With an increased demand for electric vehicles, Audi announced in 2019 the launch of the Q4 and Q4 Sportback when it unveiled the concept cars.
It took another two years to introduce the production versions. While it wasn’t the first electric car offered by the German carmaker, it was the first compact SUV in its lineup.
The Q4 showed a new language into Audi’s design language. The designers could shorten the front overhang since the car didn’t need a long front area anymore due to smaller radiators. Still, they required an adequate length for the crumple zones. Its front fascia featured LED or, as an option, Matrix-LED headlights. The muscular SUV showed a cab-rearward styling with a raked windshield and a raked-forward rear windscreen. The blackened B- and C-pillars and the wide D-pillars showed a hatchback cabin design.
Inside, the carmaker made a bold move and created a unique design for the Q4, with the center stack and the infotainment screen tilted toward the driver. There were no analog dials anywhere. In the instrument cluster, Audi introduced the Virtual Cockpit, used for several years on other products. To show its commitment toward sustainable production, Audi built the front seats with recycled materials. It used about 26 1.5-liter PET bottles for each seat. In the back, the carmaker installed a 40/20/40 split-folding bench, which could increase the trunk size from 520 liters (18.4 cu-ft) to 1,490 liters (52.6 cu-ft).
Audi offered the Q4 e-tron with two battery variants and three drivetrains. For the base level, the carmaker provided a rear-wheel-drive Q35 version with a 55 kWh battery pack and the 82 kWh battery pack for the Q40 and Q50 all-wheel-drive, respectively. The rear-wheel-drive Q40 offered the highest range of up to 520 km (323.1 miles).