Based on the VW Group’s MEB platform, the Q4 e-tron and Q4 e-tron Sportback’s most notable difference on first glance is that it is sporting the brand’s EV design language. Under the skin, three different versions will offer a range of battery sizes and power outputs, with up to 316 miles possible and almost 300bhp available in the fastest version.
The Q4 e-tron in standard and Sportback guise is almost certainly destined to be extremely popular, ticking the SUV, green and stylish boxes with aplomb. It doesn’t come cheap once you start increasing the specification levels, however.
Audi is offering the Q4 e-tron in three different guises: 35, 40 and 50. At the lower end, the Q4 35 e-tron and Q4 e-tron Sportback get a 52kWh (net) battery and a single electric motor with 168bhp and 229lb-ft of torque powering the rear wheels. In both body styles, this setup delivers 0-62mph in 9 seconds and is limited to 99mph. It has a WLTP range of 208 miles in the standard body style.
Up the spec to the Q4 40 e-tron and both performance and range improve. The single motor’s power is upped to 201bhp and 229lb-ft, lowering the 0-62 sprint to 8.5 seconds albeit with the top speed also limited to 99mph. The biggest difference between the 40 over the 35 is the battery, which has a net capacity of 77kWh, delivering a range of 316 miles on the WLTP test – the highest of any Q4 variant.
Finally, the Q4 50 e-tron is the performance version in the range. Thanks to a dial motor setup, it has Audi’s quattro system with 201bhp available at the rear and 107bhp available at the front. Total system power is 295bhp and 339lb-ft, meaning 0-62mph is dispatched in 6.2 seconds and the upper limit has been increased to 111mph. It has the 77kWh battery, meaning a WLTP range of around 295 miles.
Maximum charging speeds are 100kW DC for the 52kWh battery and 125kW for the 77kWh battery, enabling five to 80 per cent charge on the larger battery taking less than 40 minutes in ideal conditions. As with other e-tron models, up to -0.3g of regenerative braking helps recuperate up to 145kW of energy whilst slowing down.
Okay, it’s hardly a revolution in vehicle design, or even Audi design, but the Q4 e-tron does bring some new styling which we will see on future EVs from the brand. Short overhangs and large wheels (19 as standard and up to 21 inch), along with some ‘muscular’ styling features and the coupe-like roofline provide both form and function, helping the Q4 achieve a drag coefficient of 0.28 in standard guise and 0.26 in Sportback guise.
LED lights are standard, with Matrix LEDs available as an option on higher-spec cars. In terms of proportions, the Q4 e-tron is 4.59 metres long, so actually tickles the lower end of the full-sized SUV segment. Whilst this somewhat contradicts the compact designation that Audi is using, it does mean that there’s 520 litres of boot space with rear seats up or 1490 litres with them stowed in the regular Q4, and 535 litres/1460 litres in the Sportback.
As standard, there is 18 centimetres of ground clearance, though this can be lowered by 15mm where sport suspension is fitted.
The Q4 e-tron in both forms is well equipped with a large central touchscreen (up to 11.6 inches with the technology pack) and latest version of Audi’s Virtual Cockpit. MMI Navigation Plus and Audi connect internet are standard across the range, as is the e-tron route planner which plans journeys taking public charging into account. An augmented reality head up display also features for the first time on a series production Audi.
Augmenting the visual technology is the optional Sonos audio system, which features as standard on high-spec cars and is an option across the range. It uses 10 loudspeakers and 580 watts of power to create a high-quality, interior sound experience. Drivers and passengers can listen in eco-friendly comfort, too, thanks to the interior which features upholstery and plastics that are partially recycled.
A host of driver assistance systems enhance safety and include pre-sense front with pedestrian and cyclist detection, lane departure warning and swerve and turn assist. A predictive efficiency assist uses forward-facing sensors to reduce energy consumption. Further safety and convenience packages enhance what is available.
The Audi Q4 e-tron is available to order now with customer cars arriving from June, whilst the Sportback will be available to order from June with deliveries starting in September. For the regular Q4 e-tron, prices are from £40,750 for the 35 spec cars; from £44,990 for the 40 spec cars and from £51,370 for the 50 spec cars.
Update 03.03.22: Audi has updated the Q4 e-tron with faster charging speeds and a new multimedia interface. On both the Q4 40 e-tron and 50 e-tron variants, the 76.6kWh (net) battery can now be charged at up to 135kW, meaning charging from five to 80 per cent has been reduced to less than 30 minutes on the 40 e-tron. The Audi connect infotainment is also improved with the integration of Amazon Alexa and a larger 11.6 inch multimedia interface. These updates are included on all new cars as of now.
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