Audi Q4 e-tron: specification and on-sale date

The pure-electric Audi Q4 e-tron and Q4 e-tron Sportback have been testing camouflaged on public roads in preparation for a late-2020 launch

This is the new Audi Q4 e-tron, spotted testing for the first time under a heavy disguise. The car, which will draw heavily on the Q4 e-tron concept (below), is expected to be revealed before the end of 2020, alongside a rakish Sportback version that has also been spotted testing.

Much like the concept, and Volkswagen’s ID.4 SUV, the Q4 e-tron will use the Volkswagen Group's MEB electric-car platform. It's expected that the concept version's drivetrain (detailed below) will form the top-tier option in the range when it goes on sale. 

Audi will fill the rest of the range with single-motor, rear-wheel-drive options and a choice of battery sizes, in similar fashion to what's expected from Volkswagen's line-up of ID-badged electric cars.

Looking past the test car's camouflage, it seems that the production Q4 e-tron will stick fairly closely to the design of the concept. Its LED lights look similar, as do the grille and strong shoulder line, while the bumper detailing is also clearly derived from the show car’s.

We haven't seen inside the new car yet, but the cabin should look similar to that of the Volkswagen ID.4 due to the cars' common roots. When it arrives, the Q4 e-tron will face tough competition from the likes of the BMW iX3, Volvo XC40 Recharge P8, Mercedes EQA and Tesla Model Y.

Audi Q4 e-tron Sportback

Audi revealed its Q4 e-tron Sportback concept (above), a coupe-SUV version of the original Q4 e-tron concept, at the 2019 Geneva Motor Show. Audi confirmed that the two are mechanically similar and that both will be going on sale in production form in 2021 – and sure enough, in October 2020, a roadgoing version was spotted testing under disguise (below).

As with the Q4 e-tron concept, the Q4 e-tron Sportback concept features an 82kWh battery returning a range in excess of 280 miles. Two electric motors combine for a total of 302bhp and 460Nm of torque, resulting in a 0-62mph figure of 6.3 seconds and a top speed limited to 112mph. According to Audi, the rear motor is used in most situations in order to extract the best possible efficiency, with the front motor engaging for fast acceleration.

Audi also says that a rear-wheel-drive version of the car will push that claimed range to 310 miles. It's likely that other cars in the wider Volkswagen Group built on the same MEB mechanical platform could use a similar setup. Both Q4 e-tron concepts are compatible with 125kW rapid charging, allowing a 0-80% charge in around half an hour.

Styling changes over the Q4 e-tron are most evident at the rear, where the Sportback gets a rakish roofline in place of its sibling's more traditional treatment – clearly visible in our spy shots. Both concepts sport the same front and rear haunches, similarly large 21-inch alloys and a large false grille up front, along with LED lights front and rear, so we'd expect the two production cars to be very similar too. 

The Sportback concept gets more prominent skid plates front and rear, while also featuring brighter detailing in its bumpers. Both get an illuminated e-tron logo in the rear bumper. It is not clear if these details will make it over to production cars or not.

Inside, the concept cars get a similar interior that prioritises space and previews a continuation of Audi's current trend for angular, sculptural dashboard design. Alcantara and plexiglass trim give a modern feel, while Audi's virtual cockpit and a central 12.3-inch touchscreen are used to control infotainment.