The Audi Q4 e-tron and Audi Q4 Sportback e-tron have just made the world debut, and the vehicles look amazing. They have really continued the momentum in beautifully designing and launching their EV line-up, as they so did with the previous e-tron GT. The reveal event, which looked ‘artificial’ and too ‘choreographed’, according to the majority of comments during the show, took place today (April 14) via a virtual live stream. Word of advice, less staged talk between each other and more about the cars!
Right now, if I had the money and was shopping for an EV SUV then this would be it. This will certainly be the top EV to hit the market, and will certainly give the BMW iX a run for its money. It’s truly great that EVs have become a competing segment and it just goes to show that the big OEMs are really serious about the future of mobility.
Let’s talk looks
The two compact SUVs bring into series production the body line that the Audi Q4 concept and Audi Q4 Sportback e-tron concept show cars demonstrated at the beginning of 2019. They are certainly eye catching and scream Audi. In the Audi Q4 Sportback e-tron, the especially low coupé-style roofline ends in an expressively designed rear where the spoiler sits deep on the two-part window.
By request, owners can drive around showing off the Matrix LED headlights, giving the right amount of light without making you feel like a ‘bambi in headlights’. I encourage all Lebanese owners to ensure they include that in their purchase.
At the rear, a light strip links the taillight units to each other. A choice of eight colors is available for the paint finish, including the new metallic shade aurora violet. In addition to the basic version, there are the two advanced and S line exteriors.
How practical are they?
At 4.59 meters in length they give more than enough space for everyone inside, and goes beyond existing class specs – even making compete with some full-size SUVs out there. And listen up Mercedes-Benz, there is no center tunnel.
There is generous legroom for rear passengers, and storage space too. It has around 25 liters of storage space. The luggage compartment also offers more space than is generally found in the compact class, matching that of the mid-size class: Depending on the positioning of the rear seat backs, the volume of the luggage compartment is 520 to 1,490 liters in the Q4 e-tron and 535 to 1,460 liters under a power trunk lid in the Sportback. Both models can tow trailers with a weight of up to 1,000 kilograms (braked, at 12% incline), with the quattro versions even able to pull up to 1,200 kilograms.
How is it on the inside
The interior comes across as spacious and airy; the instrument panel is turned toward the driver. It is divided into separate areas and integrates two displays, which are design elements at the same time. The decorative trim panel on the front passenger side is available on request in an innovative technical fabric containing a proportion of recycled materials, which can be provided shortly after the market launch. A separate horizontal operating panel houses the shifter for selecting the gears. Seat upholstery that contains large amounts of recycled polyester is available for the sporty S line interior. Around 26 recycled 1.5-liter PET bottles are used for each seat.
Also totally new is the steering wheel with touch surfaces, which the driver uses to control the digital instrument cluster. Infotainment and navigation are operated primarily using the central MMI touch display, which will also be available in the largest configuration level of 11.6 inches towards the end of the year. Natural voice control provides the third operating interface.
By order only, the vehicles can be equipped with the augmented reality heads-up display. If you’re forking out the cash, why not splurge on this. It superimposes the information provided by some of the assist systems and the navigation symbols on the real-life external world conveniently for the driver to see. This information is displayed dynamically in a large field of view, where it appears in a virtual, floating image at a distance of roughly ten meters or more from the driver – creating a fascinating effect.
Does it go the distance
The Q4 40 e-tron travels up to 520 kilometers (WLTP) on a single battery charge. Thanks to a maximum charging capacity of 125 kW, in ideal conditions it can charge enough power for about 130 kilometers (WLTP). Using the myAudi app, the owner can activate charging at home and pre-entry climate control from their smartphone.
There are two battery and three drive variants. The compact battery for the Q4 35 e-tron has a net energy content of 52 kWh (55 kWh gross), while the figures for the large battery in the quattro are 77 (82) kWh.
The Q4 35 e-tron and the Q4 40 e-tron have an electric motor that drives the rear wheels, with an output of 125 kW and 150 kW respectively. The top-of-the-range version Q4 50 e-tron quattro has two electric motors for the electric all-wheel drive. They give it a maximum output of 220 kW – taking you from 0 to 100 km/h in 6.2 seconds and an electronically limited top speed of 180 km/h. For efficiency, the motor on the front axle comes into action only when high power or a strong grip is needed. Another important factor in energy-saving driving is intelligent recuperation, which also incorporates navigation and topographical data.
The optional heat pump uses the waste heat from the high-voltage modules and the ambient air to control the climate in the interior. This makes another contribution to increasing efficiency, especially on longer drives.
Audi’s two new electric SUVs can be charged with different outputs using alternating current (AC) and direct current (DC) depending on the battery. The compact battery can get up to 7.2 kW with AC charging and up to 100 kW when using HPC charging (high-power charging) with direct current. As standard, the larger battery allows for up to 11 kW with AC and up to 125 kW with HPC.
The Audi Q4 e-tron will hit European roads in two months, while the Sportback version will reach in the Summer months. The vehicles list in Germany at EUR 41,900 ($50,180) for the Q4 35 e-tron, with Sportback version adds EUR 2,000 ($2,400) to it (and every other version of the regular Q4 e-tron). If Audi plans to bring the Q4 e-tron to the Middle East, I believe it will be in the UAE first. It will definitely reach our shores at a higher price tag, I’m guessing the entry-level will be priced at around the AED 260,000 mark.
There will be two Edition models accompany the market launch: one in geyser blue, and the other in typhoon gray – both adding a further EUR 6,195 ($7,500) over the regular models.