FIRST LOOK: 2023 Audi Q8 e-tron EV – 410 km range, RM369k, BMW iX rival an 'absolute bargain' in Malaysia –

The 2023 Audi Q8 e-tron is now in Malaysia and it’s an absolute bargain of an EV in Malaysia, according to Hafriz Shah. That’s pretty surprising – especially coming from Audi – but with a sticker price from RM369,000 to RM379,000, this big electric SUV undercuts the popular BMW iX, which in its lowest form, is over RM400k now.

There’s more. The Q8 e-tron is even cheaper than a Mercedes-Benz EQC, which is from a lower size segment. And here’s the clincher – believe it or not, this car is even cheaper to buy here than in the UK! For some context, the petrol-powered Audi Q8 in the same showroom is over 2.5x more expensive at nearly RM900k. Yup, that’s what taxes and duties can do to CBU imports, so it’s not always the local distributor’s fault.

This big electric SUV started life as the e-tron, Audi’s first series production EV, back in 2018, and it wasn’t until late 2022 that it gained the Q8 badge in an update. The four rings makes a couple of EVs now, and with more to come, the renaming is logical.

Anyway, the Q8 e-tron advanced 50 quattro is powered by a pair of electric motors that serve up a total of 340 PS (250 kW) in boost mode as well as 664 Nm of torque. The two-stage ratio planetary gearbox with a single gear channels drive to all four wheels, and 0-100 km/h is done in six seconds flat. Top speed is 200 km/h.

The motors are juiced by a lithium-ion battery with a gross energy capacity of 95 kWh (89 kWh usable). The published range is 410 km and claimed energy consumption is 24.0 kWh per 100 km combined. An on-board 11 kW AC charger is included.

Audi Malaysia will also be bringing in the Q8 e-tron S line 55, which will add on sportier looks typical of S line variants, as well as a bigger 114 kWh battery that boosts claimed range to 481 km. By the way, Audi Malaysia’s EV range claims are a fair bit lower than the official WLTP figures of 491 km for the 50 and 582 km for the 55. Strange, but better than overpromising we guess.

In this walk-around video, Hafriz will also talk about the differences between this base advanced 50 and the S line 55, which will be priced around RM460k. Malaysian customers will also be able to choose Sportback versions of the 50 and 55, which come with a sloping roofline for that ‘SUV coupe’ look. The Sportback premium will be from RM5k to RM10k, which is small change for those shopping at this level.

The Q8 e-tron is a large SUV, measuring 4,915 mm long and 1,937 mm wide, with a 2,928 mm wheelbase. Boot volume is 569 litres. The BMW iX is just 38 mm longer and 30 mm wider, and has a 72 mm longer wheelbase. By the way, the iX that we get, the xDrive 40, has 322 hp, 630 Nm, a 0-100 km/h time of 6.1 seconds and 425 km range. Again, in the same ballpark.

This grey Q8 e-tron wears 20-inch Graphite Gray five-arm dynamic style alloys and rides on adaptive air suspension, which the iX doesn’t get. Other exterior kit include LED main headlights, LED rear combination lamps, high-beam assist and a high-gloss styling pack. Inside, the Q8 e-tron is furnished in “mono.pur 550” combination leather, a leatherette-covered dash top, gloss black buttons with haptic feedback and aluminium look trim.

On the tech front, there’s Audi virtual cockpit plus, Audi connect Navigation & Infotainment, Audi smartphone interface, Audi phone box light and MMI Navigation plus with MMI touch response. The Q8 e-tron’s dashboard has three screens and a more traditional layout versus the long co-joined screen format employed by BMW (and almost every Chinese brand these days). It’s more busy-looking here for sure – which style do you like?

Comfort features include electric front seats with four-way lumbar (memory for driver), four-zone climate control and a powered tailgate. Safety wise, it’s as you’d expect. Eight airbags; Audi pre sense front and rear; adaptive cruise control with speed limiter, efficiency assist, swerve assist and turn assist; lane departure warning and front/rear cross traffic assist are all included.

This amount of car, for RM369,000 to RM379,000 – what do you think? Value aside, the Q8 e-tron looks more like a conventional SUV compared to the wild iX, which is quite a sales success here despite its looks being panned by car enthusiasts. Perhaps high end EV customers like to stand out. Which big electric SUV do you prefer? Watch the video and let us know.

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