Audi Q8 E-Tron electric SUV confirmed for 2026 launch

The Audi E-Tron will be replaced in five years’ time by a larger 2026 Audi Q8 E-Tron, its maker has confirmed, as Audi prepares to phase out combustion power.

Confirmed by brand executives during Belgian Prime Minister Alexander De Croo’s visit to Audi’s factory in Forest, Belgium (in south Brussels), the new Q8 E-Tron will be built at the facility from 2026, replacing the current E-Tron range in production since late 2018 – confirming recent reports.

Few details of the model have been confirmed thus far, though officials have confirmed it will be a “slightly larger electric model” compared to today’s E-Tron – indicating it’ll be a large SUV, positioned above the upcoming, mid-size Q6 E-Tron slated for unveiling in late 2022.

It’s likely the Q8 E-Tron will ride on Audi and Porsche’s co-developed Premium Platform Electric (PPE) chassis, set to underpin a slew of upcoming dedicated electric vehicles from the Q6 E-Tron SUV and A6 E-Tron sedan, to the next Porsche Macan mid-size SUV.

While not confirmed, the Q8 E-Tron’s 2026 launch date means it will likely serve as the successor to the current, petrol- and diesel-powered Q8, which will be eight years old by that time – having launched just months before the current E-Tron – and due for replacement.

Audi has confirmed plans to introduce its final new model powered by an internal combustion engine in 2025, so any successor to today’s Q8 launched from 2026 onwards would need to use electric power only.

In the meantime, the current E-Tron is slated to undergo a mid-life facelift in late 2022 (for a possible 2023 production start date), which reports suggest will introduce a larger battery pack and more efficient electric motors for a 50 per cent boost in driving range, to over 600km.

Audi has confirmed the E-Tron “still has more than half of its product life cycle ahead of it”, securing its place in showrooms until at least the end of 2024.

 

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