Audi Reveals Details Of Its Most Affordable EV

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It finally arrives for 2023, but it's more expensive than we hoped.

Out of all the electric vehicles launching in the US this year, the Audi Q4 e-tron was among our most highly anticipated. That's because this new model was set to arrive with a $43,900 starting price plus the $7,500 tax credit, making it the most affordable luxury SUV on the market. We then got word that only the more expensive 50 e-tron quattro model would be available for the 2022 model year, and when the Q4 40 e-tron arrived for the 2023 model year, it would have a higher price than initially anticipated.

Audi has just announced the 2023 Q4 e-tron and Q4 Sportback e-tron lineup, and just as we feared, the prices are less impressive than we hoped. The Q4 40 e-tron starts at $48,800, and since this model is not built in North America, it no longer qualifies for a tax credit.

An Audi spokesperson told CarBuzz it has "nothing formal in place, but we are of course evaluating the impact of the localization requirements of the inflation reduction act."

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Though it doesn't completely explain the price hikes, the 2023 Q4 40 e-tron now receives the advanced line exterior as standard, while the Q4 50 e-tron and Q4 Sportback 50 e-tron get the S line exterior standard. A new 11.6-inch MMI touchscreen infotainment system is also added as standard for 2023.

All Q4 variants pack an 82 kWh battery that can charge from 5% to 80% in around 36 minutes on a 150 kW plug. The base model comes with a single electric motor in the rear delivering 201 horsepower and an EPA-estimated range of 265 miles. This is slightly better than we expected for the rear-drive Q4, but the Volkswagen ID.4 can go up to 275 miles with the same battery, and it can hit a higher peak charging speed of 175 kW.

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The Q4 50 e-tron and Q4 Sportback 50 e-tron gain a second motor on the front axle, combining to produce 295 horsepower. Last year's model was rated to go 241 miles on a charge, but this 2023 model sees a slight drop to 236 miles (242 for the Sportback) because of the larger wheels on the S line.

Pricing for the Q4 50 e-tron starts at $53,800, while the Sportback variant is $3,000 more ($56,800). Audi says the standard Q4 50 e-tron will achieve EPA-estimated 97/87/93 MPGe city/highway/combined. By comparison, the Sportback's slippery roofline lets it do slightly better at 100/89/95, which explains the slightly higher range.

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Other 2023 model year updates include available Matrix-design headlights with customizable light signatures and lighting animations. An improved augmented reality head-up display is also available, projecting navigation cues around 33 feet from the driver.

With the latest pricing changes, the Q4 e-tron is still on the affordable end of the luxury EV segment, undercutting the larger and more powerful Mercedes-Benz EQB. And with the lower-priced 40 e-tron joining the lineup for 2023, Audi should have no trouble finding buyers.

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