Audi E4 (Audi A4 e-tron) Electric to rival the Tesla Model 3

Audi plans to build a comprehensive EV line-up In the coming years and cater to a range of premium segments, right from an Audi E3 (Audi A3 e-tron) to an Audi R8 successor. One of its key launches will reportedly be a mid-size electric sedan, possibly called Audi E4 or Audi A4 e-tron.

Oliver Hoffmann, BoM member responsible for Technical Development, Audi, told Auto Express that the A4’s electric alternative would be based on a dedicated electric vehicle platform. He added that Audi could build bespoke platforms for most technologies, and it has also considered a multi-energy (ICE-BEV) architecture, but it comes with compromise. However, he didn’t mention whether an ICE model and an electric model of the A4 would co-exist in the future.

PPE Platform

PPE battery system
The PPE can accommodate a 100 kWh battery which can offer up to 435 miles of range (WLTP). Image: Audi

Autocar reported in December 2021 that the next-gen Audi A4 would include a pure electric version based on a dedicated EV platform, according to Audi insiders, who revealed the information to the British publication. If this information is anything to go by, Audi would use the existing MLB platform for mild-hybrid and plug-in hybrid variants and use the Premium Platform Electric (PPE), co-developed with Porsche, for the Audi E4 or Audi A4 e-tron.

The Audi A6 e-tron made its debut at the 2021 Shanghai Auto Show, where it was announced that the premium sedan would be based on the new PPE architecture. Autocar suggests that the same platform would be used for the Audi E4, albeit with a shorter wheelbase and narrower tracks. PPE platform-based EVs can accommodate a battery with up to 100 kWh capacity and deliver a WLTP range of up to 435 miles range. Thanks to an 800-volt system voltage, they can accept DC fast-charging at up to 270 kW.

The PPE would debut on the Audi Q6 e-tron or the Porsche Macan EV, both of which will break cover in 2023, followed by the A6 e-tron and A6 e-tron Avant. Audi and Porsche plan to sell 7 million electric cars based on the PPE platform by 2030.

Aerodynamic design

The Audi E4 is likely to have an A5 Sportback-style five-door configuration with a liftgate-style rear. In addition, the Audi A4 e-tron’s key features may include adaptive air suspension, Level 2 autonomous driving, and contactless in-car payments for charging, parking, drive-through food orders, and tolls. Also, expect the Audi E4 to sport sleek headlamps like the Audi A6 e-tron concept and animated lighting functions with Digital LEDs.

Audi A6 e-tron concept front three quarter
The upcoming Audi E4 will take design cues from the Audi E6; 95% of the A6 e-tron concept’s (pictured here) design will make it to the production model. Image: Audi

The sedan is unlikely to incorporate Audi’s singleframe grille in the way we’ve been used to seeing it for years. Instead, it might feature a closed-off version with hidden sensors and lighting graphics like we saw on the Audi Urbansphere concept.

Audi E4 Specifications

Customers would have the option to choose from RWD single-motor variants to dual-motor Quattro AWD variants. An Audi RS 4 e-tron with up to 496 bhp and 590 lb-ft is expected to top the range. There’s no official word on the battery capacity and range, although we know the PPE’s capabilities. Audi may target a range of 435 miles (700 km) on the A6 e-tron on the WLTP cycle. Expect the E4 to come with around 373 miles (600 km), given its comparatively shorter wheelbase would accommodate a slightly smaller battery than the Audi E6.

Next-gen ICE Audi A4

Test mules of the next generation model have been spotted in cold-weather testing in Sweden. The prototype spotted was the Audi A4 Avant, which incorporates an evolution of the current generation Audi A4. The new model will get a low and wide hexagonal singleframe grille, A-shaped lower grille, sleeker wedge-shaped headlamps, vertical air inlets, and black alloy wheels. Audi may showcase the next-generation Audi A4 towards the end of 2022, but sales are unlikely to begin before 2023.

Audi E4 or Audi A4 e-tron will roll out of the Ingolstadt plant
The Audi A4 rolling out of the Ingolstadt plant; reports suggest the the A4 e-tron will also be manufactured in Ingolstadt. Image: Audi

Volkswagen Group targets to sell around seven million PPE-based electric cars by 2030. Core models such as Audi E4 and the Tesla Model S-rivaling Audi E6 must significantly contribute to this goal. The Audi E6 will debut in 2023, and the Audi E4 will reportedly follow mid-decade.

Audi A4 sales in the U.S.

The Audi A4 was the second best-selling Audi sedan in the U.S. in 2021, with 16,263 units sold, slightly shy of the A5 sales, which stood at 17,408 units. However, sales were down by 11% for the A4 in 2021, compared to 2020, when Audi delivered 18,341 units. Q1 2022 has not been good for Audi sedans in America. Overall brand sales were down by 35%, while the Audi A4 sales dropped by 24%. 3,853 units of the Audi A4 were sold in the first three months of 2022, compared to 5,071 units sold during the same period last year.

Audi A4 Avant
The Audi E4 may spawn multiple body styles including an Avant and a sedan. Audi A4 Avant Sportline image is used here only for reference purposes. Image: Audi

Audi A4 e-tron FAQs

What is the release date of the Audi A4 e-tron?

The Audi E4 will reportedly debut mid-decade.

Which are the core competitors to the Audi E4?

The Audi A4 e-tron will compete with the Tesla Model 3, the upcoming Mercedes C-Class Electric (EQC sedan), and the global version of the BMW 3 Series electric.

What is the expected price of the Audi A4 e-tron?

Expect the Audi A4 e-tron to start at around USD 39,000 (EUR 37,000).

Featured image: Audi (A6 e-tron teaser, used as an illustration)