Audi will build the Q8 e-tron at its Brussels plant from 2026. According to Belgian media, this rumour, which emerged in June, has now been officially confirmed by Audi CEO Markus Duesmann at an event to mark the production of the eight millionth vehicle at Audi Brussels.
“The future will be electric. Our factory in Forest is carbon neutral. And when we deliver a new vehicle, we do so with zero emissions in mind,” Duesmann said. “Based on this experience, the next car to be produced here will be the Audi Q8 e-tron, the electric successor to the current e-tron. This choice is based on the current success of the brand.”
However, Duesmann’s confirmation is only picked up by Belgian media who were on hand at the Brussels event. In Audi’s announcement of the eight millionth vehicle from Brussels – a white e-tron quattro – Duesmann’s plant is praised as a “pioneer and role model” in e-mobility, but the experience will benefit the transformation of other sites, according to the Audi CEO. However, the production of the Q8 e-tron is not mentioned in the statement.
The Q8 e-tron will succeed the Audi e-tron quattro at Audi in Brussels as a large electric SUV, which has been built there since autumn 2018. Since then, Brussels has been an electric-only plant, as the previous production of the Audi A1 was moved to Seat in Spain. Not only is the production and final assembly of the vehicles carried out in Brussels, the batteries are also assembled there.
The e-tron quattro is to receive a facelift in 2023 at the latest, before being phased out in 2026. According to recently photographed prototypes, the headlights, front grille and rear lights will be adapted to the look of the Q4 e-tron built in Zwickau as part of the model update. There is still no definite information on the changes to the drive technology, with speculation ranging from new batteries to new motors. All in all, the e-tron is expected to be somewhat more powerful and, above all, more efficient, which should make standard ranges of over 500 kilometres possible – but this has not yet been confirmed.
There are few details about the Q8 e-tron itself so far. It is likely that it will be based on the PPE platform, just like the Q6 e-tron, which will be built in Ingolstadt from 2023 onwards – but it is also possible that it will be based on the Scalable Systems Platform (SSP), with which the VW Group intends to replace the two electric vehicle platforms MEB and PPE from the middle of the decade onwards – this “super-platform” should not only be able to be used on a very wide scale, but also enable new possibilities in software and electric architecture.
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