By Khulekani Dumisa
Audi is taking embracing the EV revolution at a rapid pace and the reveal of the new Q4 e-tron and Q4 Sportback e-tron prove that.
The two compact SUVs bring into series production the body line that the Audi Q4 concept and Audi Q4 Sportback e-tron concept show cars that were demonstrated to the public at the beginning of 2019. The car can be described as assertive and striking thanks to the large single-frame grille, short front overhangs, large wheels, and powerfully design lines. In the Audi Q4 Sportback e-tron, the especially low coupé-style roofline ends in an expressive rear where the spoiler sits deep on the two-part window. Optional Matrix LED headlights also add to the party.
At the rear, a light strip links the taillight units to each other. A choice of eight colours is available for the paint finish, including the new metallic shade aurora violet. In addition to the basic version, there are the two advanced and S line exteriors.
Totally new is the steering wheel with its seamless touch surfaces, which the driver uses to control the digital instrument cluster. Infotainment and navigation are operated primarily using the central MMI touch display, which will also be available in the largest configuration level of 11.6 inches towards the end of the year. Natural voice control provides the third operating interface.
On request, the Audi Q4 e-tron and the Q4 Sportback e-tron can be equipped with another innovation on board – the augmented reality head-up display. It superimposes the information provided by some of the assist systems and the navigation symbols on the real-life external world conveniently for the driver to see.
At 4.59 meters in length, Audi says the new SUVs offer interior space that is comparable with the full-size SUV class. Rear legroom is enhanced by the lack of a centre tunnel. Additionally, when it comes to storage compartments, the Q4 e-tron product line scores high grades with total storage space of around 25 liters.
Depending on the positioning of the rear seat backs, the volume of the luggage compartment is 520 to 1,490 liters in the Q4 e-tron and 535 to 1,460 liters under a power trunk lid in the Sportback. Both models can tow trailers with a weight of up to 1,000 kilograms (braked, at 12% incline), with the quattro versions even able to pull up to 1,200 kilograms.
Power and range
The all-new Audi Q4 e-tron and Q4 Sportback e-tron offer power and range solutions for both the urban commuter and the long-distance driver. To speak to this strategy, there are two battery variants and three drive variants. The compact battery for the Q4 35 e-tron has a net energy content of 52 kWh (55 kWh gross), while the figures for the large battery in the Q4 40 e-tron and Q4 50 e-tron quattro are 77 (82) kWh.
The Q4 35 e-tron and the Q4 40 e-tron have an electric motor that drives the rear wheels, with an output of 125 kW and 150 kW respectively. The top-of-the-range version Q4 50 e-tron quattro has two electric motors for the electric all-wheel drive. They give it a maximum output of 220 kW (Maximum output determined according to UN-GTR.21.) – sufficient for a sprint from 0 to 100 km/h in 6.2 seconds and an electronically limited top speed of 180 km/h. For efficiency, the motor on the front axle comes into action only when high power or a strong grip is needed. Another important factor in energy-saving driving is intelligent recuperation, which also incorporates navigation and topographical data.
Another strength for everyday use is the high range – the Q4 40 e-tron travels up to 520 kilometres (WLTP) on a single battery charge. Thanks to a maximum charging capacity of 125 kW, in ideal conditions it can charge enough power for about 130 kilometres (WLTP) in around ten minutes.
Local availability is yet to be confirmed.
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