Audi’s very first electric vehicle, the all-electric SUV Audi e-tron had its world premiere in September 2018. By 2025, Audi will offer more than 20 all-electric drive vehicles and achieve roughly 40 percent of its sales with electrified models. The SUVs within this portfolio include the e-tron and the e- tron Sportback. In addition, there will be a range of models with classic body layout such as Avant and Sportback. The range will cover every relevant market segment from the compact class to the luxury class. This includes the Q4 e-tron and Q4 Sportback e-tron vehicles.
“It is evident that Audi AG have a big focus of expanding the range of e-tron vehicles. The goal to have 20 all-electric vehicles on offer by 2025 is in sight and it’s great to see the variation of electric vehicles being released.“ said Audi New Zealand, General Manager, Dean Sheed. “The infrastructure in New Zealand to support electric vehicles is continually improving which allows our customers to get the full potential out of the models being released to market.” Added Sheed.
The two concept cars, which are already offering a clear look ahead at the top-of-the-range engine line-up of the coming series production model, have the same drive technology. Two electric motors mobilize 225 kW of system output in the Q4 and Q4 Sportback e-tron concept. As is typical for Audi, the driving power is brought to the road with quattro all-wheel drive. Thanks to excellent traction, both versions of the Q4 accelerate from zero to 100 km/h in just 6.3 seconds.
The electric motor in the rear end has an output of 150 kW and mobilises a torque of 310 newton metres. The front motor supplies the front wheels with up to 75 kW and 150 newton metres. The system output is 225 kW. The battery in the vehicle floor stores 82 kilowatt hours, which allows for a range of more than 450 kilometres according to the WLTP standard. The battery is charged with a maximum of 125 kilowatts. It therefore takes little more than 30 minutes to reach 80 percent of the total capacity.
The silhouette of the Sportback slopes downward to the back in a subtle and dynamic curve. The roof line transitions into the significantly inclined D-pillars and ends in a horizontal spoiler at the level of the lower window edge. As a result, the future Audi Q4 Sportback appears much longer than its sister model, the Q4 e-tron concept.
The striking broad light band that connects the two lamp units on the rear end of the Audi Q4 Sportback e-tron concept was incorporated to reflect an element of the Audi Q4 e-tron concept. It is clearly visible these two models belong to the same e-tron family, as the close relation to the e-tron Sportback is obvious.
With its dimensions, the Audi Q4 Sportback e-tron concept also takes its position in the upper third of the compact class. Its road space requirements qualify the electric SUV as an agile all- rounder. In terms of the interior, by contrast, its wheelbase of 2.77 metres puts it at least one class higher. As there is no transmission tunnel restricting the space, the Q4 Sportback e-tron concept offers unsuspected spaciousness and comfort, especially in terms of legroom at the front and even more in the rear.
Sustainability is the top priority not only in terms of the electric drive in the Audi Q4 and Q4 Sportback. The floor covering is made of recycled materials. Instead of chrome-plated metal decor frames, the surfaces are covered with a high-quality multi-layer paint finish.
The display of the Audi virtual cockpit with the most important display elements for speed, charge level, and navigation is located behind the steering wheel. The large-format heads-up display with an augmented reality function is a new feature. It can display important graphical information, such as directional arrows for turning, directly on the course of the road.
Control panels designed as touch elements on the steering wheel spokes can be used to select frequently used functions. In the middle above the center console, there is a 12.3-inch touchscreen via which the infotainment and vehicle functions are displayed and operated.
It is tilted toward the driver for greater ease of operation. A strip of buttons for controlling the air conditioning is located below it.
The modular electrification platform (MEB) offers a broad range of drive variants and power levels. The performance version of the electric drive is installed in the Audi Q4 Sportback e-tron concept. The front and rear axles are each powered by an electric motor – this Q4 Sportback is a quattro. There is no mechanical connection between the axles. Instead, an electronic control ensures that the torque distribution is coordinated optimally, and it does so in fractions of a second. That enables the SUV Coupé to achieve optimum traction in all weather conditions and on any type of surface.
In most cases, the Q4 Sportback e-tron concept mainly uses its rear electric motor, a permanently excited synchronous motor, in order to achieve the highest efficiency. For reasons of efficiency, the drive torque is generally distributed with a rear-axle bias.
If the driver demands more power than the rear electric motor can supply, the electric all-wheel drive uses the front asynchronous motor to redistribute the torque as required to the front axle. This also happens predictively even before slip occurs in icy conditions or when cornering fast, or if the car understeers or oversteers.
The recipe for this excellent range involves far more than just an energy storage unit with a large capacity. Just like the first member of the family, the Audi Q4 e-tron concept, the Audi Q4 Sportback also presents itself as an efficiency virtuoso, starting with the low aerodynamic drag of the body, whose drag coefficient is 0.26 and therefore 0.01 below that of the Q4 e-tron SUV. The compact electric product line also features a sophisticated recuperation strategy, leaving out no possibility for optimizing its range. The complex thermal management of the drive and battery, which involves a CO2 heat pump, also contributes to this.
A key factor for the sporty character and outstanding transverse dynamics is the low and central position at which the drive components are installed. The high-voltage battery system is optimally matched to the dimensions of the Audi Q4 Sportback and is located between the axles in the form of a flat, broad block beneath the passenger compartment. The battery system weighs 510 kilograms. The center of gravity of the Audi Q4 Sportback e-tron concept is therefore at a similar level to that of a sedan with a conventional drive system.
Axle load distribution is perfectly balanced at almost 50:50. The front wheels of the Q4 Sportback e-tron concept are guided on a MacPherson axle with adaptive dampers. In the rear, there is a multi-link axle with separate springs and adaptive dampers.