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.

Simply put, there was only so far that Audi could run with the e-tron name - e-tron GT, e-tron Sportback - before things became too confusing. So the fact that Audi's latest concept model is called the Q4 e-tron is hugely revealing. It feels like it slots right into the range of compact SUVs between the Q2 and the Q3 and that e-tron is going to become rather more normal.

VW Group's big EV push

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. As a concept, we might expect some changes, but Audi is confidently saying that this is going be launched in 2020, so we're not expecting huge changes.

What's underneath is important though. 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 to the Seat El-Born, with VW estimating that some 15 million vehicles will be manufactured on this platform.

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Again - this is Audi looking to the mass market, although we'd expect the concept four seater to become a rather more conventional five seater, otherwise families won't buy it. 

The interior is futuristic but not inconceivable; the central touchscreen paired with Virtual Cockpit is typical of Audi's current models, but we can't help feeling that Audi will stick to the recently-introduced MMI Touch with a second screen, perhaps eating some of the space the concept model offers. 

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.

It's an 82kWh battery, paired with two electric motors front and rear, the rear providing 150kW, leaving 75kW for the front. The Q4 - unsurprisingly - is Quattro all-wheel drive, claiming a 0-62mph time of 6.3 seconds and the front and rear are electronically managed to provide the optimal balance of power.

The range is said to be 450km on the WLTP standard, supporting up to 125kW charging, which would see you at 80 per cent in 30 minutes.

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Audi Q4 e-tron release date and price 

Nothing has yet been said about the price, but that's obviously going to be key. The Audi e-tron starts at just over £70,000 so you could reasonably expect the Q4 e-tron to slide into a more affordable position. Certainly, we'd expect Audi to stick to the premium end of the market, avoiding conflict with electric SUVs from VW's other brands. 

Audi is saying that the Q4 e-tron will be unveiled alongside the Audi e-tron GT in the second half of 2020, so is unlikely to be on the road until 2021.