Audi Q4 E-tron spied testing ahead of its debut

The standard version of Q4 E-tron seen for the first time ahead of production debut in 2021.

Following earlier sightings of Audi’s Q4 E-tron Sportback in prototype form, the standard SUV version has also been spotted undergoing winter testing in Sweden.

The brand’s third and fourth electric SUVs will go on sale roughly at the same time. Original intentions were for an unveiling early next year and an on sale date before mid-2021, but it’s not clear if the impact of the pandemic will cause delays to that schedule.

The Q4 E-tron will feature a more upright roof design than the previously seen Sportback prototypes. While that means a less rakish look, it should translate into increased rear seat room for taller adults and a slightly larger boot.

The Tesla Model Y rival was first previewed in standard E-tron form by a concept at the 2019 Geneva motor show, while the Sportback was shown in concept form this July.

Although in disguise, the Sportback prototype also makes it clear that the production model will stick fairly closely to the concept. Details such as the clamshell bonnet, blanked-off front grille and LED daytime running lights are recognisable, as is the roofline sloping down steeply to the tailgate.

At the back, we can see and Audi A2-style spoiler cutting through the windscreen – another detail retained from the concept. Some of the bolder surfacing details appear to have been toned down, however.

Details of both cars’ production electric powertrain have yet to emerge, but we know the concepts featured four-wheel drive, thanks to two electric motors. That claimed to put out 225kW and 415Nm for a 0-100km/h time of 6.3sec – figures that seem realistic for a production model. The rear motor is used mainly, with the front axle kicking in to redistribute torque when required.

The concept promised a range of 450km from an 82kWh underfloor battery. A rear-wheel-drive model was also mooted, raising that figure to 500km.

Audi says the maximum charging rate is 125kW for an 80 per cent charge in 30 minutes.

Lawrence Allan

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