The new Audi Q6 E-Tron SUV will join the brand’s all-electric line-up later this year, competing with both the Tesla Model Y and the larger Tesla Model X. Set for release in the second half of 2023, our spy photographers have captured the upcoming SUV test with a camouflage front edge, revealing its new styling direction.
As a preview of show cars such as the recently unveiled A6 E-Tron concept, the new Q6 E-Tron will take on the language of Audi’s new electric car design with a closed-off, contrasting colored grille on the center stage. The Q6 E-Tron’s grille will use a textured finish and is enclosed by two aggressive fake vents and a pair of narrow LED headlamps. The bottom front bumper opening has a motorized slat, which works according to the cooling requirements of the electric vehicle.
For the rest of the design, the sharp shoulder line creases will give the Q6 E-Tron some added muscle, and it seems to take on the contrast-colored seal trim already seen in the A6 E-Tron concept.
As our exclusive images show, the rear will feature an integrated roof spoiler and a full-width light bar, which is compatible with the current Audi E-Tron SUV, though with a slimmer design and a new daylight signature.
It is expected that the Q6 will be externally comparable to the combustion-engine Q5, but with a longer wheelbase and increased passenger space enabled by the new platform. If there’s anything like the brand’s other electric SUVs, we’ll see more sporty-style sportback models join the range soon.
Inside, the car will likely adopt the new 11.6-inch central touchscreen used in the Q4 E-Tron, the largest single display mounted on a production Audi. However, the design may differ due to the platform, and also to distinguish both models in terms of price and location.
The PPE architecture found at the bottom of the Q6 E-Tron will be shared with the next generation Porsche Macan, which will be launched in 2023 as a full EV alongside the existing petrol-powered Macan. Although both the Q6 and the new Macan share the same hardware and software, they will be visually different, both inside and out.
The PPE platform is an evolution of the J1 platform found under the E-Tron GT Four-Door, as well as the Porsche Tycoon. This means it will have an 800-volt electrical architecture that will enable super-fast DC charging at rates up to 350kW.
Audi also said that the platform would allow the EV’s battery pack to be charged to between five and 80 percent power in about 25 minutes. A small charge using the fastest DC fast charger can add 186 miles in just 10 minutes.
It remains to be seen what size and type of battery pack Audi will use in the Q6 E-Tron, but the firm says the PPE platform is capable of covering more than 700 kilometers (about 430 miles) when receiving the more aerodynamic A6 E-Tron. The idea is that a slight blurter on the SUV will reduce the surfacing range, but an image of more than 380 miles should be achievable.
Given the relationship with the E-Tron GT under the Q6’s bodywork, we need to look at the 469bhp (or 523bhp with overbust) four-wheel drive powertrain transfer over that vehicle. There is also the possibility of a more affordable, low-power single-motor variant, while at the other end of the range Audi’s RS division could create more performance-centric models. It will probably use the same 636bhp powertrain as the RS e-tron GT.
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The Q6 E-Tron will go into production this year at Audi’s Ingolstadt factory, which the brand is transforming into an all-electric assembly line, replacing existing equipment that makes the brand’s A3 family hatch and replacing it with production facilities to accommodate PPE. Platform
This includes the development of an in-house battery assembly facility. The Volkswagen Group (Audi’s parent company) has already signed a trio partnership to secure the raw materials and development processes required for its next-generation battery packs by 2030.
Following the Q6 e-Tron, Audi has confirmed that its first “Project Artemis” model will launch in 2024. The car aims to lead the development of the luxury sector, Audi’s future electronic car architecture, technology and operating system.
Check out our in-depth review The all-electric Audi E-Tron SUV is hereA