Audi Q4 e-tron reveal nears
Audi is planning to preview its fourth electric-powered e-tron model at the 2019 Geneva motor show in early March.
The compact SUV, described as being similar in dimensions to the recently superseded first-generation Q3, is set to be unveiled in lightly veiled concept car guise prior to a planned start to sales in 2021, sources close to the German car maker confirm.
It is being billed as the most affordable of the early wave of e-tron models and is expected to become Audi’s biggest-selling electric vehicle by the middle of the next decade with a price tag comparable with high-end versions of the new second-generation Q3.
The price leading electric powered Audi model, which may receive the name Q4 e-tron, is expected to draw many of its styling cues, including its front end appearance and shoulder line, from the larger e-tron SUV.
Based on parent company Volkswagen’s versatile MEB (Modular Electric Architecture) platform, a newly developed structure developed expressly for electric vehicles, the new five-seater has been conceived to complement the recently introduced e-tron as well as the e-tron Sportback and e-tron GT.
Audi is set to use up to five different electric vehicle platforms.
The e-tron and e-tron Sportback are underpinned by an adapted version of Audi’s existing MLB (Modular Long Architecture) platform known internally under the codename C-BEV, while the e-tron GT is based around the so-called J1 platform initially developed by sister company Porsche for the Taycan.
A further electric vehicle platform, the premium platform electric or PPE, is being developed in an engineering joint venture between Audi and Porsche.
Audi’s use of the MEB platform for its compact electric powered SUV should see it benefit from generous economies of scale. The MEB architecture is being used for a raft of electric powered models across the Volkswagen Group, including the Volkswagen, Seat and Skoda brands.
The ability of the MEB to house batteries completely within a flat floor structure also promises to provide the new Audi model with generous levels of interior accommodation.
Audi is also developing a pure electric version of the existing Q2, but officials from its Ingolstadt headquarters in Germany say it is planned to be sold exclusively in China. It is based around a lengthened version of the MQB (Modular Transverse Architecture) platform, as used by the Volkswagen e-Golf.
Audi has announced plans for the production of 12 pure electric models by 2025.
Audi’s five electric vehicle platforms
MQB – Q2 e-tron (China market only)
MEB – Compact SUV (possible Q4 e-tron name)
C-BEV – e-tron, e-tron Sportback
J1 – e-tron GT (sister car to the Porsche Taycan)
PPE – Future electric powered Audi e-tron models
Kable is one of Europe's leading automotive journalists. The Aussie expat lives in Germany and has some of the world's most powerful executives on speed dial.