Audi's smaller, more affordable follow-up to the e-tron will be priced to sell.
With prices starting well north of $70,000, the pure-electric Audi e-tron is beyond the budget of a majority of new car shoppers, limiting how much of an impact Audi can have on the EV market. But help is on the way, in the form of a new, smaller, less expensive electric crossover dubbed the Q4 e-tron, which will be aimed squarely at capturing customers who might otherwise flock to Tesla.
Of course, Tesla is the undisputed champion in the global EV market at the present, leaving the Audi Q4 e-tron with an uphill battle to wage - especially with the affordable Tesla Model Y crossover now on the market. How can VW's premium four-ring brand compete?
Partly, Audi will compete by delivering a lower starting price than Tesla's Y can currently manage - roughly $45,000, according to Car and Driver, to the Tesla's $53,000 and the full-size e-tron's $74,800. Granted, Tesla will bring out a cheaper, smaller-battery Model Y sometime next year that will start significantly lower, albeit with a serious drop-off in battery capacity and range.
The 2021 Audi Q4 e-tron, meanwhile, will pack up to 82 kWh of capacity, although it's unknown whether that pack will be standard across the lineup. But compare that to the Tesla Model Y Long Range, which tops out at 75 kWh of range.
The Audi Q4 e-tron is also expected to ship with a 300-horsepower AWD powertrain as standard - something that customers have come to expect from the four-ring brand thanks to the strength of it's "quattro" branding. Like the AWD flavors of the Model Y, the Q4 e-tron will drive all four wheels via a pair of electric motors, one for each axle, giving it front-to-rear torque-vectoring capabilities.
The Audi Q4 e-tron, the VW Group's first EV in the US market to ride on the new MEB electric vehicle platform, is expected to launch sometime next year.