In November, Audi announced that it’d launch the Q8 E-Tron in 2026. It will serve as the replacement for the E-Tron crossover. However, before that happens, the E-Tron will adopt the Q8 moniker if a new Automobilwoche report is accurate. According to the publication, Audi will rejigger the E-Tron name into the Q8 E-Tron when it introduces the model’s facelift sometime this year, which is shaping up to be quite a thorough update.
Rumors suggest Audi will install new battery packs and make the electric motors more efficient to increase the E-Tron’s electric range. That’s in addition to the typical mid-cycle updates. The model, including the sleek Sportback trim, will receive a redesigned front end with a new grille, while the rear will receive new taillight graphics. The Audi E-Tron was the company’s first mass-produced electric vehicle in 2018, and it helped establish the E-Tron brand.
Gallery: Audi E-Tron facelift first spy photos
It’s one of the few all-electric Audi’s without a traditional nameplate, and it appears the company wants to rectify that as EV competition heats up. The E-Tron GT name will stay, though. Audi introduced the Q4 E-Tron last year, and the Q6-E-Tron, the first model to ride on the Porsche-co-developed PPE platform, is supposed to debut sometime in 2022. Renaming the E-Tron to the Q8 E-Tron makes sense for brand cohesion as Audi redesigns the model. It’s the perfect opportunity.
The renamed model will be a holdover until Audi can introduce the all-new Q8 E-Tron, which won’t arrive for four more years. When it does, it will ride on a dedicated EV platform, unlike the current crossover that uses an adaptation of the MLB architecture. The current crossover shares underpinnings with several gas-powered VW Group models. It’s unclear if the 2026 Q8 E-Tron will spawn a Sportback variant, but that seems likely considering Audi enjoys having an expansive product portfolio.
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