2021 Audi Q4 Sportback e-tron Concept revealed

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Audi reveals its new Q4 Sportback e-tron as a concept before production next year.

The forthcoming Audi Q4 Sportback e-tron SUV has been presented as a concept car before a full production model goes on sale next year. It will be based on the same platform as the Volkswagen ID.4 and Skoda Enyaq, and will also rival the Tesla Model Y and Volvo XC40 Recharge. Prices are set to start at around the equivalent of AU$90,000 for the Q4 SUV, with the Sportback likely to cost slightly more.

Like the Audi e-tron Sportback and Q3 Sportback, the Q4 Sportback is a coupe-styled model, whereas the Q4 SUV is more upright and traditional. Everything at the front of the Q4 and Q4 Sportback is the same, and both use sweeping LED headlights and a large grille that opens and closes automatically.

The Q4 Sportback gets a much sleeker rear end, with a steeply raked rear windscreen and a prominent spoiler sticking out from the base of the glass. As is becoming increasingly common, the Q4 pair get full-width light bars, complemented by a new diffuser with illuminated e-tron badging.

You’ll get the same interior whether you buy the Q4 SUV or Sportback, and it features a bold steering wheel with touch-sensitive panels. These were reserved for concept cars only until the latest Volkswagen Golf was launched with nearly all physical buttons replaced by touchpads. Audi’s Virtual Cockpit digital instrument cluster will be standard alongside a 12.3-inch infotainment screen, but it’s likely you’ll be able to upgrade both of these on the options list. A head-up display will put pertinent information in the driver’s line of sight, while a wireless smartphone charging plate will be included in the centre console.

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Audi is pushing the use of sustainable materials in the Q4 models; the carpeting is said to be made from recycled materials, while painted finishes are used instead of chrome trim.

While this concept is a four-seater, we’d expect the production model to be a five-seat SUV. With a long wheelbase (the distance between the front and rear wheels) and no transmission tunnel, the Q4 Sportback promises to be very spacious inside, with lots of legroom in the front and rear. We’ll have to wait and see how the swoopy shape affects rear headroom in the Sportback compared to the regular Q4, and the boot may also be a bit smaller.

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From launch, the Q4 will be available with two electric motors – one on each axle – giving quattro all-wheel drive. These models will have 222kW and will manage 0-100km/h in 6.3 seconds on the way to a limited top speed of 180km/h. With the 82kWh battery fully charged, you can expect a range of 450km from all-wheel-drive versions.

Later on, there’ll be rear-wheel drive models with one electric motor. These won’t be as powerful as the quattro variants but will manage slightly more range at 340km. The Volkswagen ID.3 uses the same platform with smaller, cheaper batteries, but Audi hasn’t said if either of these will feature on the Q4.

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Fast-charging at up to 125kW is confirmed, so topping the battery to 80 per cent on a public charger will take around half an hour.

Audi says it’s revealing the Q4 Sportback e-tron now so that customers can decide which one to buy before both Q4 cars go on sale next year. As is the case with most coupe SUVs, the Sportback version will sacrifice some practicality in the name of style, but the car’s size means the boot and rear space will still be quite generous. You’ll be paying a little extra for the swoopy shape, while Audi will probably offer a range of trim levels including a high-spec Vorsprung version.

Ben Custard

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