Audi’s Most Mainstream EV: Audi Q6 E-Tron
It’s easy to forget that Audi is one of the premium EV pioneers. The brand launched its first electric SUV, the e-tron, in 2019, years before any of its German competitors had a mainstream EV product. That model, which is now called the Q8 e-tron, sits alongside the compact Q4 e-tron and the sexy e-tron GT, giving customers a range of EV options. But one thing has been missing from Audi’s electric car lineup so far: a midsize family SUV. That’s about to change, as the company is counting down the months to the launch of the new Q6 e-tron.
Q6 E-Tron: Shared Technology with Porsche
Based on the new Premium Platform Electric (PPE), which is a joint development between Audi and Porsche, the new Q6 e-tron will share some of its engineering with the upcoming electric Porsche Macan. Designed exclusively for electric drive, the new platform is incredibly flexible, able to accommodate a wide range of battery sizes and configurations, as well as different body formats. Uniquely, the PPE platform enables Audi and Porsche to build high-floored SUV and crossover models, as well as sporty, low-slung sedans and wagons.
What can we expect from the Q6 e-tron? Audi has provided us a glimpse of a prototype with a camouflaged exterior. We can see a relatively conservative profile with a practical, high roof that should create plenty of cargo space. Audi’s signature blistered fenders are also present, giving the Q6 e-tron a sporty look. At the front, the headlights are stacked into two separate levels, with LED accents up high and the main beams lower on the front fascia. Audi promises a breakthrough in lighting technology, though it has yet to share specific details of what will make the headlights special. The rear of the EV SUV resembles the Q4 e-tron, with high-set lights and an aggressive rear diffuser.
Q6 E-Tron: Performance and Technology
Like the Audi e-tron GT and Porsche Taycan, the new Q6 e-tron will feature an 800-volt electrical architecture, which not only should reduce charging times but also promises lower weight, improving performance and range. We’d expect electronic quattro all-wheel drive to be standard equipment, with one motor on each axle. We’d also expect the Q6 e-tron to be packed with advanced driver assistance technology, including active cruise control, lane keeping assist, automatic emergency braking, and some semi-autonomous capability to allow easy highway cruising.
While Audi has yet to reveal images of the interior, recent Audi interiors would suggest the Q6 e-tron’s interior will be packed with touch screens. Expect Audi’s digital cockpit, with a customizable instrument cluster and the option of a heads-up display, as well as separate screens for climate control and infotainment. We also expect standard wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, along with the ability to charge your phone wirelessly.
Production Starts End of 2024
Audi says the new EV SUV, which will be unveiled before the end of 2023, will redefine industry’s benchmarks for performance, range, and charging, though it’s made no specific claims about horsepower, charging speed, and estimated range. The Q6 e-tron will be built in Audi’s original Ingolstadt factory, which has recently received a makeover to transform it into an electric vehicle production line.