BRUSSELS — The Audi E-tron has given a new name to address the problem of uncompetitive range, which was seen as a major drawback when it was launched in 2018 as the Volkswagen Group’s first modern electric vehicle. , a new look, and significant improvements.
The first 2023 Audi Q8 E-tron available for sale left the assembly line here on Wednesday. Driven by factory manager Volker Germann, it boasts an estimated range of up to 600 kilometers (373 miles) under the Worldwide Harmonized Light Vehicles Test Procedure currently in use in Europe.
The current Q8 E-tron will hit U.S. dealers in mid-2023 in both crossover and sportback versions. Audi hasn’t released an expected range in his EPA testing, but it equates to roughly 330 miles. By comparison, when his original E-tron arrived in the US in 2019, its rating was just 212 miles.
The Q8 E-tron’s 600-kilometer maximum range will be available in a more aerodynamic Sportback version fitted with a larger 115-kilowatt-hour battery pack. Bigger pack, Audi said. However, both versions come standard with a 95 kWh battery pack.
The improved range is due to a combination of new battery chemistries, including the construction of the battery’s cathode and anode, as well as advances in aerodynamics and engineering, factory-level Audi executives said.
The original E-tron, also manufactured here, was powered by battery cells from supplier LG, while the Q8 E-tron was powered by cells from Samsung SDI. Audi’s Brussels plant has produced around 160,000 of his E-trons since the first-generation vehicle was launched, Germann said.
In addition to starting production of the Q8 E-tron, Audi said on Wednesday it will adopt the Brussels plant to add capacity for the Q4 E-tron, which is currently only produced at the Volkswagen Group’s plant in Zwickau, Germany. The Q4 E-tron, built on the same MEB modular platform as the Volkswagen ID3 and ID4, will start production in Brussels in late 2023 at a rate of around 70 vehicles per day, requiring additional workers. Executives say no. to do so.