Audi enters new EV era with Q6 e-tron arrival

March 19, 2024 | by

Audi has opened a new chapter in its EV development with the reveal of the Q6 e-tron SUV, which will deliver up to 517hp of power and 381 miles of range.

On sale from late April 2024, including in hot SQ6 guise, the BMW iX3 rival will be built on new platform, enabling it to set new standards for performance, range, charging and driving dynamics, according to the brand. It will also be the first electric car to roll off the lines at Audi’s main Ingolstadt plant.

The PPE platform – short for Premium Platform Electric – has been co-developed with Porsche and also underpins the new electric Macan.

The new platform will support Audi’s work to strengthen its model portfolio and offer electric vehicles in all core segments by 2027.

Audi CEO Gernot Döllner said: “Built on the new PPE platform, the Audi Q6 e-tron is the next technological leap in premium electric mobility for our customers.

“The PPE shows how we are pooling expertise within the Volkswagen Group and thus making electric mobility scalable. Thanks to the PPE, we are able to launch high-volume models with high technical standards in different segments and thus further electrify our portfolio.”

Powertrain options team up a newly developed 100kWh lithium-ion battery and scalable electric motors in either rear- or all-wheel drive configurations.

First to arrive will be the Q6 e-tron quattro and the SQ6 e-tron – both with a twin-motor setup to deliver all-wheel drive with a rear-biased torque distribution system to enhance driving dynamics. The Q6 e-tron quattro will deliver 388hp and accelerate from 0-62mph in 5.9 seconds. The SQ6 e-tron ups this to 517hp with launch control activated and takes just 4.3 seconds to dispatch the 0-62mph sprint. Top speeds are 130mph and 142mph respectively.

Rear-wheel drive models will arrive later, one designed for efficiency and range, the other marking the entry point to the range.

The Q6 e-tron will also feature 800V technology, enabling a top charging capacity of 270kW as standard – able to add 158 miles of charge in some 10 minutes and deliver a 10 to 80% state of charge in around 21 minutes.

At charging stations with 400V technology, the Q6 e-tron automatically divides the battery into two at equal voltage, which can then be charged in parallel with up to 150kW. Depending on the state of charge, both halves of the battery are first equalised and then charged simultaneously.

The E3 (End-to-End) electronic architecture is another important milestone, representing the “technological spearhead” of the Audi portfolio. It uses a new domain computer structure with five high-performance computers, which control all vehicle functions – from infotainment and driving functions through to semi-automated driving in later evolutionary stages. It will also enable Car-to-X swarm data applications.

The Audi Q6 e-tron model series has a fully connected and digital interior based on the new E3 electronic architecture. The free-standing MMI panoramic display has a curved design and OLED technology and combines an 11.9-inch driver display with the 14.5-inch MMI infotainment screen. The Q6 e-tron also gets a 10.9-inch MMI front passenger display with Active Privacy Mode, which prevents it from distracting the driver while on the move. This allows the front passenger to stream films/video content, assist with navigation, or even find a charging station.

Audi also claims a major breakthrough in display technology with its augmented reality head-up display, which shows information such as speed, traffic signs, assistance, and navigation symbols. It’s said to seamlessly integrate virtual content into reality, enabling information to be understood quickly without irritating or distracting the person driving.

Audi’s self-learning voice assistant, the Audi Assistant, can be used to control numerous vehicle functions. For the first time, it’s displayed using an avatar in the central touch display of the MMI and in the augmented reality head-up display. The voice assistant understands more than 800 voice commands and can be activated via various touchpoints and via the MyAudi app. Its self-learning capabilities ensure it supports the driver.

Driver assistance systems include parking system plus with 360-degree display, swerve assist and turn assist, top-view camera, traffic-sign-based speed limiter, adaptive cruise control, autonomous emergency braking in front and rear, camera-based traffic sign recognition, intersection assist, lane departure warning, lane change assistant and exit warning system, rear cross traffic assist, rear turn assist, and advanced driver attention and fatigue monitor system – all on board as standard from launch.

The five-seater Audi will come with a 526-litre boot, extending to 1,529 litres with the 40:20:40 folding rear seat completely down, and also provides a 64-litre ‘frunk’ under the bonnet.

Styling further evolves the e-tron design language and provides features such as a completely closed Singleframe grille at the front, ‘quattro blisters’ along the contours of the body and digital OLED rear lights which combine six OLED panels with a total of 360 segments to create a world-first active digital light signature. This generates a new image every 10 milliseconds using a specially developed algorithm.

Prices for the Q6 e-tron quattro and SQ6 e-tron will start from £68,975 and £92,950 respectively. Full pricing and specification will be announced when UK sales start on 30 April.


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