2026 will be the year when Audi is going to launch its final new model equipped with a combustion engine. Everything from that point forward will be an electric vehicle, and that will include the rumored Q8 E-Tron. Allegedly debuting the same year, Ingolstadt’s flagship SUV will be made in Brussels where the E-Tron and E-Tron Sportback are currently being assembled.
Automobilwoche, a sister publication of Automotive News Europe, cites sources within Audi, claiming the Q8 E-Tron will replace the existing gasoline-and diesel-fueled Q8 built in Bratislava, Slovakia. The current model has already been electrified with mild hybrid and plug-in hybrid powertrains, and it seems it will abandon the ICE altogether for its next iteration.
Before starting the assembly of the Q8 E-Tron in 2026, Audi’s Brussels factory will kick off the production of a facelifted E-Tron and E-Tron Sportback. Both are due in 2023 and will be available for approximately three years before they’ll be replaced by the Q8 E-Tron.
The decision to discontinue the two E-Tron electric SUVs is logical seeing as how they’re based on the MLB Evo platform originally intended for cars equipped with combustion engines. Their replacement, the Q8 E-Tron, will be developed from day one strictly as an EV with greater range and a spacious interior thanks to a long wheelbase and a flat-floor design.
Bear in mind that before all this happens, 2022 will be the year when Audi is going to introduce the Q6 E-Tron riding on the PPE platform co-developed with Porsche. The latter will launch its own all-electric Macan to signal the expansion of its EV portfolio in the coming years. The Four Rings are also working on a flagship electric sedan codenamed “Landjet” to sit above the E-Tron GT from 2024.
Meanwhile, Automobilwoche reports the final decision regarding where the Q8 E-Tron is going to be manufactured will be taken in November this year.
Source: Automobilwoche (subscription required) via Automotive News Europe