Audi Q4 e-tron and Q4 Sportback e-tron presented

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Two batteries, three drives and a range of up to 520 km

Audi Q4 e-tron and Q4 Sportback e-tron presented-audi

After a number of teasers, Audi has now presented the Q4 e-tron and its Sportback variant at an online event with workshops. As with the VW ID.4 and the Skoda Enyaq iV it is a compact SUV based on the modular electrical construction kit (MEB).

Therefore, the drives are similar. However, the Audi could be the first model with all-wheel drive. Two all-wheel-drive versions have also been announced for the Skoda (in addition to three rear-wheel drive versions), but it is not yet clear when they will start. With the new ID.4 GTX On April 28, 2021, VW will show the first sporty top-of-the-range model with all-wheel drive in its fully electric series.

The Q4 e-tron has three models in the making, including two rear-wheel drive vehicles and an all-wheel drive vehicle:

  Q4 35 e-tron Q4 40 e-tron Q4 50 e-tron quattro
Front drive ASM 80 kW
Rear drive PSM 125 kW PSM 150 kW PSM 150 kW
System performance (peak, 60 sec.) / System torque 125 kW / 310 Nm 150 kW / 310 Nm 220 kW / 460 Nm
0-100 km / h / top 9.0 seconds / 160 km / h 8.5 seconds / 160 km / h 6.2 seconds / 180 km / h
Battery (net) 52 kWh 77 kWh 77 kWh
WLTP range (Sportback) 341 km (349 km) 520 km (-) 488 km (497 km)
Charging power AC / DC 7.2 kW / 100 kW 11 kW / 125 kW 11 kW / 125 kW
Empty weight with driver (Sportback) 1,965 kg (1,970 kg) 2,095 kg (-) 2,210 kg (2,215 kg)
price 41,900 euros 47,500 euros 53,600 euros
Sportback price approx. 43,900 euros approx. 54,900 euros

Batteries, range and cells

As you can see, two batteries are planned, with 52 and 77 kWh net, which we know from the ID.4 and Enyaq. The middle battery with 58 kWh is missing. Audi said it is conceivable, but not initially planned. With the large 77 kWh battery, the rear-wheel drive car can travel up to 520 km – that is the value for the Q40 e-tron.

The Q4 40 e-tron is apparently the only model not available as a Sportback – we conclude from the fact that it does not have a range or curb weight. But maybe it will also be pushed back; It would be interesting: It could offer a higher range, since the drag coefficient here is 0.26 instead of 0.28. These are good, but not very good values; the Tesla Model Y comes to 0.23.

As far as the battery cells are concerned, they are pouch cells from LG Chem (more precisely: from LG Energy Solution), as an Audi expert told us at the event. Prismatic cells are planned for later. That fits in with the plans of the VW Group, which wants to switch to prismatic cells in the medium term, such as at the VW Power Day was announced.

There are two cooling circuits for temperature control of the batteries: the medium-temperature circuit cools e-machines, power electronics and the like, a low-temperature circuit only supplies the traction battery (which in the case of the 77 kWh battery weighs around 500 kilos, which is only marginally).

Audi Q4 e-tron and Q4 Sportback e-tron presented-Audi relies sailing one-pedal driving

A heat pump is available as an option to air-condition the interior with heat from the drive and the outside air. Especially in winter and on long journeys, it should significantly reduce the loss of range due to the power requirements of the air conditioning system.

Drives: Two rear-wheel drive, one four-wheel drive

Audi always uses a permanent synchronous machine (PSM) at the rear for the drive, and an asynchronous machine (ASM) at the front for the all-wheel drive. Because of the high efficiency of PSM motors, the four-wheel drive is primarily driven by the rear axle, according to Audi. The ASM machine is only switched on when you accelerate a lot or when it improves driving stability. According to Audi, the advantages of the ASM are its short-term overload capacity and the low drag losses when it is not working.

The basic version has a 125 kW machine at the rear, as known from the VW ID.4 (Pure Performance, City Performance and Style Performance). As with the VW, charging is slower here (with up to 7.2 kW AC voltage and 100 kW DC voltage). The smallest engine in the ID.4 with 109 kW is not offered here. The next higher variant has the 150 kW motor of the ID.4 Pro Performance. The all-wheel drive also has this PSM, but also an 80 kW machine at the front. Mathematically, this would result in 230 kW, but the battery limits the output to 220 kW.

Audi Q4 e-tron and Q4 Sportback e-tron presented-Audi relies sailing one-pedal driving

Small battery and rear wheel drive

Audi Q4 e-tron and Q4 Sportback e-tron presented-presented

Big battery and four wheel drive

Important for travelers: With 125 kW DC voltage, under ideal conditions, electricity can be recharged for a further 130 kilometers in ten minutes, according to Audi. For comparison: In our charging test, we determined the VW ID.4 with a 77 kWh battery a value of 10.2 kilometers per minute – that would be 102 km in ten minutes. However, the test was carried out at low outside temperatures (5 degrees).

Audi relies on sailing, not one-pedal driving

The strength of the energy recovery in thrust can optionally be set in three stages using the steering wheel paddles. This achieves delays of 0.06, 0.1 and 0.15 g. There is also a B mode that is activated on the (tiny) selector lever. When braking, a maximum of 0.3 g is recuperated; 145 kW of power are recovered in the process. The disc brakes switch on over 0.3 g.

Audi generally relies more on sailing than on the famous one-pedal driving. When colliding with the vehicle in front or approaching a speed limit, the car only brakes at 0.1 g. In addition, when the accelerator is released, the car does not come to a complete standstill like the BMW i3, for example. A main reason for this is apparently that Audi wants to make the switch from the combustion engine easier.

Audi also rightly says that sailing is more energy-efficient – because every energy conversion is lossy. However, we find one-pedal driving (especially in the city) very pleasant; we are driving with more foresight and therefore more economical. We would therefore like to see an appropriate attitude.

By the way: If the range is tight, you can activate the Efficiency Mode. Then the maximum speed is limited to 130 km / h. In the even stricter range mode, only 90 km / h are possible.

Optics and light: adjustable LED signature

The muscular areas around the wheels of the Q4 e-tron are visually striking, but we already knew them from the study.

Audi always attaches particular importance to the light, and there is actually an interesting innovation here: the daytime running light signature can be changed via the touchscreen. There are four different patterns available. As a special trick it was stated that the light looks different directly from the front than from the side in front; to our taste, however, the grid, which is visible from a slightly lateral perspective, is disturbing. At the stern there is a strip of lights from left to right; however, it is perforated several times on the outside.

Picture gallery: Audi Q4 Sportback e-tron (2021)

Audi Q4 e-tron and Q4 Sportback e-tron presented-e-tron

The rear spoiler is noticeable on the Sportback. A designer said at the event: The car is a fastback and fastbacks actually don't have a rear spoiler. In this case, however, it improves the aerodynamics so significantly that the break in style was worthwhile: According to Audi, it brings about 12 kilometers more range.

Not only we, but also other journalists noticed the very muted color palette of the Q4 e-tron. There seem to be only silver, gray, and very inconspicuous blue tones; friendlier colors are missing.

Audi Q4 e-tron and Q4 Sportback e-tron presented-Audi relies sailing one-pedal driving

Interior and trunk

The cockpit was from a teaser already known. Here Audi (unlike VW with its MEB models) relies on a traditional design. However, there is a new steering wheel that is flattened at the top and bottom. But if you don't like that, you can also get a round steering wheel. Either way, it contains touch sliders with which you can zoom in and out of the navigation map on the instrument display – a nice feature.

The instrument display measures 10.25 inches and there is also a touchscreen that is 10.1 inches as standard; an 11.6-inch monitor is available as an option. There is also the head-up display with augmented reality function known from the VW ID.3 and ID.4.

Audi is proud of the large legroom in the rear, which is attributed to the large wheelbase of 2.76 meters. If you compare with the combustion SUVs, the difference in the wheelbase is not very big: the ten centimeter shorter Audi Q3 has eight centimeters less wheelbase, the mid-range SUV Audi Q5 has five centimeters more (2.81 meters).

The trunk volume is also not impressive. 520 to 1,490 liters fit in the Q4 e-tron, the Sportback has similar values. That is not outstanding: The ten centimeters shorter Q3 offers 530 to 1,520 liters, so a little more.

Market launch, competitors and prices

The Q4 e-tron will start in June, the Sportback will follow in late summer. Then, however, the two edition models should start first, which are around 6,200 euros more expensive than the basic versions.

Competitors include the Mercedes EQA, the Volvo XC40 / C40, the Hyundai Ioniq 5, the Kia EV6 as well as the Ford Mustang Mach-E and the Tesla Model Y. The Tesla, Ford and Hyundai deserve particular attention, although they all do not belong in the premium segment.

More about the competition: Audi Q4 e-tron and Q4 Sportback e-tron presented-e-tron Electric SUVs (2021/2022): All models on the market

Audi Q4 e-tron and Q4 Sportback e-tron presented-Audi relies sailing one-pedal driving Hyundai Ioniq 5 (2021): beautifully simple and surprising cockpit

The Tesla Model Y has a larger maximum range (505 km), and Tesla can grow with the good Supercharger network. However, prices only start at 55,600 euros. The Ford Mustang Mach-E achieves more than the Tesla at 610 km, and this version is already available for 51,180 euros (promotional price according to the website). Nevertheless, the Q4 40 e-tron is still significantly cheaper.

For the Hyundai Ioniq 5 The 800-volt technology speaks with significantly higher reloading speeds, as well as the (from our point of view) more stylish design, the large interior variability and gimmicks such as the solar roof, bidirectional charging, the larger trailer load and the eight-year guarantee. The maximum range is 485 km however less. The price of this version is not yet known.

The base price of the Q4 of just under 42,000 euros is rather cheap. The (weaker) basic versions of the Skoda Enyaq and VW ID.4 are well below that, the Ioniq 5 is priced the same. The Kia EV6, the Ford Mustang Mach-E, the Jaguar I-Pace, the Tesla Model Y and the BMW iX3 are more expensive to start with.

Technical specifications

  • Drive: 1 PSM at the rear, optionally 1 ASM at the front
  • System output: 125 to 220 kW
  • Battery / range: 52 or 77 kWh net / 341 to 520 km WLTP
  • Dimensions (Q4 e-tron): 4,588 mm Length / 1,865 mm Broad / 1,632 mm Height / 2.76 meters wheelbase
  • Luggage compartment: 520-1,490 liters (Q4 e-tron) or 535-1,460 liters (Sportback)
  • Empty weight: 1,965-2,215 kg
  • Trailer load (12%, braked): 1,000 kg or 1200 kg (all-wheel drive)
  • cd value: 0.28 or 0.26 (Sportback)
  • Market opening: June 2021, Sportback from late autumn

Picture gallery: Audi Q4 e-tron (2021)

Audi Q4 e-tron and Q4 Sportback e-tron presented-Audi relies sailing one-pedal driving

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