The Audi Q4 e-tron, in its two body variants, is the model chosen by the German brand with the four rings to access electric mobility. In this case, we get behind the wheel of the Q4 Sportback, with the coupé-style body, in the 50 e-tron quattro version and S line finish.
We are talking about a compact electric SUV, 4.59 meters long and with a 535-liter trunk. In other words, a configuration that allows it to be used daily as a family car due to its good habitability and, above all, its autonomy.
We have commented on several occasions that to fully enjoy the advantages of an electric car it is absolutely necessary to have a charging point at home. Or also in the workplace.
That said, the Q4 e-tron Sportback is a rival, and a direct relative, of the Volkswagen ID.5 or the Skoda Enyaq Coupé with which it shares a platform and technology. Although the quality and interior presentation, as well as the price, are clearly identified with the Audi way of doing things.
The first thing we must recognize is the success of Audi when designing it. There is no doubt, the Q4 Sportback is the most beautiful sports SUV of this size today. It attracts the proportion of its measurements, the descending design of the roof that outlines a very sporty line, very close to what a coupe would be. And all in a vehicle with very good habitability, with a trunk of more than acceptable capacity.
Careful design, interior quality, careful presentation and all the technology that Audi is currently capable of pouring into a 100% electric car. Its styling is determined by robust features, short overhangs and a characterful front end with the recognizable fully enclosed grille that Audi calls the Singleframe.
The very compact, slim and stylized headlights can optionally be Matrix LED (standard with the S line finish), which illuminate with great intensity without dazzling other users. The available digital light signatures allow you to choose between four different designs using the MMI touch system.
At the rear, the line slopes downward creating a very suggestive coupé image. We highlight the band of light that joins the optical groups, providing a very technological and attractive appearance, especially at night.
On the other hand, the large 21-inch wheels, with 235/45 R21 tires, are faired to optimize aerodynamic performance and reduce electricity consumption. This rim design explains Audi, it provides 5 km of extra autonomy. As a curiosity, the plastic parts of the tires, on the rear wheels, hide the drum brakes.
An important model in Audi's electrification strategy, the Q4 Sportback 50 e-tron has a 77 kWh battery and two electric motors, one on each axle, for a total power of 299 hp. Therefore, it is an SUV with all-wheel drive and a very high traction capacity in any situation. The autonomy with the WLTP approval is established at 480 km.
To get going, all you have to do is get into the vehicle, step on the brake pedal and select position D. There is no need for a key or previously pressing the start button.
The benefits, mainly the acceleration, are very good. The maximum speed is set at 180 km/h and it must be taken into account that in this situation (on the highway) it is when the battery runs out more quickly. But that an SUV that exceeds two tons can accelerate from 0 to 100 km/h in just 6.2 seconds is quite a compliment.
However, it has a very agile behavior. Acceleration is always instant, with very good throttle response throughout. And of its driving, we also highlight the possibility of regulating retention. By default, the car starts in normal mode D (to drive with little retention). But the paddles located on the steering wheel serve to activate three additional levels of retention, making it easier to drive on the road.
The driver also has the B (Brake) mode, which is activated with the minimalist gear lever, and which provides much greater retention (as in level 3 of the paddles) and allows energy to be recovered more quickly. Of course, with this mode it is almost not necessary to brake; the car comes to a stop when you release the accelerator pedal.
The smoothness of the electric motors and the excellent sound insulation make trips a real pleasure. It is a truly comfortable car, which takes great care of its occupants. In addition, the Audi drive select system has the following driving modes: efficiency, comfort, auto, dynamic and individual (customizable).
And the location of the battery ensures a low center of gravity, balanced weight distribution and a very safe ride. With the sports chassis, with firmer shock absorbers, a sportier feel and more efficient cornering are guaranteed in dynamic terms. And in general, it has a solid footprint, which conveys quality.
On a route that combines highway and road, it is not difficult to exceed 400 km. Of course, as in all electric vehicles, the type of driving, the route and the outside temperature greatly influence autonomy.
The more highway the route has, and the higher the pace of travel, the worse the autonomy will be. In any case, on a family trip you have to plan the route well and establish stops to recharge every 300 km for safety.
It is important to note that, in the city, with the energy recovery modes and the efficiency driving mode, we can improve autonomy.
Recycled materials, minimalist design and a driver-oriented console that is divided into separate areas and integrates two screens. The steering wheel has tactile surfaces that serve to control the digital instrumentation and that requires adaptation.
For the air conditioning, with good judgment, Audi places a specific module with physical controls just below the large central screen on the dashboard.
The S line finish offers a completely digital experience. The infotainment system, the MMI pro, includes a head-up display with augmented reality and Audi virtual cockpit plus. It is worth noting the floating lower console with space for a smartphone, and other objects, and wireless charging.
The Q4 e-tron Sportback includes a new version of the software that allows updates to be carried out wirelessly (online). In addition, the driver can now create personal profiles and use the e-tron route planner in the myAudi app to prepare the route and send it to the car.
This software update adds another function when it comes to charging the vehicle at home or on the road. The “Preferred charging time” function helps the user to charge the car in the hours with the lowest electricity rates.
On the other hand, Audi improves charging power with the possibility of recharging with direct current up to 135 kW. It also includes a battery protection function that automatically maintains it in the ideal state of charge, always below 80% to promote its performance and durability.