(Pocket-lint) - Audi's previous electric vehicles have arrived with names that stood them apart. The first production car was simply called the Audi e-tron, a name lifted from Audi's (now retired) hybrids. Then we had the e-tron GT, e-tron Sportback and simply put, there was only so far that Audi could run with the e-tron name before it got confusing.
So the fact that Audi's latest model is called the audi Q4 is hugely revealing. It slots right into the range of compact SUVs between the Q3 and the Q5 and that e-tron name is going to become rather more normal. Two styles have been revealed, the Q4 e-tron and the Q4 e-tron Sportback and both will be on the roads from 2021.
Audi Q4 e-tron release date and price
- From £40,750
- Orders open on Q4 e-tron SUV, delivery from June
- Sportback orders open June, deliery from September
Audi has now fully revealed the Q4 e-tron SUV and the Q4 e-tron Sportback after a long period of concept reveals and confirmations. Importantly, there isn't a long delay in getting access to the new Q4: orders have opened on the Q4 e-tron SUV and deliveries will begin in June.
The Audi Q4 e-tron Sportback will open up the order books in June with deliveries expected from September 2021. The following prices have all been confirmed:
- Audi Q4 35 e-tron Sport - £40,750
- Audi Q4 35 e-tron S line - £42,850
- Audi Q4 35 e-tron Edition 1 - £46,945
- Audi Q4 35 e-tron Vorsprung - £54,450
- Audi Q4 40 e-tron Sport - £44,990
- Audi Q4 40 e-tron S line - £47,090
- Audi Q4 40 e-tron Edition 1 - £51,185
- Audi Q4 40 e-tron Vorsprung - £58,690
- Audi Q4 50 e-tron quattro Sport - £51,370
- Audi Q4 50 e-tron quattro S line - £53,470
- Audi Q4 50 e-tron quattro Edition 1 - £57,565
- Audi Q4 50 e-tron quattro Vorsprung - £65,070
Audi Q4 e-tron design and interior
To look at, anyone familiar with Audi's SUVs will see where the Q4 comes from. It fuses e-tron design features like that huge rear light bar with the sort of sporty sculpting that Audi's SUVs carry. You can see that the profile fits very much with what you'd expect - and this is Audi's big push into a slightly more affordable section of the market. The e-tron is expensive, and this slightly more compact SUV will likely see greater volume sales as a family car.
What's underneath is important. It sits on the VW group's MEB platform - modular electrification platform - which will underpin a wide range of vehicles from the group, from the VW ID.3 to the Seat El-Born, with VW estimating that some 15 million vehicles will be manufactured on this platform. The Q4 e-tron sits alongside the VW ID.4, both in the same position.
Again - this is Audi looking to the mass market. The Q4 e-tron has a regular hatched back, giving it a typical SUV silhouette, while the Sportback has a dropping coupé style roofline, for a sportier stance - although we're yet to see that in production form.
The interior has plenty of tech treats as you'd expect, along with a fairly fresh look for those in the front. Audi was keen to point out that there's space in the interior for a water bottle in the doors, which is a really useful feature and really plays to the idea of transporting a family around.
The technology is centred around MMI Touch with a large central display, oriented towards the driver - with a Virtual Cockpit, of course. There's going to be two sizes of interior display, the standard at 10.1-inches and the expanded version at 11.6-inches - which will make it the largest central display in an Audi so far. MMI Navigation Plus will come as standard and there will be a Hey Audi voice assistant too.
The driver gets a 10.25-inch Virtual Cockpit, now a familiar feature on Audi cars, with a selection of customisations and different displays to choose from. But adding to these interior displays will be the option for an augmented reality heads-up display. We've seen HUDs before, but this extends the offering splitting into two areas, an information area at the bottom (similar to existing HUDs in cars) and a larger AR section higher up the display.
This will, effectively, allow information to be beamed right into the driver's line of sight, augmenting the view with things like navigation directions. Now, rather than looking at a small arrow on the dash or a map on the display, you'll see those details on the road ahead. It should make it easier to select the correct turn or the right exit from a complicated junctions. It will position the AR elements thanks to the car's front camera, radar and GPS.
The steering wheel also loses the physical buttons for a more seamless approach, using back illuminated controls which support presses and swipes, to allow more functionality.
Sonos also makes its debut into cars with the Audi Q4, which will come with a Sonos audio system.
Audi Q4 e-tron powertrain and performance
Turning to the important performance figures for this model, the battery makes up the floor in the MEB, weighing some 510kg but providing balance front and rear and a low centre of gravity. Both bodystyles will be available with all the options, although the range figures are currently for the Q4 e-tron SUV. Audi has already said the Sportback is a little more aerodynamic, but we wouldn't expect a huge real world difference in performance.
There will be the choice of a 52kWh (55kWh gross) or 77kWh (82kWh gross) batteries. The gross figure is the maxiumum capacity, but some of the battery is reserved to ensure long-term battery health, hence the slightly lower cited figures.
At the entry-level is a 125kW motor (170PS) driving the rear-wheels and this will be in the 35 badged model.
The step-up will see the larger battery paired with a more powerful rear motor offering 150kW (204PS); the top of the range will be the large battery with twin motors offering Quattro all-wheel drive, with 150kW rear and 80kW front, for a combined output of 220kW (299PS).
Here's a summary of the models, key power stats, and the badging Audi will use:
- Audi Q4 35 e-tron: 52kWh, 125kW, 208 miles range, 0-62mph 9 seconds
- Audi Q4 40 e-tron: 77kWh, 150kW, 316 miles range, 0-62mph 8.5 seconds
- Audi Q4 50 e-tron: 77kWh, 220kW, 295 miles range, 0-62mph 6.2 seconds
We suspect that the Q4 40 e-tron will be most popular of the range, starting from £44,990. The Q4 35 will offer the most affordable entry point for those wanting an electric Audi, but without needing the range. That still might appeal to those wanting a car for commutes, school run and shopping trips.
All the models will charge at 125kW, which isn't the fastest, but reflects average charging speeds available on most faster chargers.