Now that the Audi e-tron GT has been revealed, the next important electric car to come from Audi will be the Q4 e-tron. When it debuts, the Audi Q4 e-tron will be the brand’s entry-level e-tron product and the one that will likely be the car to make converts out of traditional Audi customers. Audi has just released the first specs and images of the Q4 e-tron, including some camouflaged exterior photos, along with some official, un-camouflaged interior photos.
What’s interesting is that the Audi Q4 e-tron will actually be very similar in size to the Audi Q5. At 15.1 ft long, 6.1 ft wide, and 5.3 ft tall, the Q4 e-tron is a touch shorter in length and height but actually wider than the Audi Q5 (15.3 ft long, 5.5 ft wide, and 5.5 ft tall). But being that the Q4 e-tron is an EV, based on the VW Groups’ MEB architecture, it will boast more interior space than the Q5. It will also have shorter overhangs and a lower center of gravity, due to its battery pack in its belly.
Ironically, the MEB platform, being all-electric, is actually rear-wheel drive based. So despite being build on the typically smaller chassis, the Audi Q4 e-tron will actually likely be dynamically superior to the Q5.
From what we can tell in these new photos, the Audi Q4 e-tron looks pretty good, too. It features a compact but muscular design, thanks to its flared rear wheel arches and stubby overhangs. It also has sporty looking headlights, a large new “grille” and a cool subtle rear diffuser. Though, the factory camouflage hides most of the design.
Inside, though, Audi has shown off the cabin in its entirety, so we can see exactly what this new Audi Q4 e-tron is going to look like from behind the wheel. While most of it looks pretty run-of-the-mill Audi, there are some interesting new features.
For instance, the steering wheel is all new and is a bit of a mix between futuristic and old-school styling, with a wide, four-spoke design (old-school) that features touch-sensitive buttons and some sleek looking metal. The flat-bottomed S-Line version looks quite slick, actually.
There’s also the same new climate control button stack as the Audi e-tron GT, which is a very welcome design. Rather than the frustrating touchscreen in modern Audis, new e-tron models have physical buttons in a clear and easy-to-use layout. It’s a breathe of fresh air, if we’re being honest, as so many brands are annoyingly switching to touchscreen-everything. The main MMI system in the Q4 e-tron is still touchscreen but the climate controls are physical.
The center console is now a cantilevered little pod of buttons, with the same gear selector lozenge as the e-tron GT. It’s a bit humdrum but it’s functional and seemingly ergonomic.
However, the big news is in front of the driver. The Virtual Cockpit has been updated and looks very slick, with sharper graphics and seemingly brighter colors. Even more exciting than that, though, is the new augmented reality head-up display.
Inside the head-up display, drivers will now be able to see navigation arrows as well as self-driving information displayed onto the road ahead, via augmented reality tech. With this new tech, you don’t just see the navigation info ahead of you, as the driver, but you’ll actually see arrows on the road where you need to turn, or green bars on the car in front of you, letting you know the car’s self driving function is locked onto that car. It’s very slick and very cool, though without using it we can’t tell if it’s more advanced than the similar system used in current Mercedes-Benz products.
There’s also a new seat-airbag technology, which will deploy an airbag from the right seat bolster of the driver’s seat, in the event of a side collision, to ensure the passengers don’t collide with each other.
Speaking of seats, there will be a variety of new upholstery options. Traditional customers can choose natural leather if they want but customer who prefer animal-free interiors are in luck. The Audi Q4 e-tron will have two different animal-free interior upholstery options; a mix of artificial leather and Dynamica (which is a suede-like surface dmade from recycled materials) or a mix of artificial leather and Puls (an intricately woven fabric also made from recycled materials). So the interior is as green as the drivetrain.
Audi hasn’t yet released any new official specs for the Audi Q4 e-tron, but expect similar specs to the dual-motor Volkswagen ID.4.
If priced similarly to the Audi Q5, and boasting a range of over 200 miles, the Audi Q4 e-tron could be the car that truly starts to convert the brand’s traditional customers over to electric. Not only is it essentially the same size on the exterior but will boast more interior space, far superior technology and a better looking cabin design. If the two cars are similar in price, we honestly don’t see a reason to get the Audi Q5 over the Q4 e-tron.
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