At least, it will at first.
Electric vehicles are starting to creep down in price, but many are still too expensive for the average consumer (even a luxury shopper). The least expensive Tesla Model Y, for example, costs $64,990 and the cheapest Audi EV is the $65,900 e-tron. But as we said, that's starting to change. The 2022 Audi Q4 e-tron is coming later this year, delivering a smaller package with a more palatable $43,900 starting MSRP (plus a 1,095 destination charge).
We are excited for the Q4 e-tron to arrive in the US, but we noticed something odd when we viewed the car on Audi's website. The site used to allow customers to build a Q4 with the sub-$45,000 starting price, but this model is missing. The most affordable model is now listed at $49,900 (before destination). So, why the price increase?
Don't worry, Audi hasn't taken a page from Tesla's playbook and quietly raised priced without warning. If you click on the Q4 configurator, it will show the 50 e-tron quattro as the only available option. This version packs two electric motors, combining to deliver 295 horsepower. Three trims are available, including the base Premium, Premium Plus for $54,000, and decked out Prestige for $57,500. All three prices don't factor in a $7,500 federal tax credit. The cheaper 40 e-tron model is no longer listed anywhere on the US page.
CarBuzz reached out to Audi for comment, and a spokesperson said, "quattro models will launch first, and the RWD will follow!" Rest assured, an affordable Audi EV is still on its way, you'll just have to wait longer for it.
Audi didn't specify exactly when the single-motor rear-drive Q4 40 e-tron model would become available, though the wording makes us believe it won't go on sale until early 2023. This is the opposite approach taken by Volkswagen with the ID.4, which launched with a rear-drive model first, followed by an AWD dual-motor version later on. The Q4 e-tron shares powertrain with the Volkswagen ID.4, producing 201 hp in RWD guise.
Starting at $43,900, the Audi is only $2,670 more expensive than its VW counterpart. We'd say it's worth it for the Audi's superior infotainment alone, though a bump in power would have been nice. The Q4 40 e-tron will come in Premium and Premium Plus trims, while the coupe-like Q4 Sportback e-tron will only in quattro in Premium, Premium Plus, and Prestige guise. The Sportback starts at $52,700 and tops out at $60,300.