Smaller electric SUV will debut in concept form at the Swiss show

In case you’ve not yet had your SUV fill, then prepare yourself for one more ahead of the Geneva motor show early next month.

Audi has released preliminary sketches of the Q4 e-tron concept, set to be revealed at the show, and designed to preview a future step in the electrification of the company’s range.

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Despite the Q4 name, it’s unlikely to share a great deal with the combustion-engined Q4 also on the way from Audi. Where the car rides on MQB underpinnings, the e-tron will be the latest to sit on the VW Group’s MEB platform, also seen in the likes of Volkswagen’s ID concepts (and their own future electric production cars), and also set to spawn SEAT and Skoda electric vehicles.

Beyond this, details of the Q4 e-tron’s powertrain are nonexistent, though the car will sit below Audi’s larger e-tron Quattro SUV in the range. What the company has confirmed is that a full production variant will be presented in late 2020 to early 2021.

Audi’s images are naturally exaggerated, but it’s easy to make out traditional Audi cues such as the large eight-sided grille, slim headlamps and, from more recent models, prominent box-style arches over each wheel. The roofline is relatively sleek, with a shark-fin look to the C-pillar. At the front, the grille appears to be a flush panel too – a nod to the lower cooling demands of EVs.

The cabin design is an evolution of that found on current Audis, but with a greater emphasis on driver focus – the centre screen and air vents all appear to point towards the driver. A large central storage area between the seats is another hint at the benefits of packaging an electric powertrain.

If Audi’s production e-tron SUV is anything to go by, the Q4 e-tron should offer various charging options, including up to 150kW fast charging that is capable of delivering an 80 per cent range boost in under 30 minutes. Audi’s partnership with Shell offshoot Ionity means a network of fast chargers should also spring up across Europe, Tesla-style, for drivers’ needs.