By on November 30, 2018

Audi has confirmed its design team has finished applying the finishing touches on the company’s first-ever Q4. Its job will be to tackle the increasingly popular subcompact luxury crossover segment populated by the likes of the Range Rover Evoque and Mercedes-Benz GLA. As such, the German brand will provide its customers with a vehicle that’ll assuredly be marketed as an adventure-ready SUV while still being a luxury-focused tech buffet that handles like a sports car and looks phenomenal.

It’s an interesting situation. Despite the industry’s fierce determination to make premium sedans and SUVs ever more “coupe-like,” nobody seems to be selling legitimate coupes anymore. You don’t see that much with other products. Sporks exist because companies didn’t want to pay to stock twice as many eating utensils, not because people were clamoring for a fork-like spoon.

That might not be a fair comparison, though. While everyone hates the spork, only a small subset of jaded automotive journalists and driving purists feel like crossover vehicles are an unfair compromise. The rest of the population seems to adore them, at least according to the sales statistics, and Audi is trying to tap into everything that’s hot right now with the Q4. 

Audi’s head of exterior design, Andreas Mindt, recently told Autocar that the model would be “a bit more than a coupe version of the Q3, to my eyes a lot more.” In addition to offering coupe-like styling with the ride height of an SUV, the automaker intends to create a plug-in hybrid — likely to be called the Q4 e-tron.

Riding on Volkswagen Group’s MQB platform, the Q4 should be based loosely off the TT Offroad Concept (pictured above). Autocar claims it’ll be a few inches longer than the Q3 and have a heavily swept-back roofline and liftback tailgate. We’ve heard nothing on the subject up till now, though it would make sense for the manufacturer to size it between the Q3 and Q5.

Since it’s a new Audi, it’ll also be brimming in tech. We’re ready to guarantee fully digital instrumentation, but the rumor mill also suggests the inclusion of gesture controls, a 9.2-inch center touchscreen with Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, and everything else you’d expect from the brand.

As this is intended to be a global model, engine options are likely to vary depending upon the market. But it’s believed that Audi will use a new 1.5-liter gas-burning unit on the entry-level model, with an identically sized diesel variant for those Europeans who haven’t developed a phobia of the fuel. Those will be accompanied by the firm’s updated 2.0-liter gasoline and diesel engines — as well as a 2.5-liter five-cylinder for the rumored RS Q4, which should sound incredible with the throttle wide open.

Assembly is scheduled to commence in Győr, Hungary sometime next year, with the Audi Q4 going on sale as a 2020 model. We can’t say with any certainty that North America is on the company’s short list of recipients. But, assuming it is, you should be able to own one this time next year.

[Image: Audi]

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15 Comments on “Readying the Spork: The 2020 Audi Q4...”

  • avatar

    Of all the German crossover-sedan/coupes this Q4 seems to come off the best, but it’s still a segment I can’t quite wrap my brain around

    • 0 avatar

      Everyone supposedly cares about CO2 emissions at a time that there is no demand for cars that don’t use more energy than they need to in the name of style. Odd.

  • avatar

    I don’t get it either. Spork really does describe these things.

    My current sedan is an Avalon. Very nice car indeed. I guess if Toyota and Honda get out of the sedan game, I’ll have to convert my imperial to Tesla power. Wonder if “Rich Rebuilds” can help me with that?

  • avatar

    I give it two years before VAG figures out they can slap a Lambo body kit on it and sell a million in China.

    • 0 avatar

      I think you’ve discovered VWs product planning thought process: If JC Whitney can put a Rolls Royce grill on a VW Beetle, then why can’t we put a Bentley grill on a VW? Thirty years ago, there was a drug dealer in my hometown who had a wide-body Testarossa kit on his Mercedes-Benz 300E which could be considered a predecessor of everything from the Cayenne to whatever the Bentley CUV is called. VWs re a tribute to good taste.

  • avatar
    Arthur Dailey

    While my feelings do not apply to its automobile equivalent, I believe that the spork is one of the great inventions. P students living out of town, or for camping and picnics.

  • avatar

    So much wrong.

  • avatar

    The S-pork has arrived. For those who cannot afford one there’s a Pork coming out soon. Oink, oink.

  • avatar

    Meh. I’d guess at least half the buyers of sports cars don’t push them anywhere close to their limits, they buy them because they’re cool. Which is fine. The spork will have pretty good power and handling, and the extra inch of clearance will help when it snows. And it has a hatch. Works for me, I don’t really care about pulling maximum Gs on the ‘ring.

  • avatar

    I don’t hate this. Very TT-like in its styling, with enough added practicality to make a good daily driver, but without succumbing to soccer-mom mobile lameness. At least it’s a hatch/lift back so it has some usable stuff hauling capabilities and can handle crap weather with the awd.

    Count me in as a naysayer of putting half baked coupe-like styling cues on sedans. That gives you the worst of both worlds: still a frumpy 4-door but now rear seat access sucks and you have a crappy useless little trunk. And it’s still heavier and more softly sprung than an equivalent coupe so you get no fun factor, no sexy looks, no practicality…no wonder they’re dying off.

    I wish Audi (and everyone else) would quit wasting time/money on hybrids and electrics. The 5-banger RS model…THAT will be hot business!! Make sure it’s boosted…with Audi’s DSG, that would be the winner. Crossovers mostly suck, but they don’t HAVE to.

  • avatar

    I was going to call this a raised version of the TT, until I finished the article and saw that the pictured vehicle was indeed just that.

    Audi is one company that I would not call out as not selling legitimate coupes, having both the TT and the A5/S5 series (both of which I have owned)

    Like MoparRocker74 said, I don’t hate this.

    • 0 avatar

      The 5 series STILL looks amazing, even if Audi has been letting it languish. I really liked the V8 RS-5 the best…totally bummed when that option was lost for the V6. The turbo 5-cyl would have been perfect…amazing engine and an Audi hallmark. I just never have liked V6’s very much.

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