The Q4 e-tron family, introduced on the market in spring 2021, doubles: the first electric compact-SUV that represents the entry point into e-mobility for the Four Rings brand is joined by the equally interesting coupé version e-tron Sportback, which after the start of orders is preparing for its debut in Italian dealerships set for October 2021. An enrichment of proposals that is crucial for Ingolstadt, taking into account the reference market segment (the medium-sized Sport Utility segment, which in Europe contributes to the excellent sales results for high-wheeled vehicles: by now, almost one in two cars sold in the Old Continent is SUV or Crossover), and in relation to Audi development programs under the banner of high electrification.
The electric and medium segment, Q4 e-tron Sport Utility (which in the first half of 2021 had officially launched the zero emission evolution for Audi) also in the B-SUV segment, are enriched, in the Ingolstadt lineup, with the Coupé Q4 Sportback e-tron derivation: a doubling of proposals essential for the German brand, also in reference to the crucial segment to which it belongs. High-wheeled vehicles (SUV and Crossover) have for some time been an increasingly important part in terms of sales at European level, so much so that they account for almost half of total deliveries. Hence the essential role of Sport Utilities in the evolution of e-mobility.
Audi, in this sense, is no exception: after all, the maxi strategic development program of the Four Rings is well known, for some time in the notebooks of the priorities of the Ingolstadt leaders and further reiterated, in March 2021, at the time of the presentation of the budget 2020. For the electrification of its range aimed at 2025, Audi allocates a total of 15 billion euros, that is almost a third of the sum that will be invested in new technologies (hybrid electric cars, that is, but also digitalization and mobility services). In the middle of the decade, the Audi range will have to come to offer more than twenty new models with 100% electric power, a significant increase in hybrid and plug-in hybrid proposals (in the short term it is already expected that a plug-in hybrid configuration will go to enrich half of the current range of combustion models, according to a process of optimization of petrol and diesel proposals without investing new sums of money in the development of any new generations of conventional propulsion systems) and, essentially, at least one third of the overall deliveries Audi will have to arrive in 2025 from new vehicles with low (or completely absent) CO2 emissions from the exhaust.
The equipment of the Audi Q4 Sportback e-tron offers, already in the basic configuration of the entry to the range, an assortment of digital modules fully in line with the IT evolution of on-board systems:
- Digital instrumentation with 10.25 ”display (Audi Virtual Cockpit and Audi Virtual Cockpit Plus in the upper versions);
- Infotainment with 10.1″ MMI Plus screen (11.6″ display for higher configurations);
- Augmented reality head-up display;
- A new steering wheel with the crown cut in the upper and lower part, and touch surfaces with haptic feedback inserted in the upper spokes;
- Switchable light signature (the Audi Matrix Led optics allow the choice, after purchasing the vehicle, between four different lighting graphics, each of which can be activated via the MMI infotainment);
- Electrically operated tailgate;
- “Audi Drive Select” management system for driving dynamics.
Engine and Powers
Under the hood, the Audi Q4 Sportback e-tron is equipped with one or two electric motors, depending on the version: a drive unit, located at the rear wheels, for 35 e-tron and 40 e-tron (with powers of , respectively, 170 hp and 204 hp), and two zero emission engines (one front and one rear) for 50 e-tron quattro with 299 hp and 460 Nm of maximum torque.
The battery is located in the lower area of the MEB platform, to the benefit of the center of gravity and consequently of road holding. The battery has 55 kWh of capacity for the 35 e-tron, and 82 kWh for the 40 e-tron and 50 e-tron quattro. The WLTP range varies between 347, 495 and 532 km (the latter referring to the Audi Q4 Sportback 40 e-tron 204 hp).
AC charging supports up to 11 kW of power, and up to 125 kW DC. In terms of time, 10 minutes of connection are enough to allow the Audi Q4 Sportback 40 e-tron to accumulate enough energy to travel 130 km. As is already the case with the other highly electrified Audi proposals, it is worth noting the possibility of accessing, through the Audi e-tron Charging Service with a single card and a single contract, to over 260,000 public charging stations in 26 countries. (more than 18,000 hubs in Italy), at special rates for the Ionity “fast charge” network.
In this first time we met the Q4 Sportback e-tron we got behind the wheel of the 40 which offers the maximum power of 204 HP and with the 82 kWh battery it is the one that allows more autonomy as well as seeming to us the most balanced version, that which occupies the privileged position and is therefore identified as the heart of the range. Seen from the outside, she is muscular but sleek, well toned and performing, despite her weight reaching over 2 tons. Don’t be afraid though, because the Q4 Sportback e-tron was born on a dedicated platform, capable of giving an explanation to everything and finding a solution even to what initially seems uncomfortable on a car of this type. Thus, the “first-class” chassis and the center of gravity kept low by the positioning of the accumulators under the passenger compartment, allow you to drive this electric SUV coupé smoothly (as long as you don’t overdo it), which runs smoothly between the hairpin bends and mixed road sections. and flows lightly on the motorway, with a self-limited top speed of 160 per hour, but with a sprint from 0 to 100 km / h covered in 8.5 seconds. Everything comes back, because we are not talking about a car lightning bolt, but an SUV called to do its duty, without disappointing the driver when he wants to push a little more (thanks also to a maximum torque of 310 Nm) without complaining. of the weight it carries. In this regard, the work done on the balance of the weights appeared to us to be really excellent, which almost completely annihilates the sensation of their transfer in decisive braking or of the roll between one corner and another, while the steering squeezes much more the focus on comfort rather than sportiness: it tends to be light, but it does not penalize driving liveliness when required.
- Audi Q4 Sportback 35 e-tron: from 47,750 euros;
- Audi Q4 Sportback 40 e-tron: from 53,150 euros;
- Audi Q4 Sportback 50 e-tron quattro: from 64,150 euros.
With the exception of the 50 e-tron quattro variant, therefore, the other two configurations are included in the ministerial Ecoincentives (confirmed with the 2021 Budget law and recently refinanced with an additional 57 million euros relocated from the Extrabonus ceiling).
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