Update: ‘Will it release as the Audi Q8 e-tron?’ section updated.
In September 2018, the Audi e-tron debuted as the brand’s first all-electric SUV. The e-tron Sportback with a softer roof followed in November 2019 as the premium electric SUV-coupe. Both models will receive external and internal updates together in the second half of this year, as per a report from Autocar. On September 23, 2022, Audi revealed pictures of a lightly disguised 2024 e-tron prototype, indicating that the debut is close now.
Here’s everything we know about the improved Audi electric car:
2024 Audi e-tron Exterior
As seen in the images of the camouflaged prototype in this story, the 2024 Audi e-tron features a new Singleframe grille that is wider and flatter. The new version of the company’s signature octagonal grille appears to have honeycomb pattern, hexagonal air inlets spread in the center and upper section.
The front bumper is also new, and it has more clearly defined lines that give the e-tron a sportier and more assertive styling. Complementing the revised styling are more prominent pentagonal side air inlets that feature horizontal cuts. Even the headlamp washer is a new, rectangular piece, which shows Audi’s attention to detail. Lastly, at the bottom, there’s a new skid plate with three evenly spaced angular cuts.
On the sides, Audi will fit the 2024 e-tron with new alloy wheels as big as 22 inches in diameter. The company will continue offering virtual mirrors on the e-tron post facelift. Developed and supplied by Spanish company Ficosa, the digital mirrors work in tandem with 7-inch OLED displays sourced from South Korea’s Samsung Display. The futuristic mirrors aren’t available on the e-tron in the U.S., and we don’t expect that to change with the facelift, as NHTSA hasn’t approved their use.
At the rear, the redesigned model has a new bumper featuring a deeper ribbed portion in the lower section and a new skid plate. Do note that these images are of a prototype, and the final model that breaks cover later may have a few more changes, possibly including new headlamp and tail lamp graphics.
New Audi e-tron Sportback
In March 2022, Audi announced that it took the e-tron S to the Volkswagen Group’s secret winter testing facility called “KALT 1,” located in Sweden. One of the units it tested features camouflage wrap on the front and rear, indicating that it is the restyled e-tron Sportback due later this year. In the update, the e-tron Sportback will likely receive a new closed Singleframe, redesigned bumpers, and reshaped air intakes similar to the e-tron that give it new styling and maybe even enhanced aerodynamics. Expect some tweaks to the headlights and rear lights, too, and some new alloy wheel options, though not visible in the pictures of the prototypes.
2024 Audi e-tron Interior
Motor Authority‘s spy photographer spotted a prototype of the 2024 e-tron Sportback and claimed that Audi had fitted a new infotainment system. Be that may, we doubt designers will club the instrument cluster and central screen into a single panel like in the BMW iX. As observed in the Audi skysphere concept that debuted in August 2021, clubbed screens may appear only in the next-gen Audi EVs. Even the flagship Audi EV, the e-tron GT, which the company revealed in February 2021, doesn’t have such a futuristic layout.
While the basic platform will be retained, the refreshed e-tron will have “a number of technical updates,” as per Autocar’s source. Powertrain upgrades will increase the range (WLTP) to more than 600 km/373 miles, as per the report, thanks to a new battery pack. As in the current model, the low-riding Sportback version, with superior aerodynamics, would allow the maximum possible range in the new e-tron family.
Speaking to DrivingElectric in 2021, Oliver Hoffmann had said that Audi will introduce major updates for the electronics and battery of the e-tron SUV. Hoffmann is a member of Audi’s Board of Management with the responsibility for Technical Development.
The e-tron really is a special car for Audi, because it was the pioneer of electric mobility for us. So it’s important to keep it fresh, and therefore we are developing a big update in terms of range and charging.Oliver Hoffmann, BoM member responsible for Technical Development, Audi (Speaking to DrivingElectric in 2021)
The new Audi e-tron (along with its sloping-roof derivate, the e-tron Sportback) will not only run on new, more efficient motors but will also incorporate upgraded electronics systems that lead to increased recuperation of energy. With these extensive revisions, expect the 2024 Audi e-tron to offer not just a higher range but improved performance. Customers who experience challenging winters and altitude changes while driving, such as those in Canada and Northern Europe, where the batteries deplete quicker, would welcome the improvements.
Audi RS e-tron in the making?
It is possible that the flashy orange color used for disguise indicates that an Audi RS e-tron in planned during this intervention. In its pictures prior to the official reveal, Audi used a similar orange color to hide the details of the RS e-tron GT.
Regular software updates
With software updates, the new e-tron and new e-tron Sportback’s range figures will witness improvements during their lifecycle. The current e-tron has received a software update that increased its range by up to 20 km or 12 miles on the WLTP cycle. The software update was available to install at service centers, not over the air, though. Still, the point is that Audi will try to improve the efficiency of EVs even if they are already on the road.
Among the least efficient BEVs on sale in the U.S.
In the U.S., the e-tron and e-tron Sportback are among the least efficient BEVs on sale, and a powertrain upgrade can’t come sooner. Particularly, the tri-motor e-tron S and e-tron S Sportback with 21” or 22” wheels need help, as they deliver 62 MPGe (city)/64 MPGe (highway)/63 MPGe (combined) and 64 MPGe (city)/66 MPGe (highway)65 mpg (combined). The EPA est. range of these models is 181 miles and 185 miles, respectively.
Will it release as the Audi Q8 e-tron?
In what can be described as an unusual move, Audi could have resolved to change the name of the e-tron in the middle of its lifecycle. According to an Automobilewoche report, the refreshed e-tron due this year will arrive as the Audi Q8 e-tron. While one would immediately perceive the model as more premium than the Q6 e-tron, customers could mistake it as an electric alternative to the larger Q8, which the SUV isn’t.
In late 2021, Audi confirmed that the next-gen Audi Q8 e-tron would be introduced in 2026, manufactured at Audi’s plant in Brussels. As the 2024 e-tron will receive comprehensive changes, and the Q8 brand is associated with a high-end SUV, Audi’s marketing division may not have felt the need to wait until 2026 for a car worthy of the Q8 e-tron nameplate.
Minor upgrades & price hikes for MY2023 in the U.S.
Audi has rolled out upgrades to its range in the United States, and the e-tron and the e-tron Sportback also receive feature revisions. For the 2023 Audi e-tron Sportback, the previously optional black headliner is now standard. Audi says that the Prestige trim has benefitted the most from this round of upgrades.
The Audi e-tron Sportback Prestige gets 22-inch 5-spoke Turbine-design alloy wheels, front and rear brake calipers painted in orange, rear side airbags with illuminated safety belt buckles, and Digital Matrix headlamps as standard. The matrix lights technology has only recently received a regulatory nod from the Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standards (FMVSS) in the U.S., which previously did not allow the low and high beams to operate simultaneously. The matrix lamps reduce glare by switching off a sliver of their beam when oncoming traffic is detected.
Updates have been made to the 2023 e-tron S and 2023 e-tron S Sportback. The models now feature carbon square structure inlays and LED interior lighting pack as standard. They get the Digital Matrix headlamps as standard. The 2023 models are much pricier than the previous models, as seen in the table below:
|Audi e-tron variant||2022 Audi e-tron price||2023 Audi e-tron price|
|Audi e-tron Premium||USD 65,900||USD 70,800|
|Audi e-tron Premium Plus||USD 74,800||USD 77,800|
|Audi e-tron Prestige||USD 83,400||NA|
|Audi e-tron Chronos Edition||NA||USD 86,400|
|Audi e-tron Sportback Premium||USD 69,100||USD 74,000|
|Audi e-tron Sportback Premium Plus||USD 78,000||USD 81,000|
|Audi e-tron Sportback Prestige||USD 82,300||USD 89,300|
|Audi e-tron S Premium Plus||USD 84,800||USD 88,200|
|Audi e-tron S Prestige||USD 89,800||USD 95,300|
|Audi e-tron S Sportback Premium Plus||USD 87,400||USD 90,800|
|Audi e-tron S Sportback Prestige||USD 92,400||USD 97,900|
With the MY2023 update based on the current SUV on sale, we assume that the e-tron facelift will not be heading to the U.S. before 2023.
Audi’s sales report confirms that the e-trons are becoming increasingly popular across the globe. The company sold 81,894 units of the all-electric Audi e-tron range in 2021, which was a growth of 57.5% compared to 2020. In the United States, Audi enjoyed a record year for electric vehicle sales in 2021, with an impressive increase of 52.5% over 2020. The Audi e-tron SUV’s sales grew modestly in Europe (+10.3%) but sharply in China (+68.7%), with both regions being major volume drivers for the brand.
In the first half of 2022, Audi delivered 24,689 units of the e-tron and e-tron Sportback combined. Compared to 25,794 units shipped in the first half of 2021, that marked a 4.3% year-over-year decline in a year that was marred by semiconductor chip shortages and other supply chain challenges.
Audi launched the e-tron as its first global electric SUV in 2018, and isn’t abandoning the conversion electric vehicle in pursuit of newer and modern e-trons based on the PPE or MEB platforms. By adding style, efficiency, range and giving it space to operate above the upcoming Q6, Audi is rather setting new expectations from its oldest electric SUV!
New Audi e-tron FAQs
What is the new Audi e-tron facelift release date?
The e-tron with all-around improvements is expected to reach dealerships in late-2022 in Europe, and the U.S. in 2023.
What are the visual changes to the new e-tron?
Revised Singleframe grille with a structured surface and horizontal inserts, new headlamp & taillamp graphics, and different bumpers & wheels.
What will be the new Audi e-tron range (WLTP)?
The new e-tron will travel more than 600 km (373 miles), as per Autocar magazine, thanks to significant powertrain upgrades.
Featured Image Source: Audi