It’s absolutely impossible to have a discussion about electric cars without mentioning Tesla. It’s the go-to brand for almost anyone looking to go green. However, that doesn’t make it the right choice all the time, as many other brands are developing excellent EVs at the moment. In fact the newest car from Silicon Valley, the Tesla Model Y, is only one of the all-electric crossovers in the segment now. The new Audi Q4 Sportback e-tron Concept was just recently revealed and the production version will take on the Model Y directly.
We won’t compare the cars’ specs or quality, because we haven’t driven either and the e-tron’s specs are purely conceptual at the moment. However, we can compare their designs, as the Model Y is on sale and the Q4’s is about 90-percent production-ready.
It’s clear from the moment you lay eyes on both that the Audi Q4 Sportback e-tron comes from a legacy automaker, while the Tesla comes from something entirely new. The Audi has all the usual internal combustion design elements, just modified for EV-duty. For instance, it still has a front grille and front air intakes, despite not having an engine or any oil coolers. That may seem old-fashioned compared to the hyper-modern Tesla but that familiarity will likely help bring customers over to electrification.
Also, the Tesla’s lack of grille has never looked good. It looks like Keanu Reeves from that scene in The Matrix where he gets his mouth sewn shut.
In profile, the Model Y looks like a Model 3 that’s been stung by bees. It’s just a taller, swollen, bloated looking Model 3, with no real interesting design elements to speak of. However, the Audi Q4 Sportback e-tron has muscular wheel arches, a very sleek roofline and short overhangs, giving it a very sporty appearance. If you want to blend into the crowd, go for the Tesla, if you want to stand out, stick with Audi.
Telsa’s press site images don’t offer much by way of rear angles but the Model Y’s taillights are rather normal and boring looking. While the Q4 gets an uber-high-tech OLED light bar, which looks very futuristic.
All in, the Audi Q4 Sportback e-tron is the better looking car. The Tesla Model Y is an inoffensive little bubble of a car. It’s not bad looking but it’s not good looking, either. It’s just rather boring. Sure, there are parts of the Q4’s design that don’t work all that well but at least it’s interesting and exciting. At least Audi was willing to take risks.