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Audi Q4 e-tron small electric SUV pushed to early 2024 arrival

Audi Australia has made some progress on securing the Q4 e-tron EV, with a local launch looking likely for early 2024.

That’s the good news. The bad news is the small electric SUV will be about three years into its life cycle by the time it does arrive, having been revealed in April 2021.

That puts Audi at a disadvantage considering it lacks a challenger to the increasingly popular Tesla Model Y, BMW iX1, Volvo XC40 Recharge, Lexus UX300e, and Mercedes-Benz EQA.

The Audi will also be beaten to market by the related (MEB platform-based) Volkswagen ID.4 and ID.5, and the Cupra Born. The Skoda Enyaq is likely to arrives at a similar time, in early 2024.

The belated Q4 e-tron and Q4 e-tron Sportback arrivals will give the four-ringed brand an entry EV below the $150,000-plus e-tron mid-size SUV – something it acknowledges buyers are increasingly asking for.

“It [Q4 launch] won’t be next year. Production may start next year – not will, could – but the car won’t be introduced. I would love it to be here early 2024, that’s what we’re pushing for,” said Audi Australia’s new managing director Jeff Mannering.

“It’s reliant on the capacity of the factory to be able to build the car for us… there’s a lot of discussion, we’re fighting hard, because there’s a market.”

The European factory was smashed by the chip shortage as well as Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, which forced Audi to briefly pause production of various models. Demand across the continent is also high, and supplies are being prioritised closer to home.

Mr Mannering said the company was focusing more generally on shortening the gap in time between a vehicle’s launch in Europe and its eventual arrival in Australia.

He added the Albanese government’s push for a national EV strategy with a likely fuel efficiency standard would help with these negotiations, echoing comments from his predecessor in the role Paul Sansom.

Mr Sansom, now head of the wider Volkswagen Group Australia, claimed in March this year that he was confident the combined brands would eventually become the leading source of electric vehicles in this country.

“We are by some distance Australia’s primary importers of European passenger vehicles and will become the most significant source of electric vehicles in this country,” Mr Sansom told the Green Building Council of Australia.

Want to know more? Read our recent 2022 Audi Q4 e-tron Sportback review from Angus MacKenzie.

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