Audi's growing fleet of EVs has just gained two models. The Q4 E-Tron and Q4 Sportback E-Tron offer a compact footprint with full-size interior space along with Audi's latest tech and a range of nearly 500 km on a single charge.
The German automaker has been trickling out details of the two Q4s for a few months now, so rather than piece through new and slightly less new, this is all of the important stuff, starting with the electric powertrain.
Powertrain and Performance
While three different variants will be offered in Europe, Canada will get just one. The 2022 Audi Q4 50 E-Tron and the Q4 Sportback 50 E-Tron will offer one motor in the front and another in the rear to give all-wheel drive as standard. Combined the two make 294 hp and 339 lb-ft of torque, with the rear motor providing about two-thirds of the output.
Audi puts acceleration at 6.2 seconds to 100 km/h with a top speed of 180 km/h. When not tapping into that power, the vehicle defaults to a coast mode to conserve momentum without using electricity. Drivers can use the shift paddles two choose between three different regen levels – 0.06, 0.1, and 0.15g of deceleration – and if you don't feel like pressing the paddles, the on-board systems will automatically switch to regen over coasting when approaching a lower speed limit or slower vehicle. When you need more braking, the dual-motor car can brake at up to 0.3g before using the friction brakes, which Audi said covers about 90 per cent of normal use.
Thanks to a 77 kWh battery (82 kWh gross), Audi expects a WLTP-estimated 488 km range for the more upright Q4 and 497 km for the sleeker Sportback. 400V DC fast-charging at rates up to 125 kW is supported, which allows for the battery to be charged to 80 per cent in roughly 30 minutes, according to Audi.
19- through 21-inch wheel options will come with the Q4, including Audi Sport options. While the tires are the low-rolling-resistance type, "a decidedly sporty tire variant" will be offered on 21-inch Sportback models. The front brakes are 358 mm in diameter, and the rear brakes are drums. Audi reasons that because the brakes are rarely used on an EV, drum brakes are the smarter choice for in this application since they better resist corrosion and require less maintenance.
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A dynamic suspension that lowers the crossover will be offered, and the Q4s will have progressive steering ratios. Dynamic handling is standard on the Q4 Sportback (optional on the Q4) and will have adaptive damper control including efficiency and range modes.
Interior and Technology
At 4,590 mm long, the Q4 E-Tron models are roughly 100 mm shorter than a Q5, with a wheelbase of 2,760 mm showing a similar difference. Audi says that thanks to clever packaging, however, including a lack of centre transmission tunnel, the Q4 E-Tron will offer interior space "comparable with the full-size SUV class." That is, the Q7. Cargo space is 520 L behind the seats and 1,490 L with them folded for the Q4, and 535 L and 1,460 L for the Q4 Sportback, figures again comparable to the Q5.
Inside, the Audi Q4 E-Trons will feature a 10.25-inch digital dash with Audi virtual cockpit. A 10.1-inch MMI screen is standard with an 11.6-inch version arriving "as an option toward the end of the year." A new augmented-reality head-up display shows navigation directions and other information that will appear to float on the road, putting the arrows in the proper spot for your lane changes and other directions. The MMI infotainment system will offer natural voice control and will offer Apple CarPlay and Android Auto compatibility.
The interior offers features like water bottle holders mounted high in the doors, not down near the floor. The S line interiors also feature recycled materials, including fabric derived from plastic bottles, around 26 1.5L bottles for each seat. A new steering wheel offers backlit touch surfaces for scrolling and sliding controls, while it is also flattened on the bottom and, somewhat uniquely, on the top. Audi says the rear seats are seven centimetres higher than the fronts but still offer plenty of headroom, offering better visibility for rear-seat passengers.
Driver assistance systems are powered by one front camera and one radar, along with four surround-view cameras, a pair of rear radar sensors, and eight ultrasonic sensors. It will offer front collision braking and alert, turn assist, emergency evasion assist, collision avoidance steering assist, adaptive cruise control, and rear parking sensors. Audi says it plans to simplify how it offers the safety features.
Production of the Q4 E-Tron will start in June for Europe, with the Sportback arriving there in late summer. In Canada, the models will arrive right around the end of the year. Audi said that the Q4 E-Tron will be here the fourth quarter of 2021 and the Sportback the first quarter of 2021, but that they would go on sale roughly the same time. Pricing will follow in June.