All-new Audi Q4 e-tron gets 299hp headliner

Twin-motor AWD model starts at £51k; rear-drive entry-level car from £41k

By Sam Sheehan / Wednesday, April 14, 2021 / Loading comments

Audi has revealed its Q4 e-tron and confirmed a 299hp twin-motor 50 quattro model as range-topper, priced from £51,370. That means the Q4 e-tron leaves the starting gates with a 95hp advantage over its Volkswagen equivalent, the ID.4, which it shares a production line and MEB underpinnings with. Moreover, it’s a broader lineup from the get-go, with the 52kWh entry model costing from £40,750, £3k more than the base ID.4 – and, interestingly, £850 more than the recently announced entry Polestar 2. There are both conventional crossover and Sportback bodystyles, too.

Unlike the front-driven Polestar 2, the MEB platform means the entry-level, single-motor 35 sends 170hp to the back wheels, with the 40 delivering 204hp in the same configuration. That leaves the 45, with its dual front and back axle motors and 77kWh battery, to wear the quattro badge alone – although as you’d expect, the best possible range is available in the rear-drive 40, where with the 77kWh battery chalks up 316 miles. Or you can mix the higher-level motor with the base battery, for 208 miles, which is the same in both SUV and Sportback formats. 

As for on-road performance, the slowest setup offers a nine-second 0-62mph time and 99mph limited top speed, with the more potent 40 e-tron only shaving off half a second. The 50 e-tron quattro model, though, with its addition of a 109hp front motor to the platform, has a combined 339lb ft of torque, and hits 62mph in a more respectable 6.2 seconds. Top speed is 111mph, thanks to the direct drive, single-speed setup. Both 50 SUV and Sportback are identical on paper, with the same WLTP 295-mile range.

The options continue when it comes to charging, with both 100kW and 125kW capacities available, with the latter adding 80 miles of range in 10 minutes. Or, if you want different numbers, the system can get to 80 per cent charge from a 5 per cent starting point in 38 minutes. The e-tron will also add (marginally) to its range on the move through regenerative braking, something that can be adjusted through several strengths up to a maximum ‘B’ mode. Interestingly, it goes slightly beyond the current maximum of the ID.4’s identically named setting, with the Audi’s rear motor able to capture enough kinetic energy to provide 0.3G of resistance with a lifted accelerator, 0.05G higher than the VW.

As for the chassis, the MEB architecture places the e-tron’s high-voltage batteries between the axles, in the floor underneath the cabin, ensuring a low centre of gravity and a near 50:50 weight distribution. At the front, there are MacPherson struts, with a compact five-link layout at the back. The car gets 19-inch wheels in base Sport specification, with the highest-grade trim Vorsprung – and Edition 1 at launch – receiving 21s. Cars equipped with Sports suspension are 15mm lower, too. The brakes are big across all versions, with between 330mm and 358mm diameter discs, and all cars get variable ratio electrically assisted steering. No surprise there.

Also among predictable items is Audi’s drive select settings, which range through comfort to dynamic, with an added ‘range’ mode, which “prioritises efficiency”, essentially by lengthening the accelerator’s map and limiting speed to 55mph. Expect the cabin to seem dutifully high-tech, with the MMI touchscreen available with up to 11.6 inches of glass – making it the largest display screen in Audi’s range yet. It’s all fully customisable, as is the digital instrument cluster, complete with Google Earth sat nav graphics. Swanky.

Prices at launch range between that base £40,750 35 e-tron Sport and £65,070 for the e-tron quattro Vorsprung, with a limited-run, specced-up Edition 1 slotting just beneath that at £57,565. Orders for the conventional body are open now, with UK customer cars set to arrive in June. The Q4 e-tron Sportback will be available to order in June, with UK customer cars arriving in September. Whether you are sold on the concept or not, expect to see plenty on roads by the end of the year.

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