Audi is currently in the process of facelifting the e-tron SUV. While a decent EV SUV, it doesn’t sell particularly well and its range/performance figures aren’t up to par with the rest of the segment, particularly the Tesla Model X and BMW iX. Audi knows this, though, and is readying some updates to try and keep the e-tron relevant until the Q8 e-tron replaces it in a few years’ time. However, I’m hoping the Audi e-tron gets more updates under the skin than what we can see in these new spy photos, as the changes seem minimal. (We don’t own the spy photos but you can see them here).
In these new photos, you can see an Audi e-tron SUV doing some winter testing in the snow. It was wearing enough camouflage to obscure the majority of its updates, so it’s hard to see how many there are or what sort of difference they make. The headlights seem the same as the current car’s but the grille looks different. Rather than the vertical lines of the current Audi e-tron grille, this new one seems to get horizontal ovals, which looks a bit more modern.
The rest of the car, though, looks nearly identical to the current car. The wheels, the side cameras, and the taillights are all familiar Audi e-tron design elements. To be honest, we’re not entirely surprised that the e-tron’s facelift will be minimal. As behind-the-times as the e-tron is under its skin, it remains a really good looking car and one that feels familiar for Audi customers.
Unfortunately, the interior isn’t seen in these photos, which is a shame because I’m hoping Audi adds a bit of pop to it. As good as the Audi e-tron cabin is, it’s a bit dark and sort of boring. It needs a bit of spice if it wants to keep up with its newer rivals, especially the iX, whose interior is superb. Some upgraded tech, some new trim options, and maybe even a new steering wheel would go a long way to making the e-tron feel updated.
However, what I hope happens most is that Audi updates its battery tech and powertrain. At the moment, you’re lucky if you get 220 miles out of an e-tron, even after the recent update. Yet, both the BMW iX and Tesla Model X can get 300 miles or more. Audi needs to update the powertrain efficiency, as well as the power, or it’s going to lose customers faster than it gains them, which would be the death knell for the Audi e-tron.
If Audi can up the range, even to past 250 miles, increase its power a bit, and freshen up the cabin, it just might find some more sales before it’s replaced.