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Audi to use modular electric platform for midsize Sportback crossover

The plan to rapidly electrify a post-diesel Volkswagen Group relies on a similar strategy to the plan that made it the world’s second-largest automaker: design a flexible, extensible vehicle architecture, then use that across multiple brands to build a dizzying array of cars, crossovers, SUVs, and so on. The first of these architectures is called MEB (Modularer E-Antriebs-Baukasten, or Modular Electrification Toolkit), which is for small and medium-sized vehicles and is on track to debut with the VW ID.3 hatch in Europe in September. Here in the US, we’ll get our first MEB crossover, the VW ID.4, early in 2021. But it won’t be the only MEB-based crossover for the US in 2021. Audi has plans for the platform, too, and they include this newly revealed Q4 e-tron Sportback, which goes into series production next summer.

In 2019, we saw an MEB-based Audi called the Q4 e-tron, which goes on sale in the US in late 2021. It’s an upscale battery-electric crossover with the footprint of a Q3 but the interior space of a Q5, a TARDIS-like effect that purpose-designed battery EVs make possible by dint of their powertrain layout.

The Q4 e-tron Sportback—which we’ll get in 2022—will be mechanically identical to that BEV. The front axle is driven by a 75kW (100hp), 150Nm (111lb-ft) motor-generator unit. The rear by a 150kW (201hp), 310Nm (229lb-ft) MGU, with a total output of 225kW (301hp), all fed by an 82kWh lithium-ion pack.

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