018, it was called the E-Tron. It sent a strong message to all Tesla owners that regular car companies would only be taking the electric era with pushing back. The only problem was that it quickly went out of sight because it needed to improve at what it did; there was a lot of new, strong competition, and it was just plain bad luck. The updated Audi SQ8 E-Tron for 2024 shows that the company isn’t waiting for a better electric SUV to come back, even if they are working on a more advanced EV for the future.

The 2024 SQ8 E-Tron is a sporty mid-level car that falls between the regular Q8 E-Tron and the powerful Porsche-based RS E-Tron GT. For 2024, changes were made to the whole Q8 E-Tron line, which helps the new SQ8 E-Tron. When VW’s MLB Evo platform, which powers cars from the Audi A4 to the Lamborghini Urus, goes from wound to stacked battery cells, the battery capacity goes from 86.5 kWh to 106 kWh without changing its size. Audi says it will take 31 minutes to charge the SQ8 E-Tron from 10 to 80%. The new pack can also charge at up to 170 kW at its fastest and keep going at that speed until the battery is fully charged.

First Drive of the 2024 Audi SQ8 E-Tron: Is It Still After Tesla?

The “golf ball principle” is used on the EV’s belly, and wider wheel spoilers, active air shutters, and air curtains are added to make it more aerodynamic. So, the range of the SQ8 E-Tron and E-Tron Sportback before the refresh went from 181 miles to 218 miles with 21- or 22-inch wheels and up to 253 miles with regular 20-inch wheels.

Audi changed the SQ8 E-Tron’s control arm bushings and raised the steering ratio to make the turning feel better. The SUV’s anti-roll bar tuning and stiffer air suspension stayed the same when compared to the regular Q8 E-Tron. The SQ8 E-Tron’s three-motor setup stays the same. Two front and two rear induction motors produce a total of 426 horsepower and 596 pound-feet of torque. In “boost mode,” they can temporarily give up to 496 horsepower and 717 pound-feet of torque. The SQ8 E-Tron, like most EVs with multiple motors on a single axle, can do rapid torque vectoring. This means that it doesn’t need the four-wheel steering system that its gasoline-powered brothers do.

When we take the SQ8 E-Tron on our favorite back roads, that torque-vectoring technology comes in handy. The SQ8 E-Tron is fun to drive, but the Q8 E-Tron is only good on roads with lots of turns. The Audi looks a lot smaller than it really is, thanks to technology like torque vectoring, firmer suspension, and faster handling. The body control is great—roll is almost nonexistent, and hits are usually one-and-done—and the steering is quick, though a bit vague for our tastes.

The three-motor torque-vectoring system is also different from the two-motor Q8 E-Trons. When you go too fast around a corner, the SQ8’s rear end bites a little, stopping understeer and helping move the nose in the right direction. The system isn’t as strong as those in Tesla, Rivian, or Lucid’s tri- and quad-motor EVs, but it’s still better than the Q8 and the SQ8’s, and it mostly eliminates the need for a complicated four-wheel steering layout.

It will still be better when VW’s more up-to-date Premium Platform Electric (PPE) design powers the next SQ8 E-Tron. The SQ8 E-Tron never feels especially fast, even when it’s in boost mode and has more speed. It just looks fast. That’s good because I really miss feeling the brakes. If there isn’t a one-pedal mode or a more major regenerative braking change, drivers have to use the old way of stopping with a brake pedal that is soft and doesn’t move in a straight line.

The SQ8 E-Tron’s “auto-recoup” regenerative braking system helps hide the problem mentioned above when driving on highways and in towns. This system uses sensors to change the amount of brake regeneration automatically. The SQ8 is like the Q8 E-Tron in this way: it’s a luxurious, quiet, and comfy cruiser. The inside is well-equipped, as it has been in other Audi cars that cost about the same as the SQ8 E-Tron, which starts at $90,995. The Audi doesn’t have as much fun software as some of its competitors, like Tesla and Rivian, but it’s still a nice place to be because it’s made of leather and carbon fiber.

The revised 2024 Audi SQ8 E-Tron is, without a doubt, a more appealing performance SUV than the car it replaces, but it’s likely to be just as popular as the E-Tron was before it was called a Q8. Audi knows this, too, and they are already thinking about the next generation. The next year, the A6 E-Tron and Q6 E-Tron, the brand’s first more modern PPE cars, will go on sale around the world. By 2025, the company wants to have more than ten more EVs. The even more sought-after Q8 E-Tron is likely to be one of them.

Invoice Pricing

Take out the drama and hassle of negotiating at the dealership. Find the best price fast!