The Q4 e-tron and the Q4 Sportback e-tron integrate the best conditions for high levels of comfort, driving pleasure, and unshakable stability. In the models with up to 150 kW (204 PS) of power, the rear-wheel drive ensures excellent traction – which the customer can experience in many situations, starting with driving on wet roads. The high-voltage battery is located beneath the passenger compartment, at the lowest point of the car. This is a great advantage for the center of gravity and the distribution of the axle loads: In all drive variants, this distribution is close to the ideal value of 50:50.
The front axle of the compact electric SUVs is designed in the classic McPherson construction method, the steering is located underneath at the front. A compact five-link design featuring similarities with the rear axle of the large Audi models works at the rear. As with the front axle, it is mounted on a subframe. Several parts of the suspension are made of lightweight aluminum. The track widths are 1,587 millimeters at the front and 1,565 millimeters at the rear.
Large wheels: 19- to 21-inch with mixed-sized tires
The Audi Q4 e-tron and Q4 Sportback e-tron are well-grounded – their wheels comprise eleven versions ranging in size from 19 to 21 inches. Apart from the basic version, these are aluminum wheels, and each size includes especially aerodynamic designs. In the 20-inch category, two wheels come from Audi Sport GmbH, which provides all four in the 21-inch class. One of them comes in a matte bronze finish, another in platin gray. The third is an Aero wheel, which is largely covered with black plastic inlays.
All motor line-ups drive off the assembly line with a mix of tires, which further enhances stability and the sporty character. The front tires are 235 millimeters wide throughout, the rear tires 255 millimeters, while the cross sections differ depending on the rim size. All tires are optimized for rolling resistance, the 21-inch class includes a decidedly sporty tire variant for the Sportback.
Mounted behind the large wheels are powerful brakes. Depending on motor output, the disks on the front wheels measure between 330 and 358 millimeters (13.0–14.1 in) in diameter; there are extra-low-wear, low-maintenance drum brakes on the rear wheels. The drums reduce the risk of corrosion. This is because in a purely electric drive the wheel brakes are used only rarely in everyday driving – most decelerations are performed by the electric motor in the rear, which converts kinetic energy to electrical energy in the process.
Even more fun to drive: two dynamic packages
On request, Audi can equip the two compact electric SUVs with the dynamic package or the dynamic package plus. In the dynamic package, the sport suspension (standard in the S line) lowers the body by 15 millimeters, while the conventional steering is replaced here by progressive steering (standard in the quattro models), which operates more directly the further the steering is turned.
The third element of the dynamic package is the Audi drive select dynamic handling system (standard in the Sportback), which brings new dimensions to the driving experience. With Audi drive select, the driver can switch the characteristics of the steering, the electric motors, and (in the quattro models) the electric all-wheel drive between the “comfort,” “auto,” “efficiency,” “individual,” and “dynamic” modes. In the MMI touch operating system, they can also activate “range” mode, in which the car drives at maximum energy efficiency. The maximum speed is limited here to 90 km/h, or to 130 km/h in “efficiency” mode.
In the dynamic package plus: suspension with damper control
The dynamic package plus adds another component on board the Audi Q4 e-tron and the Q4 Sportback e-tron – the suspension with damper control. Its control unit manages the characteristics of the dampers in line with the driving situation at five-millisecond intervals by regulating the oil flow. So the suspension caters to a wide field – from smooth cruising to snappily sporty handling.
The suspension with damper control is connected both to Audi drive select and to the electronic dynamic handling system. In addition to the adaptive dampers, it also controls the brake interventions of the wheel-selective torque control, where it works closely together with the ESC stabilization control. The system aims to harmonize the real behavior of the car with a digital target model so that the transverse dynamics and driving safety are always at the optimum level.
The ESC in turn works closely together with the control units for the electric motor and its power electronics. It produces especially effective performance in the rear-wheel drive models. Although a car of this kind has a tendency in principle to oversteer, the networking ensures that the Q4 e-tron finds a secure grip in every situation – during full acceleration, when cornering fast, and during brake recuperation. The control signals are issued every millisecond – that’s so quick and smooth that the driver barely notices them. They can set the ESC to sport mode and deactivate the traction control at the flick of a switch.
All terms marked in the text are explained in detail in the technology lexicon at www.audi-mediacenter.com/en/technology-lexicon.
The equipment, data and prices specified in this document refer to the model range offered in Germany. Subject to change without notice; errors and omissions excepted.