New Audi e-tron Pitches Practicality Claims of BEV Ownership

Probably the hardest sales pitch Audi makes with its new Q4 e-tron and Q4 Sportback e-tron is the claim that an 80 miles range is just ten minutes charging away.

The automaker is hoping the vehicles’ quick high power charging (HPC) system will sway ICE car owners into considering the switch to BEV. Both models feature the option of a 52 kWh or 77 kWh battery which can be charged at HPC stations at a charging capacity of up to 100 kW or up to 125 kW respectively. At 125 kW, and in ideal conditions, the battery is claimed to achieve an 80% state of charge from a 5% starting point in 38 minutes. Under the WLTP testing protocol, the Q4 40 e-tron, using the larger battery, is claimed to recharge enough electricity in ideal conditions to cover a distance of about 80 miles in around ten minutes, and can achieve a range of up to 316 miles.

Fast-charge issues

Of course, none of these claims address the current limited access to suitable fast-charging infrastructure, nor the issues with high battery degradation when using fast-charge technology. Nonetheless, Audi continues with the promise of convenience sales pitch citing its myAudi app where owners can activate charging remotely using a smartphone. The app also provides access to the comfort remote preconditioning system, which enables remote adjustment of the cabin temperature and seat heating functions to make the cabin comfortable before a journey begins.


At the entry-level, the Q4 35 e-tron and the Q4 Sportback 35 e-tron use the compact battery with its net energy content of 52 kWh and combine this with an electric motor offering an output of 167bhp and torque of 228ft-lbs. In both body variants, this is claims a 0-second 0-62mph acceleration time of 9 seconds, a governed 99mph top speed and a WLTP-certified range of up to 208 miles on a full charge in the SUV.

The middle model Audi Q4 40 e-tron is equipped with the larger battery, which stores a net 77 kWh of energy. The electric motor generates 200bhp and 228ft-lbs of torque, reducing the 0-62mph sprint time to 8.5 seconds in the run up to a top speed that is also governed at 99mph. One charge claims enough for up to 316 miles of range in the SUV.

Range topper

Topping the range is the Q4 50 e-tron quattro and Q4 Sportback 50 e-tron quattro also using the 77 kWh battery and here it supplies an electric motor on each axle, creating all-wheel drive, that contributes to a maximum output of 296bhp and 339.3ft-bs of torque. In the interest of efficiency, the motor on the front axle is engaged only when high power or maximum traction are needed and, in many cases, predictively even before the car begins to noticeably understeer or oversteer.

Both motors keep reserves available for certain driving situations and, as a result, the sum of their individual outputs exceeds the drive system’s quoted total. The cars claim to tackle the 0-62mph sprint in 6.2 seconds and continue to a top speed of 111mph. Driving ranges of circa 295 miles are expected of both models subject to confirmation following WLTP testing.

— Paul Myles is a seasoned automotive journalist based in Europe. Follow him on Twitter @Paulmyles_

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