The Q4 e-tron is shaping out to be a well-spec’d product with a big price advantage over the Tesla Model Y

The Volkswagen Group has made some phenomenal strides in recent times. From being caught in Dieselgate a few years back to running a few of the most proactive brands in electrification today, the German group has come a long way. One of its most prominent brands, Audi, also has a few electric models in the works. The automaker’s next electric vehicle will be the Q4 e-tron, which was previewed at the 2019 Geneva Motor Show.

Audi recently revealed that the SUV will launch at the end of 2020 and is set to go on sale in 2021. Although it might be the brand’s fifth EV, there are a lot of eyes on it since it will be the first four-ringed electric vehicle to be pinned on Volkswagen’s MEB architecture. It was recently spotted performing cold-weather tests in Northern Sweden.

Update 7-6-2020: The Audi Q4 E-tron has finally be spied out on public roads and, unlike the mule we saw earlier this year, this baby is looking pretty close to production ready. Check it out in the spy shots section below.

Spy shots

July 7, 2020 – First On-Road Testing Session with the Audi Q4 E-Tron

2022 Audi Q4 e-tron Exterior Spyshots
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2022 Audi Q4 e-tron Exterior Spyshots
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We know you thought you saw the Audi Q4 E-tron before, but that was just a mule, and this is the real deal. It’s built upon the same platform as the VW ID.4, so a majority of the major testing has been done. That’s why the front end now features a sleeker design with the new Audi E-Tron grille design cearly hidden behind eh camo. The corner vents will probably offer some kind of functionality for battery cooling while the hood should feature some kind of muscular presence.

The side profile looks to feature a nice little set of body lines above the rear haunches while the rear end will probably be rather mundane since there’s no need for exhaust outlets and there’s no diffuser in sight. That said, this prototype is rocking the official E-Tron taillights and headlights, so Audi as skipped straight to the final testing phase, and we’ll probably see this puppy hit the market in early 2021 or maybe even sooner as a 2021 model.

As of now, rumor has it that the Q4 E-Tron will have an 82 kWh batter that should be good for about 450 KM on the WLTP scale, which translates to about 279 miles. That said, you should probably expect closer to 230 or 240 miles of real-world range when the Q4 finally lands in dealers.

What Does The Q4 E-Tron Look Like On The Outside?

2022 Audi Q4 e-tron Exterior Spyshots
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The Q4 e-tron was spotted doing cold runs with camouflage on. Most of the details were covered here and the exposed parts were seen in their bare form. Unlike the prototype that showcased to the world, this example didn’t seem to wear the big grille.

Under the license plate, you can see the exposed grille with honeycomb detailing. Even the excessive cuts and creases on the bumper seem to be missing. Unless Audi managed to conceal the prototype with utmost perfection, it looks the EV will feature a decently-sized grille. The Audi logo won’t be a three-dimensional one in the production version as it houses an array of sensors.

2022 Audi Q4 e-tron Exterior Spyshots
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The air vents on the side are a lot more sedate than how they looked on the prototype. The headlights, however, are trademark Audi. There is no word if the Q4 e-tron will benefit from the Matrix LEDs or not, but it will be a neat touch; at least as an optional accessory.

As for the Q4 e-tron’s size, it slots between the Q3 and Q5. Audi had stressed on the sustainability aspect during the prototype’s reveal. One of the colors in the palette will be the solar sky blue that is said to be reflective, thus keeping the cabin cooler than usual. This would result in less consumption of the air conditioner, which in turn will extend your battery range.

The side profile is unmistakably Audi. Thankfully, the Q4 e-tron was spotted with regular wing mirrors, unlike the e-tron’s virtual mirrors with the display inside.
2022 Audi Q4 e-tron Exterior Spyshots
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They sure look cool and help with the aerodynamics but are not very user-friendly. The compact crossover wears black plastic cladding under around the wheel arches and under the doors. This will protect the body from small dings and hits. The Q4 e-tron spotted here seemed to be riding on 18-inch steel wheels. 19- and 20-inch wheels could be optional.

At the back, the camouflaged Q4 e-tron featured LED taillights. It featured a rear spoiler as well over the short windshield. The camouflage wore “electrofahrzeug” stickers at the rear and side, which translates to “electric vehicle”. The reflectors were placed on far ends on either side. For you towing fans, the prototype was spotted with a tow hitch. Audi should offer this as standard equipment to have an upper hand over the Model Y.

2022 Audi Q4 e-tron Exterior Spyshots
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Tesla didn’t offer it initially and there were a lot of doldrums surrounding it. Finally, the automaker offered the tow hitch as an optional accessory for $1,000 and a towing capacity of 3,500 pounds. If Audi provides the same or slightly higher towing capacity, it will hold an edge over its American counterpart.

What Can We Expect On The Inside?

2017 Audi Q5 High Resolution Interior
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Given that it’s an EV, the interior space will be on par with the Q5 or even more despite being a smaller vehicle.

Since there is no transmission tunnel under the floor and fewer building parts, Audi will have a lot of free space to work with and make sure the cabin is spacious. There will be a whole lot of changes to the production version’s cabin as compared to the one seen in the prototype.

As is with most EVs, it will be a touchscreen-dominated, futuristic cabin. The tech needs will be taken care of by Audi’s latest MMI system.Car and Driver reports that the crossover will have two display screens on the center console – upper one for the media, navigation, and other infotainment needs, and the lower one for climate control and frequently used features. This will also serve as a tablet for drivers to ‘write’ instead of using the keyboard. Will it be anything like the Touch Pro system on the Range Rover?

What Will Power The Audi Q4 E-Tron?

2022 Audi Q4 e-tron Exterior Spyshots
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The Q4 e-tron will be the first Audi electric vehicle to be based on Volkswagen’s MEB architecture. The parent company developed this modular car platform for electric vehicles and it is being used by many brands within its umbrella. The Volkswagen ID.4 and the new Skoda Enyaq are the upcoming vehicles that will be pinned on the MEB architecture. In fact, it was also reported that a new Ford electric vehicle will be underpinned by this architecture, courtesy of the Blue Oval’s alliance with the German automaker. There are several models in Audi, Skoda, and Volkswagen’s lineup that are pinned on the MEB platform. Considering the wide usage of this versatile platform, you can expect the ride and handling to be above par.

The Q4 e-tron is powered by a dual-motor setup – one on each axle – that will churn out 300 horses. The Audi will be a Quattro, which means power will be sent to all the wheels

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It will take 6.3 seconds to sprint to 60 mph from a standstill. Considering that the Q4 e-tron will go up against the Tesla Model Y, these figures are ridiculous. Even in its slowest version, the Model Y takes 4.8 seconds to hit the 60 mph mark. The same goes down to 3.5 seconds in the Performance trim. Top speed will be limited to 112 mph to keep the range from falling drastically.

What Range Can We Expect?

2022 Audi Q4 e-tron Exterior Spyshots
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The compact electric crossover will come with an 82-kWh battery pack. For now, the company claims a range of 280 miles. Given the way the EPA testing takes place, the range figure could be much lower, unless Audi pulls off a Taycan and stuns everybody with a high real-world range. It will support charging up to 125 kW and replenish it to 80 percent in 30 minutes. Also, the battery pack is expected to weigh in the ballpark of 1,100 pounds. This will make it lighter than the rivals.

How Much Will The Q4 E-Tron Cost

2022 Audi Q4 e-tron Exterior Spyshots
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Audi has revealed that the Q4 e-tron will start at $45,000.

This is really good pricing given how competitive this popular segment is. The upwards trims could be priced at every $5,000 hike increase intervals. Its trims aren’t revealed yet, but it could be the standard ones like the other models – Premium, Premium Plus, and Prestige. The Tesla Model Y, on the other hand, starts at $52,990 for the Long Range trim and $60,990 for the Performance.

Audi electric cars are still eligible for federal tax credits up to $7,500. The cap set for this credit is for the first 200,000 examples sold by an automaker in the States. Audi is still far from it, whereas Tesla crossed the cap long back and is not eligible for any sort of tax credits. If you take into consideration the full tax credit, the Q4 e-tron will start at $37,500, which is fantastic pricing.

Final Thoughts

2022 Audi Q4 e-tron Exterior Spyshots
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Audi has also already confirmed that the Q4 e-tron will be built in Zwickau, Germany. The Q4 e-tron holds many aces in its hands to trump the competition. As of now, it looks impressive on paper, especially with its MEB platform underpinning, the dual-motor setup, the Quattro all-wheel-drive system, and a decent range estimate from what we know so far.

The shorter drive ratio and light battery will make it agile for urban commutes, but the sedate performance specs make sure this isn’t a track performer. But, overall, the Q4 e-tron could become the best-selling EV for Audi soon after it launches.

Sidd Dhimaan
Associate Editor and Truck Expert - sidd@topspeed.com
Sidd joined the Topspeed.com team in 2017 as an intern and in less than a year he earned a full-time position as an associate editor and junior automotive expert. He is currently our pickup truck expert and focuses his attention on heavy-duty and off-road vehicles.  Read More
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