Audi is set to take Tesla’s Model Y head-on with its new Q4 e-tron in the fast growing market of compact crossover SUVs in a bid to help Volkswagen AG narrow its electric-car sales gap with the world leader.
This latest model, which Audi will be unveiling Wednesday evening CET, is among a dozen models including VW’s ID.4 and electric version of the Porsche Macan. Michael Dean, Bloomberg Intelligence analyst, in a recent report said this should enable the VW group exceed Tesla’s deliveries by 2023.
The Q4 models have been a long time coming considering the Four Rings originally previewed the standard E-Tron model back in March 2019 with a concept before coming out with the Sportback in July 2020.
Peter Kossler, AUDI AG board member for Production and Logistics, in a press statement in late March 2021 had said the cross-brand in Zwickau demonstrates once again the enormous synergy potential that they enjoy with the Volkswagen Group. “The on-schedule start of production of the Audi Q4 e-tron is a testament to the outstanding teamwork among the VW and Audi colleagues alike. Our compact electric SUV is unmistakably a true Audi that will wow our customers with its outstanding quality and everyday usability.”
The Q4 e-tron is VW’s first real competitor to Tesla, being a modest-sized SUV which hits the right segment. The model is expected to offer more than 300 miles of battery range and sell for about $55,000. Bloomberg highlighted that Tesla has done well defending its dominance. Demand for the Model Y and Model 3 in China supported strong first-quarter deliveries and has reignited investor optimism about the world’s most valuable automaker holding its own in an increasingly crowded EV market. Incumbent manufacturers including VW, General Motors Co. and Mercedes-Benz have stepped up plans to churn out EVs while smaller upstarts such as Nio Inc. and XPeng Inc. also vie for tech-savvy customers.
Hildegard Wortmann, Audi’s sales chief, in a video message said the Q4 e-tron models play a central role in the brand’s electrification strategy by launching in a particularly popular market segment. “They represent the entry point of Audi’s electric offerings and showcase how the brand and design are moving forward.” Basically, the Q4 e-tron is based on VW’s architecture for mass-market electric cars.