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WORLD PREMIERE: Audi Q4 e-tron — Entry Point for EVs

We’ve been waiting for this reveal for a long time. Of course, the Audi e-tron GT was the car that had us as giddy as children on Christmas morning but this new Audi Q4 e-tron is the car that’s arguable even more important. The Q4 e-tron is the cheapest new Audi electric vehicle and it’s going to be the one that helps transition existing Audi customers over to electrification. And now it’s finally here.

 

Alongside the standard Q4 e-tron, the sportier looking Q4 e-tron Sportback has also been revealed. The Sportback model brings sportier looks but not much else, in terms of specs or performance. However, it looks different enough for customers to want to choose it over the standard car.

 

Powertrain and Range

 

Let’s face it, this is what you want to know about. We’ve seen spy photos and camouflaged photos of the exterior and we’ve already seen the interior. However, Audi has been mum on the details of its range and power until now.

 

We already knew that the Audi Q4 e-tron is based on Volkswagen’s MEB architecture, the same scalable electric platform that underpins the Volkswagen ID.4.

 

The Audi Q4 e-tron will offer two different battery levels and three different drivetrain options. To start off, the entry-level Audi Q4 35 e-tron will pack a 52 kWh (55 kWh gross) battery, while the larger Audi Q4 40 e-tron comes with a 77 kWh (82 kWh gross) battery pack. The same 77 kWh battery pack also powers the Audi Q4 50 e-tron Quattro.

 

Both the Q4 35 and 40 e-tron models get a single electric motor at the rear axle, which makes 125 kW (167 horsepower) and 150 kW (201 horsepower), respectively. While the top-of-the-line Q4 50 e-tron Quattro uses two electric motors, one at each axle, that combine to make 220 kW (295 horsepower). For the latter, 0-100 km/h (0-62 mph) takes a relatively leisurely 6.2 seconds. Though, it seems that the Q4 is designed more for comfort, style and, more importantly, range, rather than performance.

 

In terms of range, the Audi Q4 e-tron has at worse VW ID.4 levels of battery range. The entry-level car, the Q4 35 e-tron, with its single electric motors and 52 kWh battery, can do about 341 km (211 miles) on a single charge. Interestingly, the Q4 35 e-tron Sportback can do a bit more, 349 km (217 miles) on a single charge, likely due to its superior aerodynamics.

 

The middle-of-the-range Audi Q4 40 e-tron sports the best range, thanks to its 77 kWh battery pack and single electric motor. So while it’s slow — 0-100 km/h in 8.5 seconds — it can drive up to 520 km (323 miles) on a charge.

 

While the top-of-the-line model, the Audi Q4 50 e-tron Quattro gets a max range of 488 km (303 miles), which makes it the best combination of performance and range. Again, the Sportback model gets a bit more, with 497 km (308 miles) of range.

 

Exterior

After seeing many camouflaged photos of the Audi Q4 e-tron, we sort of had an idea as to what it was going to look like. Now that it’s finally here, we know our assumptions were right.

 

The standard Audi Q4 e-tron looks like we thought it would but that’s not a bad thing. It’s a smart looking electric crossover that features a sporty, muscular design, short overhangs, and the largest wheels ever fitted to an A-segment Audi vehicle. We can easily see Audi Q5 customers being very interested in the Q4 e-tron.

Audi Q4 e-tron Sportback

 

 

Though, we could also see customers gravitating more toward the Audi Q4 e-tron Sportback. It features an extremely fast roofline and looks much sportier than we thought it would. Yet, it still retains the standard car’s muscular rear wheel arches and trunklid spoiler.

 

Up front, the Singleframe grille is immediately recognizable and features a bright silver finish to tell other motorists that you’re driving an Audi e-tron product. Out back, new OLED taillights are connect via a central light bar.

 

Interior

Even prior to this reveal, Audi fully unveiled the cabin of the Audi Q4 e-tron a few weeks back. It’s a smart looking cabin that borrows some details from the e-tron GT, such as the futuristic looking steering wheel design, and its physical climate controls.

 

 

In between the front seats, the center console, which houses the drive controls, sits cantilevered from the dashboard, giving front passengers more storage space.

 

Speaking of interior space, Audi claims that the Q4 e-tron, which sits in the A-segment of crossovers, actually has as much passenger and cargo space as a B-segment car. So despite its small footprint, the Q4 is actually a rather capacious little crossover.

 

Suspension and Handling

 

Due to its rear-drive nature, the Audi Q4 e-tron should provide sportier and more capable handling than cars such as the Audi Q3 or even Q5. It also has a much lower center of gravity than any of Audi’s other SUVs, making it more nimble than most.

 

Up front, its gets a traditional McPherson front strut setup, with a five-link rear suspension. Optional fixed sport suspension lowers the ride 15 millimeters and there’s an additional adaptive suspension as well. Progressive steering is also available, which should work similarly to Audi’s existing variable steering setup.

As for wheels, the Q4 boasts the largest wheels of any A-segment Audi, with 19″ wheels as standard, with options ranging up to 21″. It also gets staggered tires, with wider rubber at the rear for sportier dynamics.

 

Edition One Models

 

If you want to be an early adopter, as many EV owners do, there will be two Edition One models on offer at market launch; Geyser Blue and Typhoon Grey. Both Edition One models will get the S Line package, darkened rear windows, black accents, and even darkened taillights. Both Edition models will also get 21″ aero wheels but the Typhoon Grey model will have bronze-finished wheels, as well as bronze Audi rings.

 

Pricing

 

The Audi Q4 e-tron will go on sale in Europe in June, with Sportback versions coming later this Summer. Prices in Germany are as follows: EUR 41,900  for the Q4 35 e-tron, EUR 47,500 for the Q4 40 e-tron, and EUR 52,900 for the Q4 50 e-tron Quattro. Add an additional EUR 6,195 for Edition One models.

 

In Germany, at least, the Audi Q4 e-tron is priced very similarly to the piston-powered Audi Q5. At that price point, unless you absolutely need more range than the Q4 can offer, we don’t see a reason to get the Q5 instead. The Q4 is better looking, has a more interesting interior, more cabin and cargo space, and should even be nicer to drive. If there was any car to bring existing Audi customers over to the electric side, the Q4 e-tron is it.

 

Nico DeMattia

I've been in love with cars since I was a kid, specifically German cars. Now I get to drive them talk about them on the internet.