Everything You Need to Know About Audi’s Q4 Sportback E-Tron Concept
From a technical perspective, they are identical twins, but in terms of their shape, they each have their own unmistakable and characteristic features: The Audi Q4 e-tron concept gave visitors to the 2019 Geneva Motor Show a taste of the first compact electric SUV from Audi. With the Q4 Sportback e-tron, the brand is now presenting the second model of the product line that will go into production in 2021 as an SUV Coupé.
The silhouette of the Sportback slopes downward to the back in a subtle and dynamic curve. The roof line transitions into the significantly inclined D-pillars and ends in a horizontal spoiler at the level of the lower window edge. As a result, the future Audi Q4 Sportback appears much longer than its sister model, the Q4 e-tron concept.
The striking broad light band that connects the two lamp units on the rear end of the Audi Q4 Sportback e-tron concept was incorporated to reflect an element of the Audi Q4 e-tron concept. It is clearly visible even here that these two models belong to the same e-tron family, as the close relation to the e-tron Sportback is obvious. This also applies to the inside of the lights, where the significant sweep of the LED segments is also reminiscent of an element of the older brother. The striking design of the bumper diffuser unit with its horizontal slats and the illuminated e-tron logo in the middle is an element that the two Q4 versions share.
When looking at it from the front, the Singleframe with the four rings brand logo identifies the Q4 Sportback e-tron concept as an Audi vehicle. And it will take no more than two glances to see that this is an electric Audi: Like the first production Audi with electric drive, the new concept vehicle also features a structured closed surface within a broad, almost upright octagonal frame in place of a traditional radiator grille.
The prominently modelled fenders of all four wheels are a further classic Audi design feature that has distinguished the brand since the legendary original quattro 1980. The widened features of the Q4 e-tron concept and Q4 Sportback concept are designed to be highly organic and flowing, and they add a characteristic touch to the side view. The accentuation of the rocker panel area between the axles, where the battery and thus the powerhouse of this SUV is located, is a typical feature of the e-tron. Large 22-inch wheels leave no doubt as to the potential of the newest member of the Audi family.
The Q4 Sportback e-tron concept is painted in the new kinetic grey colour, a light metallic and pearl effect colour that takes on a distinct greenish tinge depending on the angle of the light. In contrast, the lower sections of the body are painted in a dark grey colour.
The colour scheme emphasises the sense of spaciousness. While light, warm colours dominate the upper section of the cabin, the dark carpet in the floor section provides a contrast. The headlining, the window pillars and the upper section of the door rail and dash panel are fitted with white and beige microfiber textiles. Sustainability is the top priority not only in terms of the electric drive in the Audi Q4 and Q4 Sportback: The floor covering is made of recycled materials. Instead of chrome-plated metal decor frames, the surfaces are covered with a high-quality multi-layer paint finish. The painted frosted Plexiglas on the applications creates an intensive depth effect. Four seats with integrated head restraints are upholstered with comfortable Alcantara material manufactured with exquisite workmanship. Double seams stitched with thick yarn adorn the upholstery.
The display of the Audi virtual cockpit with the most important display elements for speed, charge level, and navigation is located behind the steering wheel. The large-format head-up display with an augmented reality function is a new feature. It can display important graphical information, such as directional arrows for turning, directly on the course of the road.
Control panels designed as touch elements on the steering wheel spokes can be used to select frequently used functions. In the middle above the center console, there is a 12.3-inch touchscreen via which the infotainment and vehicle functions are displayed and operated. It is tilted toward the driver for greater ease of operation. A strip of buttons for controlling the air conditioning is located below it.
The modular electrification platform (MEB) offers a broad range of drive variants and power levels. The performance version of the electric drive is installed in the Audi Q4 Sportback e-tron concept. The front and rear axles are each powered by an electric motor—this Q4 Sportback is a quattro. There is no mechanical connection between the axles. Instead, an electronic control ensures that the torque distribution is coordinated optimally, and it does so in fractions of a second. That enables the SUV Coupé to achieve optimum traction in all weather conditions and on any type of surface.
If the driver demands more power than the rear electric motor can supply, the electric all-wheel drive uses the front asynchronous motor to redistribute the torque as required to the front axle. This also happens predictively even before slip occurs in icy conditions or when cornering fast, or if the car understeers or oversteers.
The electric motor in the rear end has an output of 150 kW and mobilizes a torque of 310 newton meters (228.6 lb-ft); the front motor supplies the front wheels with up to 75 kW and 150 newton meters (110.6 lb-ft). The system output is 225 kW. The battery in the vehicle floor stores 82 kilowatt hours, which allows for a range of more than 450 kilometres according to the WLTP standard. The battery is charged with a maximum of 125 kilowatts. It therefore takes little more than 30 minutes to reach 80 per cent of the total capacity.
A key factor for the sporty character and outstanding transverse dynamics is the low and central position at which the drive components are installed. The high-voltage battery system is optimally matched to the dimensions of the Audi Q4 Sportback and is located between the axles in the form of a flat, broad block beneath the passenger compartment. The battery system weighs 510 kilograms (1,124.4 lb). The center of gravity of the Audi Q4 Sportback e-tron concept is therefore at a similar level to that of a sedan with a conventional drive system.