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Audi unveils the interior of the Q4 e-tron electric SUV with impressive head-up display, and more

Audi is unveiling the interior of the Q4 e-tron electric SUV ahead of the full reveal of the vehicle coming later this month.

It shows a clean and practical interior design with an impressive head-up display.

At the Geneva Motor Show in 2019, the German automaker presented a concept of the Q4 e-tron, and Audi confirmed that a production version will launch “at the end of 2020 as the Audi brand’s fifth electric model.”

It has been delayed slightly, but the unveiling of the production version is now imminent and highly anticipated since it’s going to be Audi’s first vehicle based on the VW MEB platform.

The platform should enable a better price and electric performance balance with Audi’s luxurious packaging.

Now ahead of the full unveiling, Audi has decided to first reveal the interior of the production version of the Q4 e-tron.

The automaker has confirmed the final dimensions of the electric SUV:

With the Q4 e-tron, Audi is presenting a true all-rounder – it is a confident companion for everyday life and leisure, and is suitable in every way as a household’s main car. At 4,590 millimeters (15.1 ft) long, 1,865 millimeters (6.1 ft) wide, and 1,613 millimeters (5.3 ft) high, the exterior dimensions of the Q4 e-tron place it in the larger compact SUV segment. The architecture of the modular electric drive system (MEB) on which the compact electric SUV from Audi is based enables a completely new division of space. While the front overhang measures just 86 centimeters (33.9 in), the wheelbase measures a generous 2.76 meters (9.1 ft) – even more than in the medium-sized SUV segment. The resulting interior measures 1.83 meters (6.0 ft) in length, which is similar to a large full-size class SUV.

As noted, the exterior dimensions indicate a compact to mid-size SUV, but the interior dimensions definitely puts it in the latter category.

With that space, Audi designed a very sleek and luxurious interior:

It also offers some significant storage space in the back with a practical loading floor:

The luggage compartment of the Audi Q4 e-tron provides 520 liters (18.4 cu ft) of space for luggage. Folding down the backrests, which are divided in the ratio 40:20:40, creates a virtually level surface; when loaded to the roof, the luggage compartment provides a volume of 1,490 liters (52.6 cu ft). This corresponds to the level of the next-higher SUV segment. Audi also provides a partition net and luggage compartment package upon request. It includes a loading floor that can be inserted at two height levels, for example.

Here are a few pictures of the trunk and the different configurations with the seats folded:

One of the most impressive features in the Audi Q4 e-tron’s interior unveiled today is the new augmented reality head-up display:

“With the optional augmented reality head-up display in the Q4 e-tron, Audi is taking a huge step forward in display technology. It reflects important information via the windshield on two separate levels, the status section and the augmented reality (AR) section. The information provided by some of the assist systems and the turning arrows of the navigation system as well as its starting points and destinations are visually superimposed in the corresponding place on the real-life outside world as content of the AR section and displayed dynamically. They appear to be floating at a physical distance of roughly ten meters (32.8 ft) to the driver. Depending on the situation, they appear considerably further ahead in some cases. The driver can understand the displays very quickly without being confused or distracted by them, and they are extremely helpful in poor visibility conditions.”

It’s a technology that is hard to properly represent with pictures, but here are a few from Audi’s press release today:

The information displayed by the system is viewable in a field of view from the driver’s perspective that corresponds to a diagonal of around 70 inches.

It gives the driver access to information like the current speed, traffic signs, as well as the assist system and navigation symbols as static displays that appear to be floating roughly three meters (9.8 ft) ahead of the driver.

This capability sounds especially impressive when it comes to the navigation:

“The augmented reality head-up display demonstrates its strengths in a particularly impressive way in the context of navigation. On the road, what is known as the drone – a floating arrow – shows the next point of action on the route. It is dynamic: When approaching an intersection, for example, the floating arrow first announces the turning maneuver before an animated arrow steers the driver onto the road with precision. If the route then continues straight ahead, the drone flies ahead and disappears in order to then reappear with sufficient time before the next point of action. The distance to the turning point is displayed in meters in the lower window of the near-field area.”

The full unveiling of the Q4 e-tron with a look at the final exterior design is expected to happen ahead of the start of production later this year.

Stay tuned for more information.

Here are a few more options and features in the new Audi Q4 e-tron that the automaker confirmed in a press release today:

Three variants: the digital cockpit

The standard digital instrument cluster has a 10.25-inch diagonal and is operated via the multifunction steering wheel. The power meter, which is located next to the speedometer on the display, summarizes all important information on the drive, from the output and the state of charge of the battery in percent, and all the way to recuperation. The Audi virtual cockpit is the first option level. It integrates the navigation map and infotainment control and can be switched between two views. The Audi virtual cockpit plus is the top-of-the-line version. It offers the “classic,” “sport,” and “e-tron” layouts, where the power meter plays the main part. Many displays can be configured freely via the MMI here.

Up to 11.6-inch diagonal: the central MMI touch display

The MMI touch display with acoustic feedback has a 10.1-inch diagonal and a resolution of 1,540 x 720 pixels. It is configured as an MMI radio plus with DAB reception as standard, and is used to control the infotainment system as well as a number of comfort functions. In addition, it allows text input in handwriting. In the optional large version, the display comes with an 11.6-inch diagonal and a resolution of 1,764 x 824 pixels. It is the largest display in the Audi portfolio to date and will be available at the end of the year.

Good understanding: voice control

The natural-language voice control, which is activated with the keywords “Hey Audi,” is the third control level in the Audi Q4 e-tron. It understands many entries and requests in everyday language, for example, “Where is the nearest charging station?” If MMI navigation advanced is on board, it performs an online comparison in many cases.

Progressive and airy: the interior design

The new era of technology into which Audi has entered is also reflected in the interior of the Q4 e-tron. The instrument panel presents itself with progressive elegance and underlines the airy feeling of spaciousness. The cockpit features a markedly three-dimensional design, and its geometric volumes are interrelated in an electrifying way.

In the Audi Q4 e-tron, the operating and display units take on the function of design elements more than ever. The digital instrument for the driver is embedded like a diamond between two volumes – a short one on the left-hand side, which incorporates an air vent, and a long one on the right-hand side. It extends all the way to the front passenger door and integrates further air vents. The central MMI touch display, which appears clean and light, occupies the space in front of it. It is tilted toward the driver and well-placed for ergonomic accessibility.

A lean inlay, which is known as the tech layer, lies above the display and connects it with the instrument panel. The choice of surface materials for the panel includes open-pore lime wood, aluminum in two different designs, and plastic. A technical hybrid fabric that is made partially from recycled material will be available for the inlay of the interior S line shortly after the market launch.

Depending on the equipment package, the further contours of the instrument panel, which are known as accent surfaces, are designed in various silver and gray tones to match the inlay. The most striking of these contours runs across horizontally, dividing the instrument panel into two zones, and is decorated with a distinctive e-tron badge. Immediately below it, also facing the driver, lies the operating unit for climate control. Below it, a large operating panel with a black-panel look extends into the space. It holds the compact shifter for selecting the gears, a capacitive rotary volume control, the start/stop button, the hazard warning light switch, and the Audi drive select button. In addition, there are buttons for further functions that are designed as seamless touch surfaces in a black-panel look and backlit with white light.

The future in our hands: steering wheels with touch operation

The steering wheels in the Audi Q4 e-tron are also setting course for the future of mobility. With their double-spoke design, they belong to a new generation. The Four Rings on the impact absorber feature a flat design, and the bottom spoke bears the e-tron logo. The upper spokes feature touch surfaces in a black-panel look whose functional areas are also backlit to indicate the respective active buttons. Slight protrusions separate them from each other, thereby making them easier to use, and the buttons provide soft haptic feedback when pressed. As on a smartphone, there are not only touch gestures but also swipe gestures, for example for scrolling through lists.

The steering wheels are available in different versions. The top-of-the-range version features paddles affixed to the steering wheel for coasting recuperation and a two-part trim on the spokes. The heated rim is flattened at the top and bottom here – a solution that makes the interior ambiance seem even more futuristic. Be it look, function, or feel – the new steering wheel clearly expresses the progressive character of the Q4 e-tron.

Excellent safety: the front seats

The front seats in the Q4 e-tron represent the state of the art in terms of safety technology. In the event of a side impact, what is known as the center airbag unfolds from the right-hand bolster of the driver’s seat in addition to the side airbags to ensure that the driver and front passenger do not collide with one another. Seat heating, electric adjustment, and electric lumbar support are available as an option. The seats are available in a basic version and a sport version with visually integrated head restraints, and optionally with a rhombus pattern.

When it comes to interior colors, customers can choose between black, steel gray, Santos brown, or pergament beige. The total of nine equipment packages also includes a stitching package. Five packages are available for the basic version, while the other four are available for the interior S line. They differ with regard to the door sill trims, the paint color of the accent surfaces, the material of the armrests, and the headlining. All optional equipment packages for the interior include white LED lighting, or, alternatively, the multicolor ambient lighting package plus. Some features are reserved exclusively for the interior S line: illuminated aluminum door sill trims, pedals with stainless steel supports, a black headlining, S embossing in the seat backrests, a steering wheel rim made of perforated leather with contrasting stitching, and S badges.

Dinamica and Puls: seat upholstery made with recycled polyester

The interior S line also has a great deal to offer in terms of upholstery materials. Customers who prefer traditional materials can choose between a leather/artificial leather mixture and the premium fine Nappa leather. The combination of artificial leather and the microfiber material Dinamica is another novel variant. It looks and feels like suede but is made of 45% recycled polyester, which is sourced from textiles and PET bottles, for example.

The Puls upholstery, also in combination with artificial leather, is a further option for the interior S line. Secondary raw materials are used here, too: Up to 50% of the textile used consists of recycled PET bottles, which are transformed into yarn in an elaborate procedure. This results in a material that has the same quality standards in terms of look and feel as conventional textile upholstery. In a set of seats for the Q4 e-tron, 26 1.5-liter plastic bottles are given a new purpose.

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