Audi's electric revolution continues.
Following the success of the e-tron electric SUV, a second model called the 2020 Audi e-tron Sportback was released. It was essentially the same as the standard e-tron but offered a sportier, coupe-like roofline. Now Audi is expanding its e-tron lineup yet again with a new concept model that will eventually join the range. Introducing the Audi Q4 Sportback e-tron Concept, which will enter production as a 2021 model.
While only the Sportback coupe model is being shown as a concept, spy shots have shown that a standard Q4 will also be available with a more traditional roofline. Both models will have nearly identical exterior measurements but the Sportback will be 0.4 inches longer and flatter at 15.1 feet long and 5.2 feet high. Both the Q4 SUV and Q4 Sportback will measure 6.2 feet wide and have a wheelbase of 9.1 feet, slotting in below the e-tron and e-tron Sportback in Audi's lineup.
The exterior of the Audi Q4 e-tron Sportback clearly follows the same SUV-coupe recipe used by rivals such as the Mercedes GLC Coupe and BMW X4. With a sloping roofline and a large rear spoiler, the Q4 Sportback gives off a much longer appearance than its SUV sibling. The rest of the car's styling is quite bold for Audi, with LED headlights, connected rear taillights, illuminated 'e-tron' logos, and aggressive front and rear diffusers. Massive 22-inch wheels complete the dynamic appearance and pair well with the new kinetic gray paint.
Inside, the Q4 e-tron is pretty simple. A large 12.3-inch touchscreen sits in the dash with an Audi virtual cockpit display behind the steering wheel showing speed, charge information, and more. Since the center console doesn't need to house a mechanical gear linkage, it can be freed up for storage and a cell phone charging cradle. Audi has also cleverly designed the door pockets with an upper area, perfect for storing large bottles. Due to its electric layout, the compact Q4 has been packaged so well, its interior volume rivals that of a midsize SUV in terms of front and rear legroom.
Multiple battery options will be offered on the production models but the concept shows off the most powerful variant, which produces 225 kW (301 horsepower) of system output from two electric motors. Sending power out to Quattro all-wheel-drive, the electric motors can get the Q4 up to 60 mph in 6.3 seconds with a top speed of 111.8 mph.
Since there is no connection between the front and rear wheels, which are each powered by their own electric motor, the Q4 can distribute torque evenly in fractions of a second, ensuring optimum grip at all times. To achieve the best efficiency, the Q4 defaults to send most of its power to the rear axle. The rear motor provides 228.6 lb-ft of torque all on its own while the front motor contributes 110.6 lb-ft to the mix.
An 82-kilowatt-hour battery is stored between the axels and enables a range of 450 kilometers (280 miles) on the WLTP test cycle. Rear-wheel-drive models are expected to travel around 500 kilometers (311 miles) on a charge. This should equate to around 250 to 275 miles per charge in the US.
The Sportback model should offer the benefit of a slightly longer range due to its more aerodynamic shape. Audi says on a fast charger, the Q4 e-tron can recoup 80 percent of its battery range in just 30 minutes.
The Q4 e-tron and Q4 e-tron Sportback will be based on the Volkswagen Group's MEB platform, which is set to underpin a variety of upcoming models. In fact, Audi plans to introduce 25 new EV models by 2025 with up to 40 percent of its sales coming from electrified models. These future models will utilize classic Audi body styles including Avant and Sportback. We expect the e-tron and e-tron Sportback names to eventually be phased out in favor of Audi's traditional model naming scheme.