INGOLSTADT, Germany – Audi reveals the Q4 e-tron before a planned start to North American sales and deliveries of the electric-powered SUV during second-half 2021.
The new model is Audi’s fourth dedicated electric vehicle, following the e-tron quattro, e-tron Sportback and recently unveiled e-tron GT, and the first to be based on parent company Volkswagen’s MEB electric vehicle platform.
Closely related to the Volkswagen ID.4 sedan, with which it shares its key structural elements and electric drive system, the Q4 e-tron will be offered in two distinct body styles. The standard SUV model emphasizes overall practicality, while a sleeker Sportback aims to be sportier with a high-riding coupe silhouette.
The production versions of the new Audi closely resemble earlier Q4 e-tron concepts with a bold front end dominated by a blanked-off grille, heavily structured air ducts, angular headlamps with LED functionality, a contoured hood and deep swage lines above each wheel arch.
At the rear, the SUV receives an angled rear window within an upright tailgate, with the Sportback featuring a shallower liftback-style tailgate similar in design to that gracing the larger e-tron Sportback. As is customary on all Audi EVs, both boast a full-width taillamp with distinctive LED graphics. The wheels vary from a standard 19 to 21 ins. in diameter.
At 180.7 ins. (4,590 mm) long, 73.4 ins. (1,864 mm) wide and 63.5 ins. (1,613 mm) tall, the Q4 e-tron is 7.3 ins. (185 mm) shorter, 0.6 in. (15 mm) wider and 0.5 in. (13 mm) taller than the Tesla Model Y. A 108.7-in. (2,761-mm) wheelbase gives it relatively short overhangs and, in combination with its skateboard-style platform that features a flat floor, an interior Audi describes as being among “the longest in its class.”
Inside (below), the German automaker’s latest EV adopts its own distinct design and dashboard architecture.
Key elements include a newly styled steering wheel with touch controls, a 10.25-in. (26-cm) digital instrument display and a standard 10.1-in. (26-cm) (optional 11.6-in. [29-cm]) centrally positioned MMI infotainment touch display combined with a “Hey Audi” voice control function as an option.
The Q4 e-tron is the first Audi to feature an augmented-reality head-up display, with information, including moving navigation commands, projected onto the windshield in two separate fields and with varying depth of field.
To package the battery, the rear bench seat is mounted 2.8 ins. (71 mm) higher than the front seats in their lowest setting. Trunk space in the rear is put at 18.7 cu.-ft. (530 L), expanding to 52.6 cu.-ft. (1,489 L) when the 40:20:40-configured rear seat is stowed.
A series of compartments around the cabin, including generously dimensioned cupholders in the upper part of the doors, also offer nearly 1.0 cu.-ft. (28 L) of oddment stowage, according to Audi.
The power electronics system occupies the space underneath the hood.
The Q4 e-tron will be sold in Germany with the choice of three electric drivelines in both rear- and all-wheel drive. Details of the North American powertrains are yet to be made official.
The rear-wheel drive Q4 35 e-tron kicks off the lineup with a rear-mounted electric motor delivering 167 hp and 229 lb.-ft. (310 Nm) in combination with a 52-kWh (usable capacity) lithium-ion battery.
Tipping the scales at 4,167 lbs. (1,890 kg), it boasts an official 0-62 mph (100 km/h) time of 9.0 seconds and a range of 212 miles (341 km) on the WLTP test cycle.
Positioned higher is the rear-wheel-drive Q4 40 e-tron. It receives the same rear-mounted electric motor setup as the Q4 35 e-tron with an additional 34 hp but the same torque loading at 201 hp and 229 lb.-ft. in combination with a 77-kWh (usable capacity) battery. Weighing 4,453 lbs. (2,020 kg), its 0-62 mph and WLTP range are put at a respective 8.5 seconds and 323 miles (520 kg).
Heading the lineup is the all-wheel-drive Q4 50 e-tron quattro with front- and rear-mounted electric motors developing a combined 295 hp and 339 lb.-ft. (460 Nm) in combination with the same 77-kWh battery used by the Q4 40 e-tron. At 4,707 lbs. (2,135 kg), it claims a 0-62 mph time of 6.2 seconds and 303-mile (488-km) range on the WLTP test procedure.
Both the Q4 35 e-tron and Q4 40 e-tron receive a limited 100 mph (161 km/h) top speed, with the more performance-oriented Q4 50 e-tron limited to 111 mph (179 km/h).
The Q4 e-tron SUV and Sportback are produced alongside the ID.4 at Volkswagen’s Zwickau factory in Germany. They will be joined before year’s end by the Cupra El-Born – a new electric-powered SUV from the SEAT-operated sub-brand sharing the same MEB platform and drivelines.
Additional assembly operations are planned to take place in a newly formed joint venture run by Audi and SAIC in Anting, China.
Pricing for Q4 e-tron models destined for sale in North America are yet to be confirmed. However, Audi officials suggest the starting price will be above the $39,999 MRSP of the Volkswagen ID.4 in a reflection of the brand’s more premium positioning and higher levels of standard equipment.