The Audi Q4 Sportback e-tron is making its way into the niche SUV coupe segment. We tried it in an extensive test, here is our verdict.
If SUVs have been in fashion for a long time, until recently SUV coupes were still in a niche. However, more and more classic models are giving way to a sportier variant, at least aesthetically. At Audi you can recognize them by their suffix Sportback. Q3, Q5, e-tron… and now Q4 e-tron. A look at the service of aerodynamics and efficiency at the expense of spaciousness and practicality?
On the road since December 2021, the Q4 e-tron Sportback is a twin of the “normal” Q4 e-tron with a so-called “coupé” silhouette. A term that is always a bit overused, as there are actually 5 doors. Nevertheless, the model is an integral part of the roadmap of the Ingolstadt company, which no longer wants to produce thermal cars by 2025.
Audi Q4 Sportback e-tronTechnical worksheet
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Type 2 combo (CCS)
Audi Q4 Sportback e-trondraft
The Audi Q4 Sportback e-tron surprised no one when it was presented in April 2021, it came so close to its predecessor concept from 2019. From the front it is strictly identical to its alter ego with an extended roof. We also find these matrix LED lights that can be personalized by choosing from four different light signatures. An Audi exclusivity that you will most likely find very quickly from other manufacturers.
It is obviously in the profile that the difference is made, especially at the level of the rear. In fact, the gazebo gently descends to a small integrated spoiler that allows air to pass between itself and the rear window. Enough to partake in the improvement in aerodynamics, because the Sportback version shows an interesting result of 0.26 versus 0.28 for the non-Sportback version.
This roof drop, aided by swollen fenders and sculpted flanks, reinforces the sporty line of the SUV, fitted with 19- to 21-inch rims. Logically, the Q4 Sportback stays true to the non-sport version (4.58 m and 1.86 m) in length and width, but it loses 2 centimeters in height to 1.61 meters.
With its extended wheelbase specific to EVs and dispensing with most of the mechanical elements found in thermal models, the Q4 is a Q3 with an interior space the size of a Q5. By slightly enlarging the line. What about this Sportback version? Oddly enough, he doesn’t lose any space, he even gains 15 liters of trunk space. Or 535 liters of payload, up to 1490 liters when the 40/60/40 seat is folded down.
Inside the cabin, feature by feature, we find the environment that we already had in the Q4 “not cut”, a resolutely modern universe with an angular dashboard that surprisingly advances on the passenger side. The center console always floats in the middle, leaving space underneath, especially to charge your smartphone via induction. Otherwise, there are also two USB-C ports. There is a central 11.6-inch screen with the typical Audi MMI interface and turned slightly towards the driver.
In terms of new features, a double-flat steering wheel, 10-speaker Sonos system and 3D head-up display are notable. Finally, it should be mentioned that Audi has used recycled materials in the interior and the Ingolstadt company recycled and used around 26 1.5-liter plastic bottles per seat.
Quick rumor to the rear losing headroom, the roof is to blame back quicklyand which impede the tallest of you, especially those over 1.80m. Legroom, on the other hand, remains very good, while the flat floor offers a quite inviting middle seat.
Audi Q4 Sportback e-tronEmbedded Technologies
The head-up display of our protagonist of the day is effective. As well as displaying 3D arrows for navigation, it can also adapt to the car in front of you, applying a green or red line depending on whether you’re a good distance away or too close.
And a testament to his acumen regarding the car’s surroundings is the HUD (Head Up Display), which displays an image as if it were 10 meters in front of the car, perfectly adapting to the center line of the road and appearing red on that line , when you start biting in the middle. With impressive precision.
On the other hand, this head-up display is mostly forgotten even if it is present. Signs that it’s not intrusive, but its integration deserves to be a little more noticeable.
In particular, from the steering wheel you can control the Audi Virtual Cockpit instrument screen to navigate through the various displays, a little less numerous than not so long ago, but presenting a lot of information so as not to have to regularly pay attention to the outside temperature or the speed of the cruise control.
The touch controls on the steering wheel are a little touchy: a simple flick of the wrist on the steering wheel is all it takes to turn up the volume or change your preferred settings. With voice control you can control the main functions of the vehicle.
If the set of technologies is very complete, it is clearly aimed at tech enthusiasts. The whole thing deserves a little more simplicity.
Audi Q4 Sportback e-tronbehavior
Unsurprisingly, in this Q4 Sportback e-tron we find the range of engines from the brother with the extended roof, with power levels from 170 to 299 hp:
- 35: 125 kW (170 hp)/310 Nm;
- 40: 150 kW (204 hp)/310 Nm;
- 45: 195 kW (265 hp)/460 Nm;
- 50: 220 kW (299 hp)/460 Nm.
Note that only the most powerful versions, 45 and 50, are in quattro four-wheel drive, the 35 and 40 have their electric motor only at the rear and are therefore pure drive.
Our test model was a 50 version, therefore the most powerful, if not the one with the best autonomy, we will see later. The announcement from 0 to 100 km/h takes 6.2 seconds, while the speed is electronically limited to 180 km/h. This twin-engined version (like the 45) is in reality mostly single drive, the front electric motor only operates when powered, or excessive grip, is necessary.
When accelerating, our Q4 50 pushes quite hard, but avoids the awkward “kick in the butt”. Traction does not suffer, even if rolling is felt at medium speeds. It’s also possible to play with the driving modes, but the lack of an adaptive suspension on our model means that this only affects acceleration and feeling of management.
The suspension on our test model, which was equipped with a sports suspension, also proved to be quite firm, as it was the S-Line version. The 21-inch wheels (20-inch standard), beautiful as they are, might not have been for nothing.
On the regenerative braking side, there is no way to get the vehicle to a complete stop. But the paddles behind the wheel allow you to vary the pleasures and adapt to traffic conditions or roads to let more or less engine braking. But the automatic mode is undoubtedly the most suitable, with a few exceptions.
Audi Q4 Sportback e-tronAutonomy, battery and charging
Keyword battery: The Audi Q4 Sportback e-tron has a battery with a net capacity of 52 kWh (versions 35 and 40) or 77 kWh (versions 45 and 50) and a gross capacity of 82 kWh. The range varies between 343 km for the less powerful Q4 and 526 km for the 40 version. The all-wheel drive versions indicate 486 and 480 km respectively in 45 and 50.
The consumption of between 21 and 18 kWh per 100 km announced by Audi has proven to be correct according to our measurements. During a trip of 3h57, 175 km covered, at an average speed of 44 km/h (outskirts of Oslo and small country roads), the on-board computer showed 19.1 kWh/100 km. Based on the battery capacity of 77 kWh, this results in a range of 403 km.
Driving mainly on the highway at speeds averaging 130 km / h, on the one hand expect consumption to explode and on the other hand expect autonomy to melt like snow in the sun. This is an important element to consider.
As for charging, which we couldn’t try during our test in Norway (however, it wasn’t present everywhere due to the lack of terminals!), it can go up to 11 kW in AC. For direct current, it has recently increased from 125 to 135 kW thanks to an OTA (“over the air”) update.
It remains little compared to the competition (up to 250 kW for a Tesla Model Y or a Kia EV6), especially since Audi is part of the Ionity consortium, which is allowed to deliver up to 350 kW. We calm down by saying that long journeys are usually not part of the everyday life of drivers. And that the faster the charging, the more the battery heats up and the battery will be damaged.
Audi Q4 Sportback e-tronprice and availability
Compared to a “very short” Q4 e-tron, the Sportback version requires a surcharge of 2,000 euros, which could be justified by the more inviting trunk and the lower consumption (-0.5 kWh/100 km with the same engine and equipment). This results in an Audi Q4 Sportback e-tron that starts at 47,750 euros (version 35 base paint). The 35 version is the only one that can benefit from the intermediate eco bonus of 2000 euros on all surfaces. The 40 version, which starts at 52,900 euros, can only benefit from this with the first two paint finishes.
The all-wheel drive Audi Q4 Sportback e-trons are not eligible for awards. Note that our test model (the 50) starts at €70,300 in the S-Line guise. A price that is at the top of the basket, more expensive than a Volvo C40 Recharge Twin with the same range but with more than 100 hp more (408 hp). It is also higher than the price of a Tesla Model Y Performance (66,990 euros), certainly much less premium but much more dynamic, with greater autonomy and reference efficiency. Ouch.
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