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Audi Q4 e-tron | Image: Audi

Audi Q4 e-tron Revealed: A Sensible Tesla Model Y Challenger


It feels like every other day a new electric crossover makes its presence felt, but for luxury auto-makers, the monumental effort to replace petrol engines with batteries requires the need to re-think the very concept of cars in the first place. It’s a big reason why the BMW iX has engaged such an extreme design and interior approach, while the same can be seen with the EQ range from Mercedes-Benz. In many respects, Audi has been far less radical, opting instead to employ a more conservative approach. In the age of wild acceleration times and wacky designs, this could be an advantage.

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Audi Q4 e-tron | Image: Audi

Audi Q4 e-tron | Image: Audi

The Audi Q4 e-tron is the usual German recipe, albeit splashed across the canvas of an EV. It’s no surprise that this one isn’t made for drag racing, instead, it’s a capable electric crossover with slightly bolder styling than its siblings. Like the Q5 or the e-tron, you get the regular model and the SUV-coupe-shaped Sportback. Both the Q4s are good looking with the usual Audi styling details grafted in, evidenced by the large blanked-off grille or the slim Matrix headlamps. The marquee seems to have gone a bit overboard with the lights, however, as you can customise the lighting signature and so on.

Audi Q4 e-tron | Image: Audi

Audi Q4 e-tron | Image: Audi

Size wise it splits between the midsize Q range of Audi SUVs and is related to the VW ID4 EV. The MEB electric platform essentially makes it a rear-wheel-drive car with a large floor-mounted battery set-up. A 77kWh battery pack is there while top-end versions get Quattro along with a small front motor.

With pushing near 300 horsepower in the ’50 quattro’ spec, you’ll get a brisk and silent Audi with a 0-100 km/h time of 6 seconds. There is a smaller 52kWh battery version but the larger unit should be the one to buy with a 500km plus claimed range. There are no less than four levels of regeneration but none of them is one-pedal driving.

Audi Q4 e-tron | Image: Audi

Audi Q4 e-tron | Image: Audi

Inside, it’s a bit more adventurous than the bigger e-tron with a weirdly shaped steering wheel and a touchscreen angled towards the driver plus actual buttons for the climate control which is a boon in these days of touchscreen everything. A Sonos premium audio system finds its home here, alongside a new augmented reality heads-up display. Upon first glance, we were concerned that the swoopy roofline may eat into the precious headroom, but it appears the Sportback itself has tackled rear visibility head-on.

The Australian market launch is expected to be some time away but we’ll certainly be hoping that it arrives sooner rather than later. Put simply, the new Q4 e-tron is a proper Audi garnished with the right amount of sportiness and peppered with a slightly exuberant styling. That said, it isn’t Tesla quick, but attempts at wooing the buyer with a vastly better interior along with an (expected) better value positioning.

Other rivals include the faster XC40 Recharge from Volvo but again the Q4 is a bit of an all-rounder rather than a straightforward performance-focused vehicle. We expect the most affordable Audi EV to be priced at around AUD$75,000 when it lands here next year.

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Audi Q4 e-tron | Image: Audi

Audi Q4 e-tron | Image: Audi

Audi Q4 e-tron | Image: Audi

Audi Q4 e-tron | Image: Audi