This one has been a long time coming. We finally get to see the new Audi Q4 e-tron, albeit in its early concept stage. The compact four-door SUV has an exterior length of 4.59 metres, and design-wise it’s clear the Q4 shares some similarities with the original Audi e-tron.

But first, let’s take a look at its electric propulsion system. The Q4 sits on Audi’s modular electrification platform (MEB), and both drive axles get an electric motor – the Q4 is a quattro. However, there is no mechanical connection between the axles. Instead, an electronic control continuously monitors torque distribution, helping the electric SUV achieve optimum traction in all weather conditions and road surfaces.

In most cases, the Q4 e-tron is primarily rear-wheel driven for efficiency purposes. The front electric motor will only kick into action when the driver demands more performance, or when slip is detected.

The rear-mounted motor is more powerful, deploying 150 kW (204 PS) and 310 Nm of torque, whereas the front unit makes up to 75 kW (102 PS) and 150 Nm of torque. The combined system output is 225 kW (306 PS), and both motors are juiced by an 82 kWh battery (weighs 510 kg in total) that’s stored under the floor. Audi says this enables a driving range of over 450 km (WLTP standard), and DC fast-charging (via CCS connector) is capped at 125 kW. It takes around 30 minutes to get an 80% charge.

For outright acceleration, the Q4 e-tron sprints from zero to 100 km/h in 6.3 seconds before reaching an electronically limited top speed of 180 km/h. Axle load distribution is said to be perfectly balanced at almost 50:50. For suspension, the front gets MacPherson struts while the rear gets a multi-link setup with separate springs. All four corners get adaptive dampers as standard.

On the design side of things, there’s no mistaking this Audi for anything else but an e-tron. The front fascia is dominated by the closed Singleframe grille, and cool air is supplied via large inlets that extend from below the two matrix LED headlights all the way down to the front apron.

The prominent fenders are classic Audi styling, while the accentuated rocker panel area between the axles – where the battery rests – is a typical feature of the e-tron. Here, the Q4 concept sits on huge 22-inch wheels, and the profile view is completed with the muscular rear haunches and slanting roofline. All this contribute to a slick body – the Q4 e-tron claims to have a drag coefficient value of 0.28 Cd.

Behind, in typical modern Audi fashion, the tail lights are conjoined with graphics that are reminiscent of its older brother (the e-tron). To finish off the exterior, the model you see here is painted in “Solar Sky.”

It’s a shade of blue that changes depending on the angle of the light, and it’s developed specifically for the Audi Q4 e-tron concept and produced under environmentally friendly conditions. Another function of the paint is that it helps reduce heat build-up on the surface of the body and the interior.

Inside, again, the cabin looks familiar, albeit less cluttered compared to the original e-tron. This may change as it gets closer to production, but in concept form the Q4 e-tron gets the Audi virtual cockpit, large head-up display with augmented reality function, as well as a hexagonal steering wheel.

In the middle rests a 12.3-inch touchscreen unit that’s slightly angled towards the driver for greater ease of operation. A row of buttons for HVAC controls is located below it. Notice the rather bare centre console? Well, the lack of need for a gear lever or hand brake gives more room for stowage compartments, including a cell phone charging cradle.

The gear selectors now take the form of buttons on top of a piano black panel, and it appears to “float” just below the air-conditioning controls. The specially moulded lower door section also boast the ability to store water bottles, and it’s designed in a way that’s easy to reach. So, what do you think?

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