2024 Audi SQ8 Sportback e-tron Review: Wolf in Wolf's Clothing

Muhammad Mu'tasim bin Kassim

Audi’s electrified flagship performance crossover is back, now with a bigger battery, more range, and a new face.

2024 Audi SQ8 Sportback e-tron quattro

Launched: January 2024 – Price: S$644,810 with COE
Five-door, electric SUV, five seats
496hp/973Nm, tri-motor electric drive, 31.2kWh/100km, 471km range

Frighteningly powerful
High-quality cabin and amenities
Surprisingly easy to drive

Consumes a lot of power
A bit wide for most Singapore parking lots
Eye-watering price tag

Photos by: Muhammad Mu’tasim


“Hang on…”, you might be wondering. A wolf in wolf’s clothing? Surely that cannot be right.

But never has a car been so deserving of that description quite like the new Audi SQ8 Sportback e-tron.

With imposing dimensions and even more intimidating power figures, Audi’s latest high-riding road weapon makes no attempt to keep things civil. And while it may not share a fire-breathing V8 that powers the other SQ8, its electrified powertrain is more than capable of fending off opponents with supreme ease.

In fact, you’re looking at what may possibly be the golden benchmark for performance electric SUVs.

Discourse Disruptor

The SQ8 Sportback e-tron is not what you’d call a discreet-looking vehicle, with muscular curves across its bodywork, and finished in an attention-grabbing shade of Ultra Blue Metallic paintwork.

Its dimensions are far from subtle, too. Measuring at 4.9 metres in length and just under 2.2 metres in width, the SQ8 Sportback e-tron will find most local parking lots a tad snug, especially in multi-storey carparks.

And that’s before you even consider its insanely thick 285-section tyres, which can be specified with optional 22-inch interferenz alloy wheels.

If you’re familiar with its predecessor, the e-tron S Sportback, you’ll find that both cars share a near-identical design, albeit with several key changes on the 2024 model.

It now sports a blacked-out honeycomb grille up front, where you can also find Audi’s new flat Four-Rings logo, and a hidden light strip that creates a Cyberpunk-like effect at night. Other differences include a reshaped rear apron, plus its model letterings imprinted on the B-pillars.

Where build quality is concerned, this flagship e-tron SUV checks all the right boxes. Doors close with a solid, Germanic thunk, and every square inch of the vehicle feels robust and indestructible.

Massive six-piston front brake calipers reside behind the SQ8 Sportback e-tron’s optional 22-inch inch wheels.

And somehow, despite all its larger-than-life visual cues, this supersized Audi is still easier on the eyes than some of its rivals. Much of its sharp design traits are still synonymous with the brand, without resorting to lame gimmicks and parlour tricks.

It’s significantly bigger and badder (in a Michael Jackson kind of way), but it’s still immediately identifiable as a sophisticated Audi.

Familiar Luxury

No surprises when you step inside the SQ8 Sportback e-tron: it’s still the same as its predecessor, down to switchgear and panel arrangements.

While some may see this as a cost-saving measure from the bean counters over at Ingolstadt, I see it as proof that the current cabin layout is remarkably user-friendly and has withstood the test of time.

From the driver-centric infotainment displays to the tactile physical buttons, the signature Audi cabin is a joy to be in, for both driver and passenger.

Red Valcona leather upholstery keeps the interior relatively bright and loud, down to the embossed Audi “S” logos on the quilted front seats.

Where comfort is concerned, all five passengers will be able to sink into their well-padded seats and enjoy ice cold air while on the move, thanks to the car’s four-zone climate control system and pillar-mounted blowers for rear occupants.

One thing’s for sure – you will never find it claustrophobic inside, thanks to the expansive amount of room available. Despite the Sportback’s sloping roofline, passengers at the back will find headroom to be quite generous. Even taller folks will find it comfortable, and the near-flat floor translates to plenty of legroom.

And if you want to keep things dark and cosy, there are in-built window blinds on the rear doors which you can pull up, and a motorised fabric cover which can block out light from streaming through the panoramic glass roof.

As expected from a 2024 car of this calibre, there are plenty of connectivity options on hand. Various USB Type-C charging ports can be found around the cabin, along with a wireless charging pad and several 12V power sockets.

Also wireless is Android Auto and Apple CarPlay support, a massive plus point for many drivers who simply don’t want to fuss about with cables. Speaking of which, the infotainment UI is fool-proof and intuitive, which even novice users will find a breeze to use.

Due to its tapered silhouette, you won’t be getting best-in-class cargo space at the back of the SQ8 Sportback e-tron. With about 528 litres to play with, you’re looking at over 100 litres less than the Mercedes-Benz GLE Coupe, and 52 litres less than the BMW X6.

However, unlike the other two, this Audi is electric. That means you have additional cargo space (up to 62 litres) to use at the front, where an engine usually sits.

SQ Stands for ‘Super Quick’

Well, not really. But it may as well be, because the SQ8 Sportback e-tron is rapid with a capital R.

Three electric motors propel the 2.65-tonne Audi forward – one at the front, and two at the back. Altogether, you have immediate access to 496hp and 973Nm of torque in a rear-biased quattro setup, which is as insane as it sounds.

Floor the accelerator pedal and you are immediately greeted by a surge of power that rivals that of a commercial jetliner taking off, pushing you firmly to the back of your supportive leather seat.

Nought to a hundred takes just 4.5 seconds with Boost Mode enabled, which may sound tame by performance car standards, but is actually borderline terrifying in such a high-riding vehicle.

And it’s not just straight-line dominance that the SQ8 Sportback e-tron is blessed with.

With electric torque vectoring and adaptive air suspension as standard, the vehicle is able to corner gracefully and at spirited speeds, all while keeping body roll in check. The rear outer wheel delivers more torque than the inner one (by up to 220Nm), which means you can stay within your intended line without worrying about understeer.

In fact, the Audi remained stable and upright as I expeditiously cleared long, curved highway ramps and corners around the island. Its rear-end kept me pointed in the right direction, and the well-weighted steering made quick directional changes easy and precise.

Along bumpier sections of tarmac, it demonstrated similar levels of competence, levelling out road undulations and bumps with ease. Even on its hardest setting, the suspension never felt like it was crashing out when driving over taller speed humps.

Regenerative braking is mild even at its strongest setting, although the physical brakes do an effective job in bringing this near-three tonner to a complete stop.

But like everything else in the world, there is a flip side to all that’s good. The SQ8 Sportback e-tron’s main weakness is its range, which is officially quoted as 471km – or 4.4km/kWh – from the 106kWh (net) Li-Ion battery pack on a single charge.

During my time with the Audi, it averaged closer to 4.0km/kWh, with high-performance driving resulting in a dip to 3.4km/kWh. With that said, if you are really frugal with the vehicle and can resist the temptation of flooring it to high heaven, closing in on the official WLTP range is indeed possible.

And thankfully, it accepts up to 170kW at a CCS fast charger, which translates to about 30 minutes of charging time from 10% to 80%.


With prices starting at S$644,810 (with COE), the SQ8 Sportback e-tron is not a symbol of affordability for most folks. It’s even comparable to a new five-room HDB apartment in a non-mature estate.

But a house cannot do 0-100km/h in 4.5 seconds. Nor can it quietly glide you along the expressway and around sweeping corners, much less at high speeds.

The SQ8 Sportback e-tron is Audi’s proof that electric SUVs can be fun, and occasionally push the laws of physics to the very limit. If you can live with it and accept its shortcomings (including its eye-watering price tag), it will undoubtedly offer many kilowatt hours of joy and comfort.

Audi SQ8 Sportback e-tron quattro

Drivetrain typeFull electric
Electric Motor / layoutTriple / All-Wheel Drive
Motor power / torque496hp / 973Nm
Battery type /net capacityLithium-ion / 106kWh (net)
Normal Charge Type / Time11kW AC / 11.5 hours
Max Fast Charge Type / Time170kW DC / 31 mins
Electric Range471km (claimed)
0-100km/h5.1 seconds / 4.5 seconds (in Boost Mode)
Top Speed210km/h 
VES BandB / S$0
AgentPremium Automobiles
PriceS$644,810 with COE and VES
Verdict:Audi’s frighteningly quick SUV offers the brand’s very best in one electrified package, but just be prepared to pay handsomely for it.


5 seat 5-door Audi Audi SQ8 Sportback e-tron e-tron electric EV quattro Singapore SUV

About the Author

Muhammad Mu'tasim bin Kassim

The latest member of the CarBuyer team is a certified car nut, effectively living and breathing automobiles ever since he could remember. Some say he even owns several hundred (miniature) cars, but who's counting?

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