2023 Audi Q8 e-tron 50 Review: Boldly Quiet

Lionel Kong

The new Audi Q8 e-tron 50 SUV arrives in Singapore and aims to please

2023 Audi Q8 e-tron quattro 50

Launched: September 2023 – Price: S$446,708 with COE
Five-door, Large SUV, five seats
335hp, dual-motor electric drive, 24.0kWh/100km, 491km range

Quiet and fuss-free luxury
Mostly intuitive controls

Boot capacity smaller than expected
Fiddly touch panels


After the preview of the Audi Q8 e-tron 55 earlier in 2023, the new Q8 e-tron series of cars are now in Singapore and we get our shot at seeing how well they can do on local roads. As described in the earlier feature, the Audi Q8 e-tron comes in two powertrain flavours and two body styles. The e-tron 50 is featured here, and there’s a more expensive, more powerful e-tron 55. The body style here is the ‘standard’ SUV, and there’s also the more expensive Sportback which is a coupe-SUV style.

This means, given the mix and match possibilities between powertrains and body styles you can have the Audi Q8 e-tron in four different variations. And that’s before you even take into account the S Line bodykit options.

Other options that you can add to the car include the virtual wing mirrors that replace the regular glass mirrors with cameras. The removal of the big flappy ears at the sides of the cars improves aerodynamics, reducing wind noise further, but will set you back an additional S$10k.

These video camera-based wing mirrors cost an extra S$10k to fit.

The version driven here is the regular SUV body style and smaller battery capacity, as denoted by the ‘50’ in the name. The basics of its powertrain are two electric motors, with one situated over each axle. Together they give the car a total power output of 335 horsepower. Lithium-ion batteries with 95kWh capacity provide up to 491km of claimed range. Its 0 to 100km/h sprint time is a claimed 6.0 seconds. 

By comparison, the more powerful ‘55’ version has 408 horsepower, a 106kWh battery capacity, a century sprint timing of 5.6 seconds, and a maximum claimed range of 582km.

So the Q8 e-tron 50’s biggest giveaway to the more powerful version is its total range per charge, as even with all that extra horsepower the 55 isn’t very much faster than the 50. 

It’s a big car by Singapore standards, though when compared to the older ICE version of the Q8 it’s quite visibly sleeker in silhouette. The car’s naming is part of Audi’s plan to re-brand its EVs. Just a few years ago, every electric Audi was called an e-tron, but this obviously became untenable with an Audi EV expected in every segment in the near future.

How do you differentiate between all the e-trons? The answer is to reduce the e-tron badge to a subset, the same way that the quattro badge is now used in fine print to identify all-wheel drive Audis.  

There’s an Audi SQ8 e-tron coming in the future, but it’s unlikely that Audi’s high performance electric Q8 variant will match the excitement of the older Lamborghini Urus-derived, RS Q8, with its twin-turbo V8.

But back to the Q8 e-tron 50, the idea of this being a competitor to cars like the Mercedes-EQ EQC is a sound one, and the cabin has everything that you would expect to find in a luxury EV of this calibre. There’s a pretty deep centre console storage space between the front seats, which features a wireless mobile phone charging pad tucked in a vertical position.

Screen acreage is good but no match for the massive dashboard-spanning hyper screen of the Mercedes-EQ EQS, The climate control is set in a separate touch-sensitive display panel positioned lower on the console. While serviceable and quiet posh in design, it’s all gloss black glass and hard to use when driving at speed.

The whole user interface is still in Audi’s classic minimalist style, which in comparison with the whizz-bang lighting and animation effects from the competition feels quite different. You do get cabin ambient lighting after dark, and that’s always a nice touch when designed to be moderately useful versus turning the cabin into a crazy disco of dancing lights.

One complaint is that the boot isn’t very big for a car of this size, with a very high floor as the electrical components take up a lot of space between the rear wheels. At least you get an extra storage space in the front, but things here get hot so it’s definitely not a space for frozen food.

The same has been said of the driving character of Audi cars and here in the Q8 e-tron it’s more of the same. That simply means that it goes everywhere with minimal fuss and a sense of total efficiency. It’s a large car to navigate through traffic but in real-world use it’s much easier to drive than you might expect.

It’s an EV, so there’s no engine noise to speak of and only a small amount of wind noise comes through at highway speeds. It is exactly what you expect, an electric SUV with a posh luxury feel and a drive that’s quiet and confidence-inspiring.

Yet, its power efficiency isn’t the best we’ve seen with an average power consumption around the factory-quoted 24kWh/100km mark. It’s capable of much better numbers if you go the whole way and drive it without electrical ancillaries including the air conditioning, but in real-world use, the best balance between luxury, power, and economy we’ve seen so far is still from the BMW iX3, and other carmakers have some way to go yet.

The other big factor is that the Q8 e-tron 50 is now priced in the mid S$400k range, just shy of half a million dollars. With taxes the way they are in Singapore there’s simply no way around this. It’s a highly competitive luxury segment the car find itself in, and with similar competing products from BMW and Mercedes-EQ already in the same space, Audi is finding itself more as an alternative to drivers that don’t want a luxury electric SUV from the other two brands.

Audi Q8 e-tron quattro 50

DrivetrainFull electric
Electric Motor / LayoutDual motor / front + rear
Motor Power / Torque335hp / 664Nm
Battery Type / CapacityLithium-ion, 95kWh
Standard Charge Time / Type9 hours 25 minutes / 11kW AC
Fast Charge Time / Type28 minutes 10 to 80 percent / 150kW DC
Electric Range*491km
0-100km/h6.0 seconds
Top Speed200km/h
VES BandA1 / -S$25,000
AgentPremium Automobiles
PriceS$446,708 with COE and VES
Verdict:The rebranding of Audi’s electric vehicle range doesn’t gloss over the fact that the new Q8 E-Tron is still quintessentially Audi: quiet, efficient, comfortable, and a fuss-free luxury drive


Audi e-tron electric vehicle EV q8

About the Author

Lionel Kong

An old hand from the bad old days of crazy COEs, the straight-shooting, ex-CarBuyer editor is back in the four-wheeled world. Rumours that he went to another country to start a Judas Priest tribute band are unfounded.

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