Audi has unveiled the conceptual renderings of a new “Sportback” version of the Q4 E-Tron electric SUV, launched last year. Designed to serve as a smaller and more affordable option for the flagship E-Tron, the Q4s are expected to go on sale in 2021 and will start at around $ 45,000.
The Q4 and Q4 Sportback are technically “identical twins”, according to Audi. As such, the Sportback version will also be powered by the modular platform “MEB” of the parent company Volkswagen (an abbreviation of the German expression for “modular electric transmission matrix”) which will power a wide range of vehicles from several brands. This distinguishes the Q4s from the original E-Tron and its variants, which are powered by an electric transmission developed by Audi.
In terms of specifications, this means that the Q4 Sportback will use a two-engine configuration that produces a total power of 225 kW (approximately 300 horsepower), these motors drawing electricity from an 82 kWh battery that lasts approximately 450 kilometers (about 279 miles) on a full charge.
The difference really comes from the exterior styling of the Q4 Sportback. Its roof line flows from front to back in a more uninterrupted manner. There’s an aggressive rear spoiler and a racing car-inspired diffuser more visible under the hatch. All of this will make the Sportback slightly more aerodynamically efficient, although the tradeoffs will result in loss of height for the rear passengers and slightly less overall cargo space.
Audi has now introduced seven electric vehicles that will be on the market by the end of next year. And that’s just a small part of the complete steal of electric vehicles from across the Volkswagen group, which isn’t even five years away when the news of the Dieselgate scandal broke. A vehicle like the Q4 Sportback illustrates how complete Volkswagen’s push into the electric space will be. In many ways, it is little different from the Q4 concept that Audi first launched last year, and that will likely remain true when the two vehicles hit the market. Volkswagen not only intends to flood the market with its MEB electric vehicles, but the company (and its brands) will also try to sell customers on smaller variations of these electric vehicles.