Motor Shows

Audi Q4 e-tron: compact electric SUV coming soon 

Hot hatch fans, this is what your electric future looks like until someone builds a Golf GTI EV

Audi has unveiled the next chapter in its rollout of electric vehicles. The Audi Q4 e-tron is about as big as a Toyota Corolla but rides as high as an SUV and has the performance of a hot hatch.

The 2019 Geneva motor show concept has a combined 225kW of power via two electric motors, one each for the front and rear axles.

That’s enough to produce a claimed 0 to 100km/h time of 6.3 seconds, which is in the neighbourhood of the VW Golf GTI and Renault Megane RS.

The 82kWh battery pack takes up almost the entire space on the vehicle’s “skateboard-style” platform.

It has a driving range of 450km based on new, stricter measurement standards, which is why Audi claims it’s a real-world benchmark for the class. The battery can be recharged up to 80 per cent capacity in 30 minutes on a fast charger.

The Q4 e-tron is based on the Volkswagen-Audi Group’s modular electrification platform (MEB) that will underpin dozens of new models in the coming years.

The official Audi blurb says: “The Audi Q4 e-tron concept gives an advance look at what will already be the fifth series production electric vehicle that the manufacturer will introduce by the end of 2020”.

Sales of the first Audi e-tron have already started, and the first vehicles will be delivered to European customers by the end of this month.

Meanwhile, the Audi Q2L e-tron, designed specifically for the Chinese market, is also due to start production in the coming months.

A high performance Audi e-tron GT is planned for the second half of 2020, about the same time as the production version of this Geneva concept car will arrive in showrooms.

Audi Australia is yet to confirm if the Q4 e-tron is heading Down Under, however it is likely given the brand is already taking other, more expensive e-tron models.

The Q4 will likely give Audi a sub-$100,000 starting price into its electric SUV range when it arrives in late 2020 or early 2021.

The show car has the next generation of Audi’s digital widescreen “virtual cockpit” but the production is expected to have similar themes, as well as a larger format “heads-up” display reflected into the windscreen.

Extra detail for tech geeks who’ve read this far: the Q4 e-tron’s rear electric motor has an output of 150 kW and 310Nm; the front electric motor has a 75kW/150Nm output.

This reporter is on Twitter: @JoshuaDowling