Audi’s Q4 E-Tron certainly looks ready to take Tesla’s number one spot in the race to get electric, autonomous luxury vehicle’s to the U.S. market. We’re currently on our way to San Diego to experience the vehicle for ourselves. What do you want to know about it?
We’ll be taking the Audi Q4 50 E-Tron and E-Tron Sportback out for a drive up and down the southern California coast. Originally slated for mid-2021, this entry-level Q4 just started hitting stateside dealerships late this summer after being held up by Russia’s war in Ukraine and the global chip shortage. Now that Audi has overcome those hurdles the company will have five luxury EVs in the U.S. market—beating Tesla’s four. That’s not where the Tesla comparisons end. In fact, Audi seems to only be getting started on its mission to knock Tesla out of EV and even AV first place.
When Audi unveiled the Q4 E-Tron back in April the stats were impressive, with a single motor sending just under 200 horsepower to the rear wheels for the base model and 300 hp for the double-motor, all-wheel-drive Q4 50.
The U.S. will only see the Q4 50s, according to Ars Technica, but buyers will have three trims to choose from: Premium, Premium Plus, and Prestige. Those two engines put out 295 horsepower and will propel the Q4 50 from 0 to 60 in 5.8 seconds. The Q4 50 comes with EPA estimated battery range of up to 241 miles.
Originally, the Q4 E-Tron was meant to compete with Tesla on price as well, starting at a remarkable $45,000 before incentives back in March. That MSRP has gone up to $48,800, times and chip shortages being what they are. That price might get another bump in 2023. However, it’s still more affordable than the 2022 Model Y’s MSRP of $67,990. From Ars Technica, which got to drive some early builds in July:
Pricing for 2022 model years starts at $49,900 for the crossover and $52,700 plus an additional delivery charge of $1,095, although it is still eligible for the full $7,500 IRS plug-in vehicle tax credit. Audi says that pricing for the 2023 model year may increase, however. The company also says that it will sell 2022 models until they run out and then shift to 2023 models. There may be some additional equipment or packages coming in the 2023 model years that aren’t currently available in the 2022s, according to an Audi spokesperson.
Not only is it comparable to the Model Y in terms of cost and range, but it comes with a bevy of semi-autonomous driving features, including adaptive cruise assist which behaves as Audi’s Level 2 autonomous driving system, offering “...assistance with longitudinal and lateral guidance over the entire speed range and in certain traffic scenarios through a combined Traffic Jam assist.” There’s also an advanced heads-up display that overlays augmented reality overlay on the windshield for the driver.
It’s got tons of luxury bells and whistles, lighting, screens and aggressive styling that makes it clear this car is from The Future. Audi will also let us experience it’s Cellular vehicle-to-everything self-driving technology. C-V2X was a promising technology for those seeking full autonomy back in 2016, but it’s largely stalled in the public marketplace without regulation and industry-wide adoption of one technology. It’ll be interesting to see what Audi does with it.