Audi Q4 e-tron world premiere: How to watch and everything you need to know about Audi's electric SUV
Audi's previous electric vehicles have arrived with names that stood them apart. The first production car was simply called the Audi e-tron, a name lifted
Audi's previous electric vehicles have arrived with names that stood them apart. The first production car was simply called the Audi e-tron, a name lifted from Audi's (now retired) hybrids. Then we had the e-tron GT, e-tron Sportback and simply put, there was only so far that Audi could run with the e-tron name before it got confusing.
So the fact that Audi's latest model is called the audi Q4 is hugely revealing. It feels like it slots right into the range of compact SUVs between the Q3 and the Q5 and that e-tron name is going to become rather more normal. Two styles have been revealed, the Q4 e-tron and the Q4 e-tron Sportback - the latter in concept form - but with both edging closer to launch.
Audi Q4 e-tron release date and price
- 14 April premiere
Having showcased the Audi Q4 e-tron at Geneva International Motorshow in 2019, the Audi Q4 Sportback e-tron was revealed on 7 July 2020, and a camouflaged prototype of the Q4 e-tron in March 2021. The global premiere is due on 14 April and the Q4 is expected on the roads in 2021.
Nothing has yet been said about the price, but that's obviously going to be key. The Audi e-tron starts at just under £60,000 so you could reasonably expect the Q4 e-tron to slide into a more affordable position beneath this. Certainly, we'd expect Audi to stick to the premium end of the market, avoiding conflict with electric SUVs from VW's other brands, like the ID.4.
How to watch the global premiere
Audi will be hosting the global premiere of the Q4 e-tron and we have embedded the YouTube video at the top of this page so you can watch. The event is scheduled for 14 April 2021 at 18:00 BST. Here are the international times:
- San Francisco - 10:00 PDT
- New York - 13:00 EDT
- London - 18:00 BST
- Berlin - 19:00 CEST
- New Delhi - 22:30 IST
- Tokyo - 02:00 JST, 15 April
- Sydney - 03:00 AEST. 15 April
We have embedded the video at the top of this page.
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VW Group's big EV push
To look at, anyone familiar with Audi's SUVs will see where the Q4 comes from. It fuses e-tron design features like that huge rear light bar with the sort of sporty sculpting that Audi's SUVs carry. The concept design has given way to a camouflage model. While nothing is hidden, per se, the busy colours distract you from the underlying form of the car.
You can see, however, that the profile fits very much with what you'd expect - and this is Audi's big push into a slightly more affordable section of the market. The e-tron is expensive, and this slightly more compact SUV will likely see greater volume sales as a family car.
What's underneath is important. It sits on the VW group's MEB platform - modular electrification platform - which will underpin a wide range of vehicles from the group, from the VW ID to the Seat El-Born, with VW estimating that some 15 million vehicles will be manufactured on this platform.
Again - this is Audi looking to the mass market. The Q4 e-tron has a regular hatched back, giving it a typical SUV silhouette, while the Sportback has a dropping coupé style roofline, for a sportier stance - although we're yet to see that in production form.
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Audi has revealed the interior, which has some tech treats as you'd expect, along with a fairly fresh look for those in the front. Audi was keen to point out that there's space in the interior for a water bottle in the doors, which is a really useful feature and really plays to the idea of transporting a family around.
The technology is centred around MMI Touch with a laege central display, oriented towards the driver - with a Virtual Cockpit, of course. There's going to be two sizes of interior display, the standard at 10.1-inches and the expanded version at 11.6-inches - which will make it the largest central display in an Audi so far. MMI Navigation Plus will come as standard and there will be a Hey Audi voice assistant too.
The driver gets a 10.25-inch Virtual Cockpit, now a familiar feature on Audi cars, with a selection of customisations and different displays to choose from. But adding to these interior displays will be the option for an augmented reality heads-up display. We've seen HUDs before, but this extends the offering splitting into two areas, an information area at the bottom (similar to existing HUDs in cars) and a larger AR section higher up the display.
This will, effectively, allow information to be beamed right into the driver's line of sight, augmenting the view with things like navigation directions. Now, rather than looking at a small arrow on the dash or a map on the display, you'll see those details on the road ahead. It should make it easier to select the correct turn or the right exit from a complicated junctions. It will position the AR elements thanks to the car's front camera, radar and GPS.
The steering wheel also loses the physical buttons for a more seamless approach, using back illuminated controls which support presses and swipes, to allow more functionality.
Audi Q4 e-tron powertrain and performance
Turning to the important performance figures for this model, the battery makes up the floor in the MEB, weighing some 510kg but providing balance front and rear and a low centre of gravity. It's the same on both Q4 models and the performance is very similar.
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It's an 82kWh battery, paired with two electric motors front and rear, the rear providing 150kW, leaving 75kW for the front. The Q4 - unsurprisingly - is Quattro all-wheel drive, claiming a 0-62mph time of 6.3 seconds and the front and rear are electronically managed to provide the optimal balance of power.
The range is said to be 279 miles (450km) on the WLTP standard, supporting up to 125kW charging, which would see you at 80 per cent in 30 minutes.
With the launch of the Q4 Sportback concept, Audi mentioned that the "rear wheel drive" version would have a slightly longer range of 310 miles (498km), presumably because it would be lighter and have lower power meaning it doesn't drain the battery so quickly. We suspect this will just have the 150kW rear motor.