ELECTRIC, EFFICIENT AND EMOTIONALLY APPEALING: AUDI Q4 E-TRON AND Q4 SPORTBACK E-TRON
Versatile all-rounders for everyday use that transfer the progressive design of the concept cars into series production and that can be driven locally without any emissions: The Audi Q4 e-tron and the Q4 Sportback e-tron are the first compact electric SUVs from the brand with the Four Rings. Both of them impress with a new spacious dimension in the interior and pioneering solutions when it comes to operation, display, and assist systems. The augmented reality head-up display connects the virtual and the real worlds in a totally new way.
The range comprises three drive versions, spearheaded by a quattro model with a maximum output of 220 kW (299 PS)(Maximum output determined according to UN-GTR.21.)23. Attributes that they all share are zero local emissions driving and high ranges, charging times of around ten minutes for sufficient power to travel about 130 kilometers (80.8 mi) in ideal conditions (WLTP) and convenient charging with the e-tron Charging Service. The rear-wheel drive Q4 40 e-tron4
achieves a range of up to 520 kilometers (323.1 mi) in the WLTP cycle. It goes on sale in Europe in June 2021, with prices in Germany starting at EUR 41,900 – where the customer can claim a subsidy of EUR 9,000 (net).
Audi’s next step: the exterior design
With the Q4 e-tron and the Q4 Sportback e-tron, Audi is taking the next step in the design language of its electric models. 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. This body line impresses thanks to the striking proportions – short front overhangs, large wheels, and powerfully toned muscles. All lines are drawn with the greatest precision, and the surface treatment is clear and pared back. 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. The brand’s progressive design is typically Audi, as functional as it is aerodynamic: The Q4 e-tron achieves a drag coefficient of 0.28, and the Sportback gets to an even lower figure, with a drag coefficient of 0.26.
On request, both of these compact electric SUVs can be driven off the assembly line with Matrix LED headlights – they always illuminate the road as brightly as possible without blinding other road users. The digital light signatures are a world first: The driver can switch between four signatures in the MMI touch operating system. 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.
One vehicle for everything and everyone: everyday e-mobility for every situation
Thanks to their versatility, the Audi Q4 e-tron and the Q4 Sportback e-tron are the perfect companions in every situation. At 4.59 meters in length, they offer a package that gives the passengers on board new spaces and which goes beyond existing class boundaries. The available space in the interior is comparable with the full-size SUV class; there is no center tunnel. The feeling of spaciousness is not just confined to the front seats – with the generous legroom, passengers in the rear also benefit from the advantage of the technological platform, which is designed as electric-only. When it comes to storage compartments, the Q4 e-tron product line scores high grades with total storage space of around 25 liters, and the bottle holders integrated in the upper section of the doors are a further highlight. Even 1-liter bottles can be stored in them safely and in ergonomically ideal reach.
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.
Another strength for everyday use is the high range – the Q4 40 e-tron4 travels up to 520 kilometers (323.1 mi) (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 (80.8 mi) (WLTP) in around ten minutes. Using the myAudi app, the owner can activate charging at home and pre-entry climate control from their smartphone.
New ideas for a new era: the interior and operation
The interior of the Audi Q4 e-tron and the Q4 Sportback e-tron 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 its seamless 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.
On request, the Audi Q4 e-tron and the Q4 Sportback e-tron can be equipped with another innovation on board – the augmented reality head-up display. 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.
Fully digital: the Q4 e-tron is an e-mobility device
The Q4 e-tron models offer a fully digital user experience. The infotainment package in the electric compact SUV is structured in three levels – from MMI through MMI plus to MMI pro. Different functions are provided depending on the configuration level, including the augmented reality head-up display and the Audi virtual cockpit plus. The optional levels provide the online services of Audi connect, including the intelligent e-tron route planner for working out the optimal route that stays close to the public charging infrastructure. For premium sound, we have a new partner in the vehicle – the Sonos sound system which combines lifestyle, technology and design in a new dimension.
For urban commuters and long-distance drivers: battery, drive and charging options
The drive portfolio of the two compact electric models lives up to the expectations of very different groups of customers – from the urban commuter to the long-distance driver. It includes two battery variants and three drive variants. The compact battery for the Q4 35 e-tron5 has a net energy content of 52 kWh (55 kWh gross), while the figures for the large battery in the Q4 40 e-tron4 and Q4 50 e-tron quattro2 are 77 (82) kWh.
The Q4 35 e-tron5 and the Q4 40 e-tron4 have an electric motor that drives the rear wheels, with an output of 125 kW (170 PS) and 150 kW (204 PS) respectively. The top-of-the-range version Q4 50 e-tron quattro2 has two electric motors for the electric all-wheel drive. They give it a maximum output of 220 kW (299 PS)(Maximum output determined according to UN-GTR.21.)23 – sufficient for a sprint from 0 to 100 km/h (62.1 mph) in 6.2 seconds and an electronically limited top speed of 180 km/h (111.8 mph). 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 e-tron Charging Service provides access to around 210,000 public charging points in 26 European countries, 4,400 of which are HPC fast-charging points (as of April 2021), using just one charging card. In the transit tariff, customers buying the Q4 e-tron do not pay any basic fee in the first year. They benefit here especially from the preferential conditions in the IONITY network: The charged kilowatt hour costs 31 cents, which corresponds to the price level when charging at home in Germany.
Intelligent connectivity: the suspension and the driver assist systems
The high-voltage battery of the Audi Q4 e-tron and the Q4 Sportback e-tron lies between the axles, which ensures a low center of gravity and a balanced distribution of weight. The control systems for the drive and suspension work closely together – driving the compact electric SUVs is safe, sporty, and comfortable all at the same time.
On request, Audi will supply a sport suspension for all Q4 e-tron versions that lowers the body by 15 millimeters (standard feature in the S line). What’s more, the Audi drive select system with different driving profiles can be installed (standard feature in the Sportback), as can progressive steering, which operates more and more directly as the steering angle increases (as standard in the quattro models). Audi drive select also features in the Sportback with rear-wheel drive. The suspension with damper control – an option for all motor line-ups – provides for an even more versatile driving experience. Wheels ranging in diameter from 19 to 21 inches form part of the offering, which contains several aero designs – their largely closed rim design also plays its part in improving efficiency.
The compact electric SUVs roll off the assembly line with a number of assist systems as standard. These include predictive efficiency assist, which supports a forward-looking driving style that optimizes the consumption of energy. The optional systems – like many other equipment features – are divided into packages. The highlight of these is the adaptive cruise assist, which assists the driver with longitudinal and lateral guidance over the entire speed range. The surround view cameras are an especially great help when driving in the city and when parking.