Audi has just previewed the interior of its upcoming Q4 e-tron electric crossover. The EV will offer interior space that exceeds its segment, new fabric options made from recycled materials, and loads of screens including a new augmented reality head-up display.
Instead of revealing all of its new features on one new e-tron model, Audi is introducing new features with each new model variant. This means the Q4, even though it's not the top-tier e-tron model, will have features that more expensive versions might not offer, like the new augmented reality (AR) head-up display.
The highlight of the AR display is what Audi calls a navigation drone, which is a floating arrow on the display projected 10 metres ahead of the driver that shows the next route action. It will show the driver when the next turn is with an animated arrow indicating exactly where they need to turn. Lane marking warnings appear on the display and it also shows other vehicles in front of you and will indicate if you're following too closely. Conventional head-up display graphics, like speed, audio information, and other data show lower on the projected image, appearing closer to the driver.
Audi's head-up display is an enhancement to the standard 10.25-inch digital dash cluster. Two other versions of the cockpit will be offered to allow for more configuration. Infotainment is handled by Audi's latest MMI system that adds more natural language voice control and a digital assistant. A 10.1-inch screen is standard with a larger 11.6-inch version optional, which is the largest Audi has offered to date.
A new double-spoke steering wheel design has backlit lighting and is flattened top and bottom for a more futuristic appearance. It will have haptic touch feedback on the steering wheel buttons, and it will have areas that allow for touch and swipe gesture controls.
The cabin itself, Audi says, will be massive. It calls it C-size space in an A-size body, meaning Q7-like room for passengers in a footprint that's just 100 mm longer than an Audi Q3. In order to fit the large battery pack (no actual capacity revealed yet), a longer wheelbase is required, and that, combined with the packaging advantages of EVs, allows for extra space. Expect more of these larger cabins from Audi (and the rest of the Volkswagen Group) thanks to the modular electric architecture that underpins them.
Audi has designed the Q4 e-tron's interior to help make the best use of the available space as well. There are nearly 25 litres of cubbies and storage compartments, including a cool compartment in the door panel ahead of the armrest that can hold a large water bottle (up to 1 L). A three-way split-folding seatback adds customizability and the maximum cargo space is 1,490 L, putting it between the Q3 and Q5.
New material options are available that add to the usual Nappa leather and other traditional materials. A new blend of artificial leather and Dinamica microfibre has the feel of suede, Audi says, but use 45 per cent recycled polyester. A Puls interior option is made up of up to 50 per cent recycled PET bottles, transformed into a yarn and woven like a conventional textile for a more sustainable and unique look.
Expect the Audi Q4 e-tron to be fully revealed next month, when we'll finally see the full exterior as well as learn about range and power.