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Geneva show: Audi’s new Q4 e-tron lights up

Pre-production Q4 e-tron points towards new all-electric Audi SUV due in 2020

Audi logo6 Mar 2019

AUDI will launch another all-electric SUV with the introduction of the Q4 e-tron, revealed in concept form at this year’s Geneva motor show, earmarked to hit global markets by the end of next year.
 
The Q4 e-tron will expand the German luxury brand’s electric vehicle (EV) portfolio to five, which also includes the recently-released e-tron SUV, 2020 e-tron GT previewed at the last year’s Los Angeles motor show, upcoming Chinese-market Q2L e-tron and soon-to-be-revealed e-tron Sportback.
 
Measuring 4590mm long, 1900mm wide, 1610mm tall and with a 2770mm wheelbase, the Q4 e-tron – like its name implies – slots in between the Q3 small SUV and Q5 mid-size crossover, and is powered by two electric motors delivering 225kW of power.
 
Sending drive to all four wheels with a rear-axle bias, the Q4 e-tron can accelerate from zero to 100km/h in just 6.3 seconds while on its way to a 180km/h top speed.
 
Fitted with an 82kWh battery housed in the underbody between the axles, Audi’s latest all-electric model boasts a 450-kilometre driving range, as tested on the stringent Worldwide harmonised Light vehicle Testing Procedure (WLTP).
 
Built on Volkswagen Group’s MEB EV platform – which also underpins the Skoda Vision iV and Volkswagen ID Buggy also revealed at the Geneva show – the Q4 e-tron retains the familiar high-riding boxy SUV shape, but with subtle cues to its emissions-free drivetrain.
 
Up front, Audi’s Singleframe grille dominates, flanked by two matrix LED headlights and air intakes to cool the componentry.
 
Bulging wheelarches – which are filled with massive 22-inch wheels – also hint at the Q4 e-tron’s all-wheel-drive set-up and pay homage to the brand’s Quattro history.
 
According to Audi, “the widened features of the Q4 e-tron concept are designed to be highly organic and flowing, and they add a characteristic touch to the side view”.
 
From the rear, the slim LED tail-lights connect via a central lighting band, while the e-tron logo positioned just above the rear diffuser can also be illuminated.
 
The Audi show car is finished in a ‘Solar Sky’ blue paint, which according to Audi, “reflects a short-wave fraction of sunlight, near the infrared spectrum” to reduce “the build-up of heat on the surface of the body and the interior significantly”.
 
Inside, the lack of transmission tunnel frees up more room, while the four seats are clad in Alcantara.
 
In-cabin finishes include microfibre textiles in the headliner, window pillars, dashboard and upper sections of the door, while recycled materials are also used for the floor.
 
However, the interior is headlined by a central 12.3-inch infotainment touchscreen, which is tilted towards the driver for easier operation and features a set of tactile buttons to control heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC).
 
Drivers are also treated to an all-digital Virtual Cockpit instrumentation, head-up display and squared-off steering wheel, while the traditional gear selector is replaced with a large storage area.
 
Despite being an electric SUV, Audi claims its Q4 e-tron will feature a “sporty character and outstanding transverse dynamics” as a result of the low centre of gravity and positioning of the battery pack between the axles.
 
Though the Q4 e-tron’s weight is yet to be disclosed, Audi says distribution is a perfect 50:50 and  the battery system alone tips the scales at 510kg.
 
The concept also rides on adaptive dampers at all four corners, and is underpinned by a MacPherson axle up front and a multi-link axle in the rear.
 
Audi’s Q4 e-tron forms part of the brand’s plan to have one third of its overall global sales be in electrified powertrains by 2025.

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