Facelift adds new front end and increased range
Electric SUV gains styling updates, increased range and will follow Q8 nameplate
The models will also carry the Q8 nameplate to position them as the brand’s new flagship SUVs. As well as technical upgrades to their drivetrains, the two electric-powered SUVs receive a series of subtle exterior and interior styling changes.
The line-up stays the same, offering 50, 55 and S models, the latter of which continues to develop 496bhp and up to 717lb ft of torque.
Among the styling changes made to the three-year-old car is a new-look grille featuring Audi’s two-dimensional ring emblem and altered electronically controlled cooling ducts. It is set within a re-profiled bumper and is bookmarked by headlights with new functions, including an orientation light for country roads and a lane light with a direction indicator. At the rear, there are new tail-light graphics and a revised bumper.
The German car maker has also added new spoilers within the underbody to smooth airflow around the wheels, helping to reduce drag coefficient by a factor of 0.2.
Inside, Audi’s electric SUVs receive new recycled upholstery and trim options in a lightly revised cabin that also features changes to the multimedia interface (MMI). The system comes with MMI Navigation Plus as well as a so-called E-tron route planner as standard.
The upgraded drivelines use a revised electric motor for a reduced current and lower power consumption under constant cruising conditions.
As before, both SUVs’ 50 and 55 models use two asynchronous motors (one at the front, one at the rear) with the more potent S variant continuing with a third additional motor at the rear.
Power and torque for the 50 models increase to 335bhp and 489lb ft but stay the same for the 55, which offers 396bhp and 489lb ft.
Further changes are focused on the battery, which continues to operate at 400V. Audi says the adoption of more advanced cells and a new battery management system increases the battery pack’s energy density by up to 20%. A revised stacking process, with altered electrode placement, is also said to increase overall energy efficiency.
With its reworked 89kWh lithium ion battery, the E-tron 50 and E-tron Sportback 50 achieve a provisional range on the WLTP test cycle of 289 miles and 311 miles respectively. The larger 104kWh unit in the E-tron 55 and E-tron Sportback 55 is claimed to provide respective ranges of 360 miles and 373 miles. The same battery in the S provides a range of 311 miles.
Charging can be achieved at up to 11kW on an AC system and either 150kW (E-tron 50 and E-tron Sportback 50) or 170kW on a DC system.
Audi claims charging times (from a 10% to 80% state of charge) of 28 minutes for the 89kWh battery and 31 minutes for the 104kWh battery under optimal conditions.