Audi has started production of the Audi Q4 e-tron at the Volkswagen plant in Zwickau. The production model is to be fully unveiled in mid-April, with deliveries in the European markets then scheduled to start in summer 2021.
The all-electric MEB-based compact model is the first electric SUV that Audi is manufacturing at a German site, albeit at a VW plant. Nevertheless, there are strong ties to the Zwickau site, where the Horch company was once founded.
According to the company, more than a hundred Audi employees prepared the production start-up in Zwickau with their VW colleagues, from production planning to technical development and quality assurance. Audi also manufactures the press tools for the body shop in its own tool shop.
“The cross-brand collaboration in Zwickau demonstrates once again the enormous synergy potential that we enjoy with the Volkswagen Group,” says Audi Board Member for Production Peter Kössler. “The on-schedule start of production of the Audi Q4 e-tron is testament to the outstanding teamwork – among the Volkswagen and Audi colleagues alike.” Stefan Loth, Chairman of the Board of Management of Volkswagen Saxony, further emphasised that the production start-up of the Q4 has turned the site into a multi-brand plant. Later in the year, another brand is to be added with the Cupra Born.
The ID.3 and ID.4 are already being built in Zwickau, and the first units of the electric SUV are also to be handed over to customers at the end of the week. Pre-series production of the VW ID.5 – the SUV coupé for the ID.4 – already started in mid-February. A coupé offshoot of the Q4 e-tron is also to follow shortly, in this case, called the Q4 Sportback e-tron.
Audi already recently published extensive details on the interior of the production version of the Q4 e-tron. As a compact SUV based on the MEB modular system with a length of 4,590 millimetres, a width of 1,865 millimetres and a height of 1,613 millimetres, the Q4 e-tron is said to offer “space on a par with the luxury class”. The boot of the Audi Q4 e-tron can accommodate 520 litres of luggage. By folding down the 40:20:40 split backrests, it becomes 1,490 litres.
The technical specifications of the compact SUV are dictated by MEB technology: The Q4 e-tron probably uses the 225-kW version of the MEB, i.e. a 150-kW engine in the rear and a second 75-kW engine on the front axle. The battery is likely to be the version with an energy content of 82 kWh, which equates to 77 kWh net (the largest battery option available in the VW ID.3 and ID.4). The range is expected to be more than 450 kilometres according to WLTP, with later versions with rear-wheel-drive coming in at over 500 kilometres. In view of the battery, there is probably no surprise about the charging system either: the Q4 e-tron should charge with a maximum of 125 kW DC. A charging process should take less than 30 minutes to reach a charge level of 80 per cent. Audi has not yet given any details on the AC charging power.
Audi is currently building two electric models in series: the large SUV e-tron quattro and the coupé offshoot e-tron Sportback in Brussels and the Taycan offshoot e-tron GT in Neckarsulm, Germany. As early as 2022, another electric SUV, the Q6 e-tron, is to be built in Germany, more precisely at the main plant in Ingolstadt. The Q6 e-tron will then also be the first Audi model on the Premium Platform Electric (PPE) developed jointly with Porsche.
With reporting by Sebastian Schaal, Germany.
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