Audi first showed the Q4 e-tron concept at the 2019 Geneva show and now the VW brand has removed the covers from its production e-tron Q4 and e-tron Q4 Sportback. They’re the German automaker’s latest EVs, the idea being to grow its electric line to a slightly less-expensive segment. “The Q4 e-tron models are approachable, livable SUVs with the sophistication and quality for which Audi is known,” the company said, adding that with the addition of these two new models, the company plans to have “more fully electric models on sale in the U.S. than any other luxury brand by the end of 2021.”
The new Audis ride on VW’s MEB platform, as does the VW ID.4. In fact, the Audis and the VW are built at the same Zwickau, Germany, plant. The Q4 is 180.6 inches long and 64.3 inches tall, about the same size as Audi’s Q5.
Audi says the Q4 e-tron’s powertrain choices live up to “the expectations of a wide range of customers—from the urban commuter to the long-distance driver.”
The entry-level model has an estimated output of 150 kW, while the top-of-the-range Q4 50 e-tron quattro and Q4 Sportback 50 e-tron quattro offer two electric motors and all-wheel drive. The combination of the two motors delivers a maximum 220 kW estimated output. The motor on the front axle comes into play only when high power or more grip is needed, with the electric all-wheel drive using a temporary on-demand asynchronous motor (ASM) for the front wheels. The ASM doesn’t use any energy when it’s not needed. Slick.
Whether you get one or two motors, the battery configuration is 77 kWh net (82 kWh gross). The battery lies between the axles for a low center of gravity and, Audi says, balanced weight distribution. The result is “controlled and responsive handling when paired with a McPherson front axle and a five-link rear suspension,” Audi says. The Audi drive select system includes Efficiency, Comfort, Dynamic, and Individual. Audi sources told Autoweek the car’s suspension is tuned slightly toward the sporty side.
Audi says its newest EVs can be charged with different outputs using alternating current (AC) and direct current (DC)—up to 11 kW with AC, and up to 125 kW DC on a high-speed charger. Audi also says it estimates the range will be about 250 miles for the Q4 e-tron, but doesn’t yet have EPA estimates. An optional heat pump uses waste heat from the modules and the ambient air to control interior air temperature, helping increase efficiency, Audi says, especially on longer drives.
The Sportback specs are similar, though it has slightly better aero, with an 0.26 drag coefficient compared to 0.28 cd for the regular model.
Audi says the two new Q4s offer optional Matrix design LED headlights with customizable daytime running light signatures—a world first. That means the driver can switch between four running light signatures via the MMI system. Out back, a light strip links the taillight units to each other and can be had with animated coming-home and leaving-home functions. A choice of four exterior colors is available, with S line and black optic exterior elements offered as well.
The interior, also roughly Q5-sized, has a floating panel housing the shifter and under that a wireless charging cradle. Also new is the steering wheel and its seamless touch surfaces for controlling the digital instrument cluster. The center 10.1-inch MMI touch display operates infotainment and nav, and the car has a 10.25-inch digital instrument cluster. The cool virtual cockpit is optional.
Head-up display with augmented reality is also optional, superimposing the information from certain driver-assist and nav features and integrating them with a real-life external view. The information appears as a virtual, floating image about 30 feet in front of the driver. It sounds cool, but also like it might take some getting used to. Surround-view cameras are also optional to help parking in tighter spots.
There’s a gaggle of driver-assist systems including pre-sense, side- and lane-assist, and high-beam assist. The adaptive cruise assist offers both longitudinal and lateral guidance at high speed and in traffic scenarios through a combined Traffic Jam assist.
The Q4 e-tron and Q4 Sportback e-tron are Audi’s fourth and fifth EVs in the U.S., contributing to the brand’s goal of a 30 percent electrified portfolio globally by 2025, the company said, including EVs and plug-in hybrids. So by the end of the year Audi should have the e-tron and e-tron Sportback, the e-tron GT and RS e-tron GT, and the Q4 e-tron and the Q4 Sportback e-tron.
The cars land here toward the end of 2021 starting around $45,000. Factor in the $7,500 tax credit and you are looking at around $37,500, which sounds like a great deal. Audi says more pricing and trim details will be provided closer to the on-sale date.
We can’t wait to drive them.
Log into the comments and tell us what you think of Audi’s latest EVs.
Source: Read Full Article