Audi: Upgraded Luxury EV
The Audi Q4 e-tron is a nicely-packaged luxury electric SUV that does a lot of things well but doesn’t stand out in any specific way. Sharing its basic architecture with the Volkswagen ID.4, the Q4 has a smooth, powerful electric drivetrain, plenty of interior space, and offers good value for a luxury SUV, but neither its performance, design, charging speed, or range really stand out. With some significant upgrades for the 2024 model year, Audi has made the Q4 e-tron a more compelling package. Chief among those upgrades are a new electric motor and a significantly increased range.
New EV Motor with More Power and Range
The biggest news for the new Q4 e-tron models is a new electric motor for the rear axle, which switches to a permanently-excited synchronous architecture with Audi says delivers much higher efficiency as well as more power. On rear-wheel drive models, power jumps massively from 201 hp to 286 hp, dropping the 0-60 mph time to 6.7 seconds. With quattro all-wheel drive, power is up from 310 hp to 340 hp, and the 0-60 mph time is now 5.4 seconds. Top speed remains 112 mph.
Even more impressive in light of the extra power and performance is the increase in range. Depending on the spec, range is now as high as 349 miles on the European WLTP cycle – a huge increase from the 265 EPA-estimated miles currently offered. While the European cycle typically reports higher estimated ranges than the EPA, we still expect the new 2024 Q4 e-tron to have over 300 miles of range on the U.S. testing regime – a meaningful improvement over the prior model.
Audi Q4 e-Tron: Optimized Charging Speed
All Q4 e-tron models – SUV-shaped or sleek sportback; rear- or all-wheel drive – use the same 82-kWh battery, the same capacity as before. However, optimized chemistry for the individual battery cells means that the battery can now charge at 175 kW, a big increase from before. Charging from to 10 to 80 percent now takes around 28 minutes on a compatible charger.
Audi credits the all-new electric motor on the rear for the improvements in efficiency and power. It uses an optimized thermal management system for greater efficiency, and thanks to clever arrangement of the gear wheels in the single-speed transmission and improved cooling, the whole module runs much cooler than before, meaning its performance is more consistent in all kinds of temperatures and weathers. Furthermore, Audi says the new power pack has superior power delivery, making for a better driving experience.
Thanks to a new “character sound,” the 2024 Audi Q4 e-tron models have a unique aural signature, which is supposed to form an emotional bond between the vehicle and driver. Beyond that, the sound generator, which is emitted via two exterior speakers at the rear, as well as inside the car, is a safety feature. Audible at speeds below about 20 mph, the sound ensures pedestrians are aware of this swift, silent SUV’s presence.
Improved Suspension and Driver Assists
In line with the improved powertrain, Audi has upgraded the suspension on the 2024 Q4 e-tron for even greater comfort and driving fun. Whether fitted with the standard or sport suspension, the steering and suspension tuning have been upgraded to improve steering response and make the vehicle easier to control in all situations. The optional sport suspension lowers the body by half an inch, while new springs and shock absorbers make the Q4 e-tron S Line more fun to drive, with more direct responses.
There are also new driver assistance functions. Chief among them is a new assisted lane change feature. A rear radar sensor works together with the adaptive cruise control above 56 mph to perform automatic lane changes for the first time. Projecting arrows onto the heads-up display, or showing them in the instrument cluster, the system indicates to the driver whether it is safe to change lanes, and in which direction If the driver taps the turn signal stalk, the system automatically steers the car into the correct lane and switches off the turn signal when it’s done.
Of course, the Q4 e-tron models also feature adaptive cruise control, which keeps a safe distance to the car in front. It has been enhanced for 2024 to incorporate automatic steering corrections to help keep the vehicle in the center of its lane. (A gentle touch on the steering wheel lets the system know the driver is still paying attention when driving.) There is also a side assist system which monitors traffic around the car to warn the driver of hazards it senses using the side and rear radar sensors.
Audi Q4 e-tron Interior Enhancements
Inside, the Q4 e-tron now features a fully digital 10.25-inch “virtual cockpit” instrument cluster as standard, along with a central touchscreen that houses Audi connect navigation and the infotainment system, which offers wireless Android Auto and Apple CarPlay. The navigation system’s route planner can choose the fastest charging stations on a long drive, and automatically pre-conditions the battery so the Q4 e-tron will charge as fast as possible.
Other upgrades include more comfortable seats than before, and the rear liftgate now has power operation. In conjunction with the keyless entry system, opens automatically with a foot gesture underneath the rear bumper.
Built in a massively upgraded, EV-focused factory in Brussels, Belgium, the 2024 Q4 e-tron won’t be eligible for the $7,500 federal purchase incentive (though leasing offers you the opportunity to take advantage if you meet certain requirements). Expect it on our roads early next year.