In electric cars, weight is not the only factor that determines consumption values and range per battery charge.Increase in vehicle mass, due primarily to the heavy high-voltage battery, actually results in higher electricity recovery via recuperation. This is why city traffic is not the biggest challenge for electric cars, as stop-and-go driving feeds a lot of electricity back into the battery. Driving on the highway is when it actually becomes a challenge, as air resistance increases disproportionately at faster driving speeds. Throughout the development of the Audi Q8 e-tron, aerodynamics was therefore a top priority, resulting in a reduction in the drag coefficient cw from 0.26 to 0.24 for the Q8 Sportback e-tron and from 0.28 to 0.27 for the Q8 e-tron.

Optimized air control around the radiator grill

A controllable cool-air intake in the Singleframe grille of the Audi Q8 e-tron ensures the airstream flows around this zone with reduced turbulence. The system is now optimized through the use of further components and the controllable cool-air intake consists of two electrically operated louvers installed in a frame behind the grille. Normally closed, they only open when the drive system components require cooling under high loads or the air conditioning condenser needs to be ventilated. 

The controllable cool-air intake also opens when the hydraulic wheel brakes are under high loads, opening two ducts that direct cooling air into the front wheel arches to the brakes. This is the first Audi model to use a newly developed self-sealing system which will exploit the full potential of this air control technology with a self-sealing system which consists of a rubber lip and plastic element. When the louvers are closed, the air pressure presses the seal onto the body components around the louvers so there are no leaks and resulting pressure losses.

Air curtains and wheel spoilers for reduced air resistance

Air curtains ensure that the airstream flows around the front wheels and side of the vehicle in a way that generates as little turbulence as possible. The air curtains have been adapted to the new design of the Audi Q8 e-tron and slightly optimized. Wheel spoilers on the front wheels improve the drag coefficient additionally. They prevent the airstream from hitting the tires directly by deflecting it around their sides. The wheel spoilers mounted to the underbody of the Audi Q8 e-tron are significantly larger than those of the Audi e-tron, which used a system of air dams and spoilers. This technology is used also on the rear axle of the Q8 Sportback e-tron, whereas it is only used on the rear axle for the Sportback e-tron. Half of the cw value reduction achieved on the Sportback compared with the Audi e-tron Sportback is due to the larger wheel spoilers.

Virtual exterior mirrors and an aerodynamically optimized underbody

The optional virtual exterior mirrors are among the tried-and-proven aerodynamic components in the Audi e-tron. The cameras reduce the overall width of the vehicle by 15 centimeters, thus improving the drag coefficient.

The fully lined underbody also contributes to the improved aerodynamics. For the first time, the underride guard is made of high-strength, highly rigid plastic instead of aluminum as before. The bolting points of the aluminum plate beneath the high-voltage battery come with bowl-shaped indentations, similar to the dimples on a golf ball which enhances the air flow much more than a totally flat surface. The electric motors on the axles and the wheel suspension are covered with paneling made from a pressed fiber-fleece material which absorbs noise, whilst a variable diffuser below the rear skirt ensures that the accelerated air creates as little swirl as possible.

The S line exterior improves the aerodynamics of both the Audi Q8 e-tron and the Q8 Sportback 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.