What’s a Volkswagen ID.4 test mule doing out testing with Ingolstadt registration plates and in a line of other Audi test mules? It’s a pretty safe bet that this is no Volkswagen at all, but an early Audi Q4 e-tron test mule wearing ID.4 bodywork.
We’ve already seen early variants of the Volkswagen Group’s MEB architecture coming to fruition over at Volkswagen, specifically with the launch of the ID.3 hatchback. That was the first production car of many, many more slated to use the group’s “roller skate” style full-electric MEB architecture. First up for the Audi brand will be the Q4 e-tron, a production version of the Q4 e-tron concept crossover shown at the 2019 Geneva Motor Show.
The car you see here was spied recently in northern Sweden. With the Q4 production design not yet ready for test mule levels of exposure, Audi engineers are able to test the Q4’s MEB platform components and settings without risking leaking the finalized Q4 by utilizing the ID.4 bodywork. Using other bodywork has always been a go-to practice for early chassis development, but you have to wonder just how much easier that becomes with a roller skate platform like MEB.
Obviously, the Ingolstadt plates give the car away as an Audi. Volkswagen doesn’t register its prototypes in Audi’s home town. That the camo wrap also fitted is something Audi tends to use and that the car is running in line with some other Audi mules only drives the point home.
Photographers apparently also chatted up the driver of the car at one point. While coy about too many details, he did confirm rather unsurprisingly that the Q4 will be all-wheel drive. It will make use of a motor at both the front and the rear.
We can guess a few details based on Q4 e-tron concept spec. For starters, Audi suggested a range of 280 miles from an 82 kWh battery. The concept was also 4.6m, so between Q3 and Q5 in size. However, the improved packaging of MEB made interior space greater than that of the Q5.
Audi has also already confirmed that the Q4 e-tron will be built in Zwickau Germany. Likely there will be more Audi models to use the MEB platform.
See more photos below.