GENEVA -- The concept previewing Audi’s entry-level electric crossover is “as close as you can get” to the look of the production model due in late 2020, CEO Bram Schot said.
The vehicle will be the first Audi built on parent Volkswagen Group’s MEB electric platform and will be the fifth full-electric model in Audi’s lineup when it arrives. It was unveiled at the auto show here Tuesday alongside a development prototype of the e-tron Sportback fastback that will go on sale later this year to join the e-tron crossover.
The Q4 e-tron “opens up the compact sector to e-mobility,” Schot told journalists at the vehicle's unveiling. No pricing was given for the model, but it will be the cheapest EV in Audi’s European range. The brand will launch the smaller Q2L e-tron electric crossover at the Shanghai auto show in April, Audi said.
The Q4 e-tron concept uses two electric motors, one driving the front wheels and another driving the rear wheels, to make a combined 302 hp. The car can accelerate to 100 kph (62 mph) in 6.3 seconds and has a range of more than 450 km (279 miles) as measured under the European WLTP emissions standards.
Measuring 4590mm long, the Q4 e-tron is described by Audi as offering “unexpected spaciousness and comfort” in the cabin, especially in terms of legroom. The lack of a transmission tunnel helps increase space.
Technology on the vehicle includes a head-up display for the driver with an augmented reality function that gives directional arrows for turning displayed on the course of the road ahead. A 12.3-inch touchscreen is tilted toward the driver.
The design of the Q4 e-tron features “emotional sexy surfaces with a few precise lines” and will be seen on future Audis, head of design Marc Lichte told the Geneva audience.
“It’s the next evolution of our design language,” Lichte said.
Large 22-inch wheels give the design a sense of sportiness that is further accentuated by the fall of the roofline toward the rear, Audi said.
The long battery range is helped by the low drag of the car, measured at 0.28Cd, Audi said.
Audi’s stand at Geneva on Tuesday was entirely comprised of electrified vehicles. It also unveiled plug-in hybrid versions of the Q5 SUV, A6 midsize sedan, A7 Sportback and A8 flagship sedan. Also on the stand was the concept version of the upcoming flagship e-tron GT sedan, which will go into production in late 2020.
By 2025, Audi plans to sell 12 full-electric cars. It aims to sell about 800,000 full-electric or plug-in hybrid models a year by that date, a third of its overall volume.
The Q4 e-tron will be a sister model to the Golf-sized I.D. Neo electric hatchback that VW brand will start selling in Europe next year.
The Q4 e-tron will be built alongside the I.D. Neo and a compact EV for the Seat brand based on the el-Born concept shown in Geneva at VW Group’s factory in Zwickau, Germany, where VW is investing 1.2 billion euros ($1.4 billion) to produce as many as 330,000 EVs a year for the VW, Audi and Seat brands.
Seat showed a concept called the el-Born that closely previews its electric hatchback planned for 2020, while Skoda revealed the Vision iV, a battery-powered crossover based on the MEB platform that will also go into production in 2020 in the Czech Republic.