The New Audi Q4 E-Tron Crossover Is Audi’s Cheapest EV by Far
The Q4 E-Tron and its Sportback variant are here to rival Tesla in terms of price and, Audi hopes, volume.
Heads up: there are some more Audi E-Trons coming down the pipe. We're not talking about the E-Tron GT revealed a couple of months ago—that was a departure from the crossover range and step into the electric grand touring segment. We're focusing on the newly revealed Q4 E-Tron and Q4 E-Tron Sportback, which are absolutely sticking to that family car model but radically changing the price point, making the cars more of a Tesla Model Y rival in terms of initial buy-in.
The normal E-Tron Quattro crossover shares the Volkswagen Group's J1 platform with the Porsche Taycan, which even in its cheaper, rear-wheel-drive guise, is absolutely a luxury vehicle. Previous iterations of the E-Tron have been the same; even with nearly $9,000 knocked off the price, it was still north of $66,000 and contending with the Tesla Model X rather than the more affordable Model Y or 3. Rejoice, though, because you can now get considerably closer to owning one as the Q4 E-Tron is priced around $50,000, and that's before federal tax incentives.
As you might expect, given this is Audi, the E-Tron Q4 will be going on sale in Germany first, with prices starting at €41,900—that's about $50,200. The Q4 E-Tron Sportback is a bit more expensive but still substantially cheaper than previous versions at €43,900 (about $52,500). Take the potential tax credits into account and you're looking at a battery-powered crossover that's nearing the Model 3's pricing territory.
Audi hasn't managed this decline in price by skimping on specs, though. The automaker's pitch with the Q4 E-Tron is "One vehicle for everything and everyone: everyday e-mobility for every situation." This is, well, quite boring as a sentence or sales pitch but genuinely descriptive of what they seem to have tried to do here.
They're big at 180.6 inches long, but they're designed to be spacious. The Q4 E-Tron has up to 52.62 cubic feet of luggage storage and if that somehow doesn't fit your haul, both cars have a towing capacity of up to 2,205 pounds. They've got the wheelbase of a midsize crossover but passenger space similar to a full-sizer thanks to clever packaging of the battery packs and motors.
The range also isn't compromised; VW seems to have been conservative with its range estimates for cars on the J1 platform so although there's no EPA figure yet, it'd be reasonable to assume they're not talking out their ass with a WLTP of 323.1 miles. The Q4 E-Tron comes in three versions, with the cheaper ones being rear-wheel drive while the tricked-out top spec has all-wheel drive.
Something slightly odd is that they haven't aimed for the really high-powered charging with these. While the Taycan came with claims about charging times at over 200kW, the Q4 E-Tron and Sportback variant only announce themselves up to 100kW for DC charging. That, to be honest, is realistic for the current charging infrastructure—there's an option, on the larger battery pack, to go up to 125kW.
Consumption looks good, too; the 52-kilowatt-hour battery pack gets, Audi says, 62 miles out of just shy of 17kWh (or 15.8kWh, depending on conditions) and the 77kWh pack does that with under 18kWh. Not bad at all, given the added weight of the range-extending cells.
Beyond all the numbers stuff, though, they actually look pretty darned good. They're visibly Audis, not having tried to bin off the Vorsprung Durch Technik in favor of a more futuristic look and the interior is as luxurious as you'd expect from the hi-this-is-my-Audi outside. Even the hunchback seems just, like, fine now they're out and about.
Audi says the Q4 E-Tron and Q4 E-Tron Sportback will be available to order in the U.S. by the end of this year after coming to Germany and then wider Europe this summer.
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