One new electric car chases the other.

Audi is now providing its luxury vehicles e-tron and e-tron GT with the SUV Q4 e-tron, with which mass business is to be advised.

A base price of 41,900 euros speaks for itself, after deducting the subsidy, the price is in a range where the conventional Audi Q3 can be found.

Boris Schmidt

Editor in the “Technology and Engine” section.

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    Audi has two variants ready for the electric Q4. As a Sportback, the SUV has a flatter rear end and is slightly better equipped, which should justify the 2000 Euro surcharge. The technology is the same: in the basic version, the small 35 e-tron has a pure rear-wheel drive with an electric motor directly on the axle, which has an output of 170 hp (125 kW) and a maximum torque of 310 Newton meters. The electricity is supplied by a 55 kWh battery, which should ensure a range of around 350 kilometers. As a 40 e-tron, the Q4 has an output of 204 hp with the same torque and, thanks to an 82 kWh battery, offers a range of up to 534 kilometers, each in accordance with the WLTP standard.

    The top model Q4 50 e-tron quattro can come up with a second machine on the front axle, which then makes all-wheel drive, 300 hp and a maximum torque of 460 Nm possible. This model also has the large battery, the range is around 500 kilometers. The Audis can charge with a maximum of 125 kW on direct current and with 11 kW on the home wallbox. The basic model only manages 7.2 kW and only 100 kW on the fast charger. Under optimal conditions, electricity can be drawn for the next 130 kilometers in ten minutes.

    The market launch for the SUV is at the beginning of June, the Sportback will not follow until September. Due to the flatter finish, it has a better drag coefficient (0.26 instead of 0.28) and thus a small consumption and range advantage. Both Q4 e-trons are the same length at 4.60 meters, but because the rear end is pulled further back, the Sportback has slight advantages in terms of trunk volume with 535 to 520 liters. But after folding down the 40/20/40 split rear seat backs, this is reversed again, with 1490 to 1460 liters, the SUV has the edge.

    The space available in the Q4 e-tron is good because the batteries are completely hidden in the underbody and even two electric motors require less space than the usual combustion technology. Audi says there is as much space as in a significantly larger Q7, and we do not doubt it.

    On the first test drives, both the rear-wheel drive version and the all-wheel drive version were convincing. Of course, 460 Nm feel different than 310, the 50 e-tron has a lot of steam when you fully depress the accelerator pedal. Although more would be possible, the top speed is limited to 180 km / h to protect the range, the 35 and 40 e-tron models have a maximum speed of 160 km / h. There are no large experiments in the interior, the digital instruments may be a bit small. An optional, upgraded head-up display with virtual reality is new. An arrow provides additional navigation information. The degree of recuperation can be set in three stages.

    We built the Q4 e-tron in the VW plant in Zwickau on a line with the VW ID 4 and the Cupra Born, which are on the same, purely electric platform. With this model, Audi is returning to its roots, so to speak. After all, August Horch founded Audi in Zwickau in 1909 after he had been forced out of his own company.