Audi SQ8 e-tron Lands Locally As Malaysia’s First Tri-Motor EV

The Audi SQ8 e-tron and its Sportback sibling debuts locally costing RM 519,990 and RM 529,990 respectively. 

Following on from the local debut of the regular Q8 e-tron last year, Audi has since recently also debuted in Malaysia its sportier counterparts, in the form of the SQ8 e-tron and its SQ8 Sportback e-tron. And while these new four-ringed flagships may certainly not be the most exciting things in the world to look at, what should nevertheless pique anyone’s interest is that these new local arrivals mark the first time a tri-motor EV lands on our shores. 

Audi’s first mass-produced tri-motor EV, the SQ8 e-tron predictably features one motor up front while the latter pair powers each rear wheel separately. The front motor is rated by the German automaker at 124 kW, with each of the rear motor both said to produce 98 kW of peak output. 

This being a German EV though, there is of course the inevitable boost mode to account for, which in the SQ8 e-tron bumps the front and individual rear motor output to 157 kW and 138 kW respectively. Limitations with 114 kWh battery pack unfortunately caps total power output to 370 kW instead of 433 kW, but the headline-grabbing 973 Nm of torque is still very much on tap if any keen driver wishes to blow past anything in its way.

In fact, Audi claims for this SQ8 to be more than capable of sprinting to the century mark from a standstill in a sports car-rivalling 4.5 seconds and reach a respectable top speed of 210 km/h. The automaker also touts that the enhanced torque vectoring that stems from having independent control of power in each of its rear wheels will still enable this all-electric SUV to retain its signature Quattro characteristics. 

Just touching a little bit more on how might this sporty e-SUV handle the twisties, Audi also proudly promotes for this SQ8 to be packing a 50:50 weight distribution and adaptive sport air suspension with controlled damping on all four corners behind its standard-fit 22-inch ‘Interferenz’ five-spoke alloy wheels. Though perhaps the more important bit of information to prospective buyers is for this EV to have a WLTP-claimed range of 471 km and 458 km in its sleeker Sportback and boxier SUV guise respectively, with both vehicles handily featuring charging ports on both sides as well. 

Delving deeper into the specifics of its charging capabilities too, the SQ8 can handle charging supplies of up to 170 kW at DC charging points for a 10% to 80% top up in as short as 31 minutes. AC charging on the other hand is handled by its on-board charger that allows for charging at up to 22 kW, with the German automaker also highlighting here for owners to be capable in controlling control the charging schedule from within the vehicle via the Audi Multi Media Interface. 

Continuing onto the exterior details now, this sportier SQ8 sits 2 mm lower and 40 mm wider than its conventional counterpart. This hotter Audi e-SUV also nets widened bumpers and a rear diffuser to give it that more aggressive appearance, which is then complimented by a set of sharp Digital Matrix LED headlights, red-painted brake calipers, exterior mirror housings in carbon fibre, black roof rails and a black appearance plus package.

Moving within the SQ8 meanwhile, the driver-focused Audi Virtual Cockpit is further enhanced by the standard inclusion of the Ambient Lighting Package plus front sports seats trimmed Valcona leather with the “S” badge embossed. Other interior tech highlights within this sporty e-SUV includes a heads up display, a four-zone climate control system with ioniser, as well as a 16-speaker 705 W Bang & Olufsen Premium Sound System with 3D. 

The SQ8 e-tron has a range of advanced passive and active safety systems which include adaptive cruise control, lane departure warning, swerve assist and turn assist, and front and rear cross traffic assist. Other standard safety features include front, side and rear airbags, child safety package with ISOFIX child seat anchors and top tether, in addition to a tyre pressure monitoring system, while the standard Park Assist package with park assist plus helps locate an available bay and then manoeuvres the vehicle in without any steering input by the driver.

Available with in 7 exterior hues that range from Magnet Gray, Ultra Blue, Chronos Gray, Mythos Black, Plasma Blue, Daytona Gray and Glacier White, the Audi SQ8 e-tron and its Sportback sibling currently retails for RM 519,990.00 and RM 529,990.00 respectively. Both variants can be purchased with the optional Audi Assurance Package (AAP) which extends the vehicle warranty period to 5 years, with free scheduled maintenance for the first 3 years and complimentary roadside assistance for the first 5 years. The battery system is covered by a separate warranty of 8 years or 160,000 km. As with all warranties, terms and conditions apply.

Joshua Chin

Automotive journalist. Professional work on and Personal writing found at Instagram: @driveeveryday

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