2022 Audi Q8 e-tron Sportback spotted

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Audi Q8 e tron 2022 spy pics 1

Audi’s flagship electric coupe-SUV will be updated this year with more efficient motors, tweaked styling and a new Q8 e-tron Sportback badge

Audi is preparing a significant update for its e-tron Sportback, which will introduce a cleaner design, increased range and a new name – Q8 e-tron Sportback. The new model will arrive towards the end of this year, along with a Q8 e-tron SUV, and these spy shots give us an early preview of the car’s updated look.

The Sportback’s swooping silhouette remains, characterised by a shallow glasshouse, silver sill accents and contrasting paint for the lower section of the body. The wheels on this pre-production prototype are new, however, and we expect additional designs to arrive as part of the facelift.

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A heavily camouflaged nose indicates that the Q8 e-tron Sportback will get a restyled front end to bring it into line with the Q4 e-tron, with a closed-off grille that blends into the headlights. The headlights themselves appear unchanged, although the current car’s deep front vents appear to have made way for a more rounded bumper. This development model wears a set of conventional door mirrors, but optional digital items will also be available.

At the rear, there’s the same full-width light bar and sloping tail as the outgoing Sportback, and despite a camouflage rear bumper, the design remains almost entirely unchanged.

Instead, the most important changes will be under the metal, where the Q8 e-tron Sportback will utilise upgraded batteries and electronics to keep pace with an ever-growing set of rivals. Speaking to Automotive Daily last year, Audi’s board member for technical development Oliver Hoffman said: “We are very clear: with Q6 e-tron we have B-segment while the e-tron is focusing on C-segment,” Hoffman said. “The e-tron really is a special car for Audi because it was really the pioneer of electric mobility for us.

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“So it’s important to keep the car fresh, and therefore we are developing a big update in terms of range and charging time.”

The updates could see the car’s energy density improving to provide a battery capacity of over 100kWh, and a healthy increase over the current model’s 420km range. We expect over 480km for the Q8 e-tron, and the revisions will also bring faster charging than the e-tron Sportback’s 150kW rate.

Inside, the Q8 e-tron will retain the same basic cabin architecture as before. The current e-tron Sportback is fitted with a 10.1-inch infotainment screen, coupled to a touchscreen climate control panel and a digital instrument display. However, the Q8 e-tron could receive a new, larger screen setup in response to BMW’s new iDrive 8 system and the enormous Hyperscreen infotainment display from Mercedes-Benz.

The Q8 e-tron Sportback is expected to launch towards the end of this year, extending the life-cycle of the car before it’s replaced by an all-new model sporting a bespoke EV architecture in 2026.

Yousuf Ashraf

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