Audi Q4 Sportback E-Tron Concept Revealed
Audi has unveiled the Q4 Sportback E-Tron concept, previewing a new crossover SUV model that will enter production in 2021. The latest in Audi’s series of electric concept cars, the Q4 Sportback E-Tron provides a glimpse at the future styling, interior design, and technology that will define Audi’s next generation of EVs. The swoopy crossover couples a coupe-like profile with a versatile interior and an 82-kWh battery enabling up to 310 miles of range.
Overview of the Q4 Sportback E-Tron
- A crossover SUV concept that will inspire a production EV model arriving in 2021.
- Flaunts a sloped, coupe-like roofline for added style over the related Q4 E-Tron concept.
- Demonstrates Audi’s future interior design philosophy with minimalist styling.
- Powered by a rear-mounted 82-kWh battery pack supplying juice to dual electric motors – one on each axle.
- Quattro all-wheel-drive provides added traction and performance.
- Targets a range over 310 miles based on the WLTP testing cycle.
Exterior Design and Styling
The Q4 Sportback E-Tron’s exterior styling:
- Features a flowing coupe roofline and rear haunches for visual drama.
- Raked rear windshield connects to an integrated spoiler at the tail.
- Pronounced fenders house 22-inch aero wheels.
- Octagon-shaped Singleframe grille pays homage to Audi icons like the Quattro rally car.
- Horizontal headlights emphasize the sporty, wide stance.
- Cobalt blue accents on the grille, sills and diffuser add a pop of color.
Interior Design Concept
The cabin of the Q4 Sportback E-Tron embodies next-gen minimalism:
- Spacious ambiance within a compact footprint thanks to EVs’ packaging advantages.
- Vegan leather-free upholstery made from recycled plastic bottles.
- Light grey tones contrasted with inlays of dark blue ash wood.
- Horizontal decorative lines lend to the airy vibe.
- Flat-bottomed steering wheel evokes sporty driving character.
- Twin digital touchscreens for infotainment and climate controls.
Performance and Driving Dynamics
The dual-motor AWD system enables punchy performance:
- Total output estimated around 302 hp and 339 lb-ft of torque.
- 0-60 mph acceleration in 6.3 seconds.
- Top speed limited to 111 mph.
- Lower center of gravity from the floor-mounted battery pack aids handling.
- Independent suspension provides a refined ride.
- Performance oriented for a compact crossover SUV.
Electric Powertrain and Battery
Power comes from an 82-kWh lithium ion battery pack:
- Mounted below the floor between the axles to optimize weight distribution.
- Can charge at up to 125 kW, enabling faster charging.
- Energy is distributed to an electric motor on each axle by an electronic control system.
- Estimated max range of over 310 miles based on Europe’s WLTP cycle, likely 275+ miles U.S.
- 800V electrical architecture enables quick DC fast charging.
Interior Space and Versatility
The Q4 Sportback E-Tron balances style and practicality:
- Despite compact exterior size, the wheelbase enables generous rear seat legroom.
- Rear bench slides fore and aft 6 inches for flexible cargo and passenger space.
- With rear seats folded flat, up to 55 cubic feet of cargo room is available.
- Front trunk provides extra storage and houses charging cables.
- Roof rails accommodate cargo attachments for outdoorsy owners.
Technology and Connectivity
Audi’s latest tech features inside:
- Virtual cockpit digital instrument cluster provides reconfigurable information and imagery.
- Touchscreen MMI infotainment responds to text inputs and gestures.
- Navigation with intelligent voice control offers a personalized experience.
- In-car Wi-Fi hotspot provides connectivity for devices.
- Support for wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto.
- Optional augmented reality head-up display overlays useful graphics onto roads.
Q4 E-Tron Model Range
The Q4 Sportback E-Tron will spawn a portfolio of models:
- A standard coupe-roofed Q4 Sportback E-Tron production model in 2021.
- A more practical Q4 E-Tron with a vertical hatchback profile.
- Lower-priced Q4 E-Tron models trading some performance and range for value.
- Higher performance SQ4 variants building on the Sportback’s sporty nature.
- Availability both in Europe and North America depending on the configuration.
- Strong anticipation from EV enthusiasts awaiting sporty alternatives from Audi.
Significance Within Audi’s EV Strategy
The Q4 Sportback E-Tron represents several strategic milestones:
- Audi’s first compact SUV developed as a dedicated EV model.
- One of over 20 EVs Audi plans to debut by 2025.
- Among the most affordable Audi EVs bringing entry-level pricing.
- Showcases Audi’s futuristic interior design philosophy.
- Builds on the positive reception of earlier E-Tron SUV concepts.
- Strengthen’s Audi’s growing EV portfolio beyond the flagship E-Tron models.
Audi’s Expanding EV Model Range
Audi is quickly expanding its battery-powered lineup:
- E-Tron SUV – Audi’s first long-range EV already on sale.
- E-Tron Sportback – Sleeker coupe-like variant on sale soon.
- E-Tron GT – Upcoming high-performance four-door coupe.
- Q4 E-Tron – Mainstream compact crossover planned for 2021.
- A6, A7, and A8 E-Tron variants – Electrified versions of core models.
- Q6 E-Tron – Electric crossover likely coming 2022.
Importance of the Compact Crossover Segment
The Q4 E-Tron models target a key segment:
- Compact luxury crossovers are surging in popularity compared to sedans.
- Typical compact crossover dimensions balance size, practicality and efficiency.
- Mainstream nameplates have proven customer appetite in the segment.
- Audi’s first dedicated EV entrant in this growing space.
- Tesla Model Y, Jaguar I-Pace and Mercedes EQC compete in the segment.
- Younger, urban professionals gravitate toward compact crossover appeal and EV technology.
Outlook for the Production Q4 Sportback E-Tron
The production model will closely resemble the concept but with finalized details:
- Slightly toned down exterior and interior design elements.
- Refined fit, finish, and material quality expected of production cars.
- Finalized battery range and performance specifications.
- Available advanced driver assistance features and interior options.
- Version offering a more affordable range tradeoff below 300 miles.
- Special SQ4 performance variant with boosted power.
- Competitive pricing aimed at reaching new demographics.
The Bottom Line
With the Q4 Sportback E-Tron concept, Audi makes a bold statement about its e-tron electric sub-brand. The sultry crossover gives EV enthusiasts a preview of Audi’s expanding lineup of practical and progressive electric models. While it hints at Audi’s exciting electric future, the production Q4 E-Tron models need competitive pricing and charging infrastructure to lure mainstream buyers.