E-TRON is Audi’s language for purely electric.
Ignore the fact that it first appeared on a petrol hybrid and that until now it was itself the name of a model in its own right.
Car naming seems to be getting more and more complicated as many brands feel the need to place them in a family hierarchy, both alphabetically and numerically.
Add electric cars and the complication is amplified.
So this is the new e-tron.
Or rather, a new e-tron, now badged as the Q8 e-tron, putting it at the top of the list as Audi’s flagship SUV.
still with me
It kind of makes sense – until you realize Audi already has a Q8.
Which is also big, fast and a flagship SUV. But it’s a completely different car.
my brain hurts
Anyway, like Audi, let’s forget about the other Q8 for now.
Redesigned and redesigned to go further than any other e-tron to date, it can travel up to an impressive 343 miles on a single charge.
Plus, you’ll want to drive this car quite a bit too, making it a recipe for another Audi hit.
But that longer range (which is about 25 percent less in the real world) isn’t just down to bolting on a bigger, more powerful battery — sophisticated aerodynamics now more than ever play a role in the pursuit of efficiency.
For example, under the car are wheel spoilers and a self-sealing front air intake to reduce drag and get more miles per charge.
The battery takes up the same space as the original e-tron, but has been cleverly repackaged or crammed to produce 20 percent more energy and charge faster too.
It’s clever invisible stuff.
There are two body styles to choose from – a boxier SUV with a square rear, or a lower-seated, coupe-style Sportback that costs a premium of £3,000.
And there’s also a choice of two battery options, 95kWh and 114kWh – the cheapest of which will still cover up to 290 miles and catapult you to 100km/h in just six seconds.
And if that’s not enough, there’s also an incredibly fast and extra-wide SQ8 model – also in both body variants – that completes this honor in 4.5 seconds thanks to its triple motors.
But at a price in the six-digit range.
With its new flagship status, the SUV’s ride and handling aren’t genre-defining, but it definitely doesn’t disappoint.
Sharper, more direct steering gives you delicious confidence to get as much as you like out of well-planted electric four-wheel drive.
Direct competitors include the BMW iX, Jaguar I-Pace and Mercedes EQE, with which it mixes very competitively.
It’s not as nimble as the Jag, nor does it go quite as far as the Merc, but it undercuts the Beemer and is stronger than most of them.
In the cabin it is as usual with the contemporary luxury atmosphere of Audi.
High on comfort and with ambience subdued over drama, it’s perfectly finished but still haptically touching to hell and back on the double-stacked central touchscreens.
And then there are those alien virtual wing mirrors.
If the nearly £2,000 option doesn’t put you off, just wait until you use it.
But around 40 assistance systems, five radar sensors, 12 ultrasonic sensors and five cameras ensure that you are safe while you get used to the polarizing future technology.
A new name, a new face and a new, longer range should only make the popular Nobel EV even more popular.
But the game remains the same as the list of rivals and alternate options only grows longer.
Key data: AUDI SQ8 E-TRON SPORTBACK
Power: 503 hp, 973 Nm
Top speed: 124 km/h
Range: 295 miles
https://www.thesun.ie/motors/9967939/audi-sq8-e-tron-review/ The Audi SQ8 E-Tron goes as far as no other – on a single charge