2024 Audi SQ8 E-Tron and Sportback E-tron add a third motor, gobs more power

When Audi announced changes to the 2024 model lineup, the 2024 Audi SQ8 E-tron got the “Stay tuned” tag instead of bulleted details. The Ingolstadt brand is finally ready to give buyers the good news, the SQ8 E-tron adding a second motor on the rear axle to the Q8 E-tron’s dual-motor powertrain, meaning more power, quicker acceleration, and finer torque vectoring. Peak output in boost mode hits 496 horsepower and 718 pound-feet of torque, an additional 94 horses and 228 pound-feet over the updated specs for the 2024 Q8 E-tron. The blast to 60 miles per hour takes 4.2 seconds, a substantial 1.2 seconds quicker than the Q8 E-tron completes the same sprint. 

Using the new, larger battery pack as the Q8 E-tron with 106 usable kilowatt-hours, estimated EPA range in the SQ8’s traditional and Sportback trims is 253 miles on 20-inch wheels or 218 miles on the optional 22-inchers. That longer figure checks in at 32 miles below the Q8 E-tron’s range. The Q8 E-tron Sportback offers an Ultra Package for buyers swayed by the longest range, the bundle switching to 19-inch wheels on low-rolling resistance summer tires among other changes. This trim and package can hit an estimated 300 miles. No other Q8 E-tron or SQ8 E-tron variants can be had in Ultra guise.

The SQ8 gets the usual S and flagship tells, most obviously the fender flares that add 1.5 inches to the SUV’s width. Beyond that, note the silver side mirror housings, silver accents on the front fascia, rocker panels, and rear diffuser. Six-piston calipers clamp 15.7-inch two-piece rotors in front, a single-piston caliper sweeps a 13.8-inch vented rotor in back.

The interior’s dressed in Valcona leather with contrast diamond stitching, and “carbon square” trim instead of open pore wood.

Pricing starts at $90,895 for the 2024 SQ8 E-Tron after the $1,095 destination charge. The 2024 Q8 E-tron’s destination charge has risen to $1,195 since pricing came out in March. Since the SQ8 is effectively the same vehicle for shipping purposes, don’t be surprised if the electric SQ8 gets $100 more expensive shortly. The SQ8 E-tron skips the entry-level Premium trim available on the Q8 E-tron, so comparing like for like, the SQ8 E-tron Premium Plus starts start at about $11,000 above the electric Q8 E-tron Premium Plus. The SQ8 Sportback E-tron starts at $93,695, close to $10,000 more than the Q8 Sportback E-tron Premium Plus. 

The 2024 SQ8 E-tron should arrive at U.S. dealerss in the fourth quarter of this year. Shoppers who take one home will get two years of complimentary DC fast charging at Electrify America. 

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