Audi Q4 e-tron Sportback - long-term review - Report No:3 2022 | Top Gear
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BBC TopGear
BBC TopGear
Long-term review

Audi Q4 e-tron Sportback - long-term review

£55,435 OTR/£61,955 as tested
Published: 19 Sep 2022
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SPEC HIGHLIGHTS

  • SPEC

    Audi Q4 e-tron 40 82kWh

  • Range

    313 miles

  • ENGINE

    1cc

  • BHP

    204bhp

  • 0-62

    8.5s

Road-tripping an Audi Q4 e-tron: more rapid chargers, please

Second trip to Normandy in the last three months, and once again we went for the longer drive/shorter crossing/bit cheaper option of the Eurotunnel over the vomit comet, aka Brittany Ferry. Should have taken the boat.

You see, whereas back in May any rapid charger we stopped at on the French motorway had a free plug, August was a different story. The first Ionity station after Calais had a queue of ten, didn’t fancy a two hour wait so we found a Lidl nearby with 22kW sockets and after a baffling process to boot it up gave it an hour… just enough to scrape across the line and get us to our holiday house.

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Driving back to Calais I wasn’t going to be mugged off again, I told myself, so tactics were required. Total distance from house to Eurotunnel? 276 miles. Total predicted range on the Q4? 284 miles. I knew if I set the cruise control to 60mph and didn’t lose patience we could make it and eradicate the need for a pit stop, thus removing the possibility of being stranded at a faulty charger and saving time overall. Plus, I knew there were rapid chargers waiting for us at the Calais Terminal. If the Scuderia is reading, DM me for strategy consultation rates.

Long story short, we made it, with 20 miles still on the clock but 60mph is sloooow, especially when the speed limit is over 80mph. So we missed our train by a few minutes and because it’s a ludicrously busy time of year the next available space was two and a half hours later… then that was delayed by 90mins. Not my finest hour.

None of this should reflect badly on the Q4 of course, I can confirm that it will take a family of four and a surprising amount of luggage 300 miles on a charge in supreme comfort, so long as you’re happy to be overtaken by articulated lorries and don’t mind being spectacularly late. It highlights a crucial problem with EVs: that until there are rapid charging points that work seamlessly absolutely everywhere, enough to cope with peak summer holiday EV traffic which is only going to increase, then some strategy for long-haul EV drives is always going to be required, and will often go wrong. We don’t need bigger batteries for long trips, we just need exponentially more places to top them up quickly and easily.       

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