Audi Q8 & SQ8 E-Tron – What Can They Tow?

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The original Audi E-Tron 50/55 were some of the first fully electric cars on the market which were rated to tow. Since they were first released in 2018, the ‘fat E-Tron’ as it was commonly referred to against its smaller sibling, the Q4 E-Tron, has been in need of a refresh. In comes the Q8 and the SQ8 E-Tron. While not totally new, they do feature notable improvements in battery capacity/range.

Audi Q8 & SQ8 E-Tron - What Can They Tow?
Visually very similar to its predecessor, but its different where it counts in both battery capacity and efficiency: Image –

Key Audi Q8 & SQ8 E-Tron Specs

  • Official Towing Capacity – 1,800 kg (all versions)
  • Availability – Now
  • Price – Starting £77,800 (Q8 50 Quattro) > £100,795 (SQ8 Sportback)
  • Range (EV Database) – 255 miles (Q8 50 Quattro) > 325 miles (Q8 Sportback 55)
  • Estimate Towing Range (50%) – 128 miles (Q8 50 Quattro) > 163 miles (Q8 Sportback 55)
  • Maximum Charge Rate – 150 kW (50 Quattro) & 170 kW on other versions
  • Rapid Charge 10% to 80% – 30 min (50 Quattro) > 31 min (55 Quattro)
  • Check Used Audi E-Tron Specs

Audi E-Tron Q8 & SQ8 HP & Torque

  • Audi Q8 E-Tron 50 Quattro – 355 HP and 490 lb-ft of torque
  • Audi Q8 E-Tron 55 Quattro – 402 HP and 490 lb-ft of torque
  • Audi Q8 E-Tron Sportback 50 Quattro – 355 HP and 490 lb-ft of torque
  • Audi Q8 E-Tron Sportback 55 Quattro – 402 HP and 490 lb-ft of torque
  • Audi SQ8 E-Tron – 496 HP and 718 lb-ft of torque
  • Audi SQ8 E-Tron Sportback – 496 HP and 718 lb-ft of torque

Audi E-Tron Q8 & SQ8 Towing Capabilities

There has been no change to the towing capacity of these E-Tron models compared to their predecessors, its still 1,800 kg, which isn’t too surprising given that they are pretty much the same vehicles.

Is a 1,800 kg towing capacity lacking compared to the current competition? That could very well be argued, given rivals such as the Polestar 3 (2,200kg), Volvo EX90 (2,200kg) and the BMW iX (2,500kg).

So, where have the E-Tron Q8 and SQ8 been improved? Well, its mainly the battery capacity and, therefore, the range across both 50 and 55 Quattro variants.

For instance, the original E-Tron 50 had a usable battery capacity of 64.7 kWh, and the new Q8 E-Tron 50 has a usable battery capacity of 89 kWh.

The original E-Tron 55 had a usable battery capacity of 86.5 kWh, and the new Q8 E-Tron 55 and SQ8 E-Tron have a usable battery capacity of 106kWh.

This updated version of the large E-Tron SUV is very similar in appearance to the outgoing variants

While the battery capacities have increased, which has also led to increased range, Audi has been working on making these large E-Tron models more efficient.

The previous E-Tron 50 and 55 were well known as being some of the least efficient EVs on the road, with efficiency figures of 370 to 384 Wh per mile, respectively.

The new Q8 E-Tron 50 and 55 would appear to be more efficient, with figures of 349 to 348 Wh per mile, respectively. I must admit, I’m not quite sure how the heavier Q8 E-Tron 55 is now the more efficient of the two!?

If you’re not sure how to understand the figures above, check out my article on electric car efficiency figures, and that should help you out.

Then again, to keep the electron-chugging reputation of the Audi E-Tron going, we have the SQ8 variants with efficiency figures of either 366 Wh per mile or 385 Wh per mile.

Personally, I struggle to see the appeal of an SQ8 over the standard Q8

In terms of power/performance, the Q8 models are hardly underpowered or slow. While the SQ8 models do get more power to drop the 0-60 time down to 4.5 seconds, that’s only a second faster than the Q8 models.

Besides the additional £20K to go from a Q8 E-Tron 55 to an SQ8 E-Tron, there is another cost to pay, the range reduction. The SQ8 goes 30 fewer miles than the standard Q8 E-Tron 55.

Audi E-Tron Q8 Review

Below I’ve included a review from Drive Electric on the E-Tron Q8, and while it is acknowledges there have obviously been improvements compared to the original E-Tron, efficiency would still appear to not be class-leading by any stretch.

The new E-Tron Q8 does have more range due to a larger battery, but efficiency may still be an issue

The reviewer notes they were getting around 2.5 miles per kWh, not the worst electric car efficiency figures I’ve heard of, and we don’t know the speeds/elevation the car was used at.

Then again, looking at the footage, it seems fairly flat, maybe travelling around 40 mph at a temperature of 20 degrees, as stated in the video, then 2.5 miles per kWh is not great at all.

My Thoughts On The Audi Q8 & SQ8 E-Tron…

So as I’ve stated above, I really don’t get the appeal of the SQ8 E-Tron as a performance SUV. For that performance over the standard Q8 you’ll pay £20 more for it.

However, a KIA EV6 GT is way, way faster than the Audi SQ8 and is £30K less. Just let that sink in for a second. Anyway, what about the standard Q8?

Well, it tows the same 1,800kg as before, which isn’t surprising, and the additional range is welcome (especially for towing), but it is more expensive than before, even factoring in inflation.

Therefore, at the £80K price point plus, I think there are better electric tow car options. I think the BMW iX offers better value, even if it is hideous to look at.

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