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.

Check it out

Audi Q4 e-tron | Image: Audi

Audi Q4 e-tron | Image: Audi

Audi Q4 e-tron | Image: Audi

Audi Q4 e-tron | Image: Audi

CONTRIBUTOR

Somnath Chatterjee

Somnath Chatterjee is an experience car journalist and automotive expert. His supercar reviews, interviews and industry features have appeared in global publications such as Upscale living, Robb Report and Yahoo Lifestyle Asia. Somnath specialises in luxury and lifestyle-oriented features with a focus on automobiles, aviation and luxury. He also holds a Post Graduate in International Business from the University of Dehli.