City Rides: Electric excitement with the Audi SQ8 e-tron 

City Rides: Electric excitement with the Audi SQ8 e-tron 



Buckle up as we delve into a thrilling fusion of style, power, and eco-conscious engineering.

Dubai, the playground of luxury and innovation, provided us with the ultimate backdrop for an exhilarating encounter with the latest addition to Audi's electrifying lineup, the Audi SQ8 e-tron.

Shedding light on Audi's electric roadmap, this heavy facelift of their acclaimed e-tron SUV aims to rival the likes of Mercedes-Benz's EQE SUV and BMW's iX. In the vibrant landscape of electric vehicles, Audi's SQ8 e-tron promises a dash of sportiness to complement its executive appeal, showcasing a balance of luxury and performance. 

Electrifying Aesthetics

The new Audi SQ8 e-tron leads the way for a fresh badging strategy. At first glance, we noticed the iconic Audi rings adorned in a new 2D look, along with the model's name elegantly engraved on the B-pillars (on the doors). These progressive accents reflect Audi's constantly evolving design language, reinforcing the SQ8 e-tron's pioneering nature and demonstrating the vehicle's commitment to electric mobility.

The optional digital matrix LED headlights, which we first met when driving the RS e-tron GT, add a touch of sophistication to the character of the car. These headlights not only enhance visibility with adaptive light distribution but also provide additional safety features. The lane light and orientation light assist in driving, while the hazard warning projects a warning symbol onto the road during critical situations.

Another futuristic feature of the Audi SQ8 e-tron is the optional virtual exterior mirrors, which take some time to get used to and might not suit everyone's driving style. Nonetheless, these small cameras project images onto 7-inch OLED displays, ensuring exceptional visibility even in challenging conditions. 

The Audi SQ8 e-tron effortlessly captures attention with its well-proportioned and assertive exterior design, without overtly emphasising its electric powertrain. From the front, the grille seamlessly integrates with the headlights, creating a harmonious and modern look. At the rear, the full-width light bar completes the bold statement. And to complement its sporty demeanour, the SQ8 e-tron boasts 21-inch Audi Sport wheels in a striking 5-arm aero structure design with black metallic accents.  

While the exterior design captivates with its sleek lines and modern touches, the Audi SQ8 e-tron's true innovation lies beneath the surface. This electric flagship SUV combines style and substance seamlessly with a revised front grille design, functional bumper corner vents, and a distinctive two-dimensional logo.

Audi SQ8 e-tron

Artistic Ampere

As we entered the cabin, we were greeted by a refined interior that featured selected materials, including fine cloth, exuding elegance and sophistication, evoking a higher level of luxury compared to the RS e-tron GT, which focused on performance. Supportive seats and large door openings make entering and exiting the vehicle effortless. Additionally, the optional massaging front seats and dual-pane acoustic glass contribute to a serene and comfortable ride.

The Audi SQ8 e-tron has impressive tech features that enhance the driving experience. The centrepiece is the MMI touch response operating system, consisting of two high-resolution displays. The 10.1-inch top touchscreen controls media, navigation, and vehicle settings, while the 8.6-inch bottom display manages climate and comfort functions. The system supports natural voice control, allowing for easy activation of various features. 

Audi SQ8 e-tron

The Audi virtual cockpit with full HD resolution and an optional heads-up display provides additional information for a seamless driving experience. The standard four-corner air suspension and adaptive damping ensure a refined and comfortable ride, effortlessly gliding over Dubai's challenging roads.

Audi's commitment to sustainability is evident in the SQ8 e-tron's interior design. Recycled materials play a significant role in reducing the vehicle's environmental footprint. The upholstery options include synthetic leather and microfiber material made from recycled PET bottles and other sustainable sources.

In addition to its luxurious interior, the SQ8 e-tron offers practicality and versatility. The spaciousness is enhanced by the absence of a third row, ensuring ample legroom for second-row passengers; while the generous cargo space provides ample room for luggage. With 569 liters of trunk capacity (528 litres in the coupe version), which expands to 1,637 liters (or 1,567 liters) with the seats folded down, the SQ8 e-tron easily accommodates all your storage needs. There's even a convenient 62-litre frunk for storing charging cables and other items.

Audi SQ8 e-tron

Unleashing the Vorsprung Potential

The Audi SQ8 e-tron's driving dynamics are truly remarkable. With its fully electric Quattro all-wheel drive, the torque distribution between the front and rear axles is seamlessly regulated, ensuring exceptional traction and stability. Thanks to the adaptive air suspension and various driving modes, such as efficiency or sport, easily selectable via Audi drive select on the front console, the SQ8 e-tron delivered an engaging and versatile driving experience. 

Under the hood, the SQ8 e-tron boasts a power-packed performance. The front and rear electric motors have been upgraded, generating a magnetic field that facilitates efficient power generation. With a peak output of 496 horsepower, the SQ8 e-tron can accelerate from 0 to 100 km/h in just 4.5 seconds. Its power delivery is both smooth and linear, giving us a taste of instant torque without overwhelming us like its more athletic brother the RS e-tron GT. 

While the SQ8 e-tron's regenerative braking system provides a familiar feel akin to engine braking, we wished for a more aggressive one-pedal driving mode. 

The selectable regen, controlled by steering wheel paddles, was not as strong as we had hoped. However, for those new to electric vehicles, this system may provide a comfortable transition.

The SQ8 e-tron's efficiency has seen improvements compared to its predecessor. With its revised motor configuration and larger 106.0 kWh battery, this new model offers a greater range and reduced consumption, striking a balance between spirited performance and energy conservation, making it a viable choice for a thrilling yet eco-conscious ride.

One of the first things we noticed while driving the SQ8 e-tron was its smoothness and refinement. The controls are solidly weighted, providing a satisfying heft to the steering and pedals. Audi has masterfully engineered the transition from regenerative to traditional braking, ensuring a seamless and natural feel. Surprisingly, the SQ8 e-tron doesn't scream about its electric nature but focuses on delivering an engaging and enjoyable driving experience.

However, the car's weight, tipping the scales at over 2.5 tonnes, is hard to ignore. Manoeuvring in tight spaces, particularly during parking, can be challenging due to the lack of creep in reverse. Additionally, the digital wing mirrors, while innovative, may not provide the desired visibility in certain situations. 

Combining thrilling performance with cutting-edge safety features, the SQ8 e-tron offers an enjoyable driving experience without compromising on safety. The Audi SQ8 e-tron is packed with advanced driver-assist and active safety technologies designed to enhance your driving confidence. These features work harmoniously to provide you with a safe and secure journey through Dubai's city streets. 

Audi SQ8 e-tron

Range and Recharge

With a larger battery capacity and higher charging capability, the Audi SQ8 e-tron is ready to take you on an exhilarating ride without compromising on range. Imagine covering up to 494 kilometres on a single battery charge. That's right, this powerhouse has the potential to transport you to the capital and back in one charge.

Charging the Audi SQ8 e-tron is a breeze, whether at home or on the road. It offers various charging options tailored to fit your needs. But even more exciting is the ability to charge even more quickly at High Power Charging stations. 

Audi SQ8 e-tron

The FACTs 

Audi's new SQ8 e-tron stands tall as a thrilling fusion of style, power, and eco-conscious engineering, unleashing a new level of excitement in electric vehicles. Its captivating exterior design, featuring progressive accents and advanced lighting technology, combines luxury and sportiness seamlessly. Stepping inside, the refined interior exudes elegance and offers various tech features that enhance the driving experience. With remarkable driving dynamics, power-packed performance, and improved efficiency, the SQ8 e-tron delivers an engaging and enjoyable ride while prioritising sustainability. 

The Audi SQ8 e-tron is a testament to Audi's commitment to pushing the boundaries of electric mobility, providing a thrilling and eco-conscious option for luxury SUV enthusiasts.

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