An unmistakable driving feeling with a perfect balance between dynamics and comfort: these driving characteristics are typical of every Audi model, they are part of the brand’s DNA. It applies to every driving situation, whether stop-and-go traffic, accelerating when leaving town, driving on winding roads or changing road conditions. That’s why Audi’s DNA was at the very top of the design specifications for the development of the Audi Q8 e-tron. The control systems were adapted to the new steering system so it maintains balance and precise calibration; the result: a luxury SUV that offers quietness and comfort in the city, on the highway as well as on both short and long-distance drives, and on winding mountain roads with lateral dynamics and sporty handling.

The standard adaptive air suspension is an integral component of the suspension design. Newly tuned, more direct steering, a new front axle bearing, and revised software for the ESC (electronic stabilization control) system further sharpen these handling characteristics in the Audi Q8 e-tron – noticeable not only at the handling limits, but in everyday driving situations in the electric SUV.

Air suspension: an ideal balance of comfort and sportiness

The Audi Q8 e-tron is equipped with standard air suspension with controlled damping, allowing the vehicle to adapt individually to the road conditions. The air suspension was newly tuned, along with the steering, whilst the ride height can be adjusted over a total range of 76 mm and in its default setting, the Audi Q8 e-tron has a ground clearance of 176 mm. On the highway, the body is lowered by as much as 26 mm, which improves stability and aerodynamics at high speeds, thus facilitating a long range. If drivers select “offroad” mode in Audi drive select, it increases ground clearance by 35 mm; for particularly difficult, uneven terrain, the body can be raised by an additional 15 mm. In conjunction with the front angle of approach of 14 degrees and the rear angle of approach of 20 degrees with the offroad setting, the Audi e-tron is well prepared to tackle gentle off-road terrain – the ramp angle of the electric SUV is 14 degrees in this configuration.

Most often however, customers drive the Audi Q8 e-tron on the road, where the air suspension with damper control comes into its own – it is integrated into the electronic chassis platform and Audi drive select management. The central control unit for the chassis individually controls the shock absorbers on each wheel at millisecond intervals – according to the road condition, driving style, and the mode set by the driver in the Audi drive select dynamic handling system. In “auto” mode this is very balanced.

With the “comfort” setting, the shock absorbers are controlled so that they provide relaxed driving even on poor roads. The “dynamic” mode is recommended for dynamic cornering, which lowers the air suspension by 13 mm, sharpens the characteristic curve of the dampers and the accelerator pedal, and changes the steering characteristics. Compared with the predecessor model, the Audi drive select differentiates much more clearly between the various driving modes with the steering interchanging between “comfort” and “dynamic.”

Greater agility through more direct steering

The standard progressive steering has been noticeably reworked in the Audi Q8 e-tron. “The greater agility, reduced steering angle requirements, and simultaneously improved steering feeling and response are noticeable from the very first steering movement,” says Oswin Röder, the developer responsible for the driving characteristics of the e-tron series. The ratio of the steering gear has been reduced for a much more direct steering response to even slight steering wheel movements. This gives drivers even more agile control over the vehicle for effortless, precise maneuvering through curves, where the car feels more nimble, despite its size and comparably high weight. Röder adds: “At Audi, we define controlled handling in terms of precise and predictable self-steering response when cornering.” The Audi Q8 e-tron* steers into corners spontaneously with no understeer and remains neutral for a long time even at high speeds. At low speeds, power steering increases, adapting to every driving situation.

The effect of this more direct steering ratio (14.6 compared to 15.8 in the predecessor model) is enhanced through a stiffer front axle bearing, which applies steering movements more directly to the wheels and also improves steering response feedback. Audi has optimized the air suspension tuning to match the vertical tuning to the car’s changed lateral behavior, meaning the car’s more agile self-steering is better supported by the dampers. The model feels even more stable in both the lateral and longitudinal directions, as the body moves less overall. Similarly, the ESC system has been adjusted slightly for an increase in dynamics, with the new settings allowing more leeway in dynamic driving situations, particularly noticeable in very tight curves.

Low center of gravity and ideal weight distribution

Despite its high body, the Audi Q8 e-tron has a low center of gravity similar to that of a luxury sedan. Ideally adapted to the car’s dimensions and shaped like a flat, wide block, the high-voltage battery system is located in the floor of the passenger compartment between the axles. This lowers the center of gravity whilst at the same time, the axle load distribution is perfectly balanced with a ratio of almost 50:50. The front and rear axles feature a 5-link suspension design for ideal absorption of lateral and longitudinal forces. In the lateral direction, the bearings are sporty and stiff, while in the longitudinal direction they are smooth and soft, ensuring a significant increase in comfort, in addition to enhanced driving dynamics.

The streamlined 19-inch wheels feature 255/55 tires which are characterized by low rolling resistance without compromising on handling and braking performance. Rolling resistance-optimized, 21-inch tires are new. The largest wheel-tire combination are optional 22-inch wheels which have a tread width of 285 mm on the SQ8 e-tron.

All terms marked in the text are explained in detail in the technology lexicon at The equipment, data and prices specified in this document refer to the model range offered in Germany. Subject to change without notice; errors and omissions excepted.