Audi is pouring on the electrons. It now has 5 EVs in its lineup, which is more than any other automaker in the U.S. market. Those models account for 8% of its sales, which is slightly ahead of the overall EV segment. And the Q4 eTron Sportback is a good example of why customers are interested in Audi’s battery powered cars.
For one thing, this car looks quite conventional, not like some sort of UFO science project. It retains Audi’s now-famous trapezoidal grille for instant brand recognition. And the interior has decent sized computer screens that don’t dominate the dashboard. Most passersby will not even notice that this is an electric car.
Not every EV customer wants to scream to the world that they’re driving an electric and the Q4 eTron is the perfect car for them. If they’ve already been an Audi customer, they’ll find the controls and features to be familiar. So Audi is making it easy for them to step out of an ICE vehicle and into a BEV.
Like all Audis, the interior is beautifully turned out. The exterior is handsome and modern and very nicely proportioned. In short, it’s a good-looking car. And it drives as good as it looks, with its road hugging battery weight and that oh-my-gosh acceleration that most electrics offer.
EV purists may frown at some of the specs. Despite an 82 kWh battery, it only delivers 236 miles of range, according to the EPA. That works out to about 2.7 miles per kilowatt hour. A Tesla Model Y AWD delivers 3.5 miles per kWh, which is 30% more efficient. That’s a lot.
But Tesla’s are spartan looking vehicles both inside and out, and many upscale customers are going to prefer the kind of opulence that Audi offers them. Besides, at about $58,000 the Q4 eTron Sportback is about $8,000 cheaper than the Tesla Y. So it’s something of a bargain.
I think the main selling point of the Q4 eTron Sportback is that it will appeal to a lot of buyers who are sitting on the fence as to whether they want an electric car or not. This is the car that could convince them to take the plunge.
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John McElroy is an influential thought leader in the automotive industry. He is a journalist, lecturer, commentator and entrepreneur. He created “Autoline Daily,” the first industry webcast of industry news and analysis.