New Audi Q4 Sportback e-tron Concept Shows Sportier Styling

Published on July 7, 2020 in Electric by Gabriel Gélinas

A little more than a year ago, Audi unveiled the Q4 e-tron concept at the 2019 Geneva Auto Show. Now, here comes the Sportback variant, revealed today through a virtual presentation by the German brand.

In the same way it launched the Audi e-tron SUV and later the e-tron Sportback coupe-like SUV, Volkswagen’s luxury brand will offer not one but two Q4 models. So, whether you prefer a more traditional look or sportier styling, you will have your pick.

Photo: Audi AG

A Bold Gamble
Audi has a bold plan to sell 30 electrified models by 2025, 20 of which will feature a fully electric powertrain. It also expects them to account for about 40 percent of the company’s global sales, which is huge.

Four different architectures will be used to achieve those goals. You already know the MLB Evo platform that underpins the e-tron and e-tron Sportback. Two more are being developed with the help of Porsche, including the J1 chassis that the new Porsche Taycan will share with the upcoming Audi e-tron GT. The J1 uses a modular design, meaning it can be adapted for sedans, coupes and SUVs of all shapes and sizes.

Photo: Audi AG

Q4-MEB Combo
The fourth EV architecture, called MEB, is planned for the two Audi Q4 models as well as the Volkswagen ID. 3 hatchback and ID. 4 crossover. The Q4 stands 4.6 metres long and 1.6 metre tall while the wheelbase is 2.77 metres.

The 82-kWh battery is mounted in the floor, so cargo capacity is roughly equal to that of a larger SUV. And since the AWD system is electronic, the Q4 doesn’t need a transmission tunnel, which frees up even more space inside.

Aesthetically, both variants sport Audi’s Singleframe grille with a closed look and a black surround. The daytime running lights can be customized to achieve the buyer’s desired visual signature.

The side profile is highlighted by muscular fenders emphasizing the four driving wheels and highly sculpted rocker panels hinting at the battery. The super-short overhangs and oversized wheels create a very athletic stance, while the Q4 Sportback e-tron is further distinguished by a fastback-style roofline much like the RS 7 Sportback. By the way, the production models will have conventional door handles which are missing here.

Photo: Audi AG

Dual-motor Powertrain
The future Audi Q4 range will rely on a dual-motor powertrain (one in the front, another one in the rear) with torque distribution being managed by a computer. In normal driving, only the rear motor propels the vehicle in order to preserve range. As soon as you need more power or traction, however, the front motor will kick in right away.

Speaking of range, the Q4 is rated at 450 kilometres based on the very optimistic World Light-Vehicle Test Procedure (WLTP). We figure that number will be reduced to just under 400 kilometres in North America.

Total system output is 225 kilowatts (302 horsepower) and max torque amounts to 229 pound-feet. This allows the Q4 to accelerate from 0-100 km/h in 6.3 seconds, Audi claims, with a top speed of 180 km/h.

The company plans to add an entry-level, single-motor version at a later date with a WLTP-estimated 500 kilometres of range.

Photo: Gabriel Gélinas

Digital Cockpit
Audi’s Virtual Cockpit naturally finds a home in the Q4. It displays vehicle speed, battery charge, navigation data and much more. There’s also a new head-up display with augmented reality. From the driver’s perspective, it’s like the direction arrows are projected directly onto the road.

With no gear shifter or emergency brake, designers used the extra space on the centre console to incorporate a wireless charging tray for smartphones. The steering wheel has multi-function controls and a second 12.3-inch screen powered by Audi’s latest infotainment system sits in the middle of the dashboard.

The Audi Q4 e-tron and Q4 Sportback e-tron are expected to go on sale in 2021.

Watch: Gabriel Gélinas presents the 2020 Audi RS Q8

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