The anticipated 2022 Audi Q4 E-Tron and Q4 E-Tron Sportback twins have been revealed overnight, giving the German brand’s electric vehicle range a much needed offering at the more affordable end of the luxury EV segment.
In the UK, the range will kick off from the equivalent AU$73,000 – which, while still out of reach for many, marks a significant drop on the price of entry into Audi’s electric range as represented by the full-size $137,100 E-Tron wagon available in Australia right now.
Specific Australian timing and details are still to be revealed, and indeed, Audi’s local arm tells us that an Australian launch is yet to be confirmed at all. We’re assured they’re working on it, however.
There are few surprises with the Q4 E-Tron’s look, debuting with the same muscular proportions and closed-off grille design that features with the bigger E-Tron and the sleek E-Tron GT sedan.
A full-figured look gives the Q4 E-Tron an imposing presence, with bulging arches and a relatively low ride height matched to large wheels on every variant.
Specific wheel sizes vary from a big 19 inches, right up to 21 inches. (Depending on model and wheel size, brake discs measure between 330 and 358mm.)
At the rear, all Q4 E-Tron models feature slender tail lamps with a dashed LED signature light that runs through the tailgate, connecting the main lighting units.
In Sportback form – now a familiar treatment across the Audi range – the Q4 E-Tron takes on a more coupe-like appearance for those that prefer a mix of all motoring lifestyle trends. Have no doubt, the jacked-up four-door coupe look is in.
The interior view of the Q4 E-Tron models is likewise a familiar sight, with an almost Brutalist-like approach to the heavily angled dash design. Only a handful of interior images have been issued so far, but it’s a moody and futuristic look on offer.
As standard, a large 10.25-inch digital instrument cluster sits behind the steering wheel, matched to a 10.1 inch main display in the centre of the dash. It’s a small screen by the standards of some models getting around in the luxury space right now, but a slightly larger 11.6-inch unit will be available as an option.
Overall dimensions for the new Q4 E-Tron models have not been detailed, apart from a 4.59-metre total length – making it notably shorter than the 4.9m E-Tron. (Which some might be moved to call the Q6 E-Tron, in comparison to the 4.6m Q5 SUV...)
Audi promises “generous” legroom for rear occupants – thanks to the space-making benefits of the electric-focused MEB architecture underneath – but specific numbers are still to come. The photos do suggest second-row occupants will be comfortable – even those who draw the middle-seat short straw.
We do know luggage storage numbers, however: 520 litres for the wagon, seats-up, and 535 litres in the Sportback. Drop the second row in both, and those numbers grow to 1490 and 1460 respectively.
This actually compares favourably with the bigger Q5 that buyers will be familiar with, which lists 540 litres with the rear seats up, expanding to 1560 litres when folded.
Q4 E-Tron power, performance and driving range
The Q4 E-Tron range opens with the 35 E-Tron variant in both body styles. Energy is drawn from a 52kWh (55kWh gross) battery pack, matched to a single electric motor sending 125kW and 310Nm to the rear wheels.
For both, Audi claims a 0-100km/h time of 9.0 seconds and, in the wagon model, a WLTP-certified driving range of 334 kilometres from a single charge. Sportback driving range is still to be certified.
Moving up to the Q4 40 E-Tron, the battery pack grows to 77kWh (82kWh gross). Power is again provided by a single motor, this time sending 150kW and 310Nm to the rear wheels for a 0-100km/h time of 8.5 seconds. Electric driving range for the wagon is claimed at a huge 508 kilometres.
For now (assuming an RS model is coming), the top-shelf variant is the Q4 50 E-Tron Quattro, headlined by a dual-motor arrangement.
Energy comes again from a 77kWh battery pack, with a maximum combined output of 220kW and 460Nm across the front- and rear-mounted motors.
Delivering a part-time all-wheel drive experience (hence the Quattro in its name), the 50 E-Tron is primarily RWD, with the front motor engaged only as needed.
In that RWD arrangement, the rear motor produces 150kW and 310Nm – just like the 40 E-Tron. But, thanks to the availability of that on-demand front motor, the 50 E-Tron claims a 0-100km/h time of just 6.2 seconds. In the wagon model, a driving range of 474km is claimed.
Depending on the model, the Q4 E-Tron can engage up to 100 or 125kW high-speed charging.
At 125kW, “and in ideal conditions”, a near-empty (5kWh remaining) battery can reach an 80 per cent charge in 38 minutes.
The Q4 E-Tron range will be available initially in four trim grades: entry-level Sport and the more properly sports-styled and equipped S-Line, followed by the Edition 1 and the top-shelf Vorsprung – derived from the company’s “Vorsprung durch Technik” slogan, which translates roughly to “advancement through technology”.
Equipment highlights in the range include the addition of a Sonos music system – marking the first time the trendy and highly regarded home audio brand has appeared in a vehicle.
With 10 speakers – including four bass loudspeakers and a subwoofer among them – and an eight-channel booster, the 580W system utilises the ‘Sonamic Panorama’ algorithm to create a U-shaped sound stage.
A heat pump will be available as an option, heating and cooling the interior by using the thermal losses from both the electric components and the outside air temperature. The advantage here is that the cabin climate is maintained without impacting the driving range.
The S Line and Edition 1 models get sports suspension as standard (unlike the Sport model, where it’s optional), lowering the body by 15mm while offering driver-focused spring and damper settings.
A conditions-based damper control system is available on those models as an option, while the Vorsprung gets it as standard.
Variable ratio progressive steering is also available (listed as standard in the UK), and its settings can be fine-tuned through the Audi Drive Select system with Comfort, Auto, Efficiency, Individual and Dynamic modes, along with a Range mode that optimises the system for maximum driving range.
A highlight for tech fiends is a new augmented reality head-up display, superimposing key signals and information into the ‘real life’ areas of the view ahead. Audi says the images will usually appear to be floating around 10 metres ahead of the driver – while also being able to appear even further away and then towards the driver as a visual signal of approaching landmarks and directions.
When will the Q4 E-Tron come to Australia?
Audi says an Australian launch for the Q4 E-Tron is still to be confirmed, which suggests that if (or more likely when) a local debut does occur, it would not be until sometime in 2022.
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