Q6 e-tron unveiled is Porsche Macan EV ‘made by Audi’

Audi has taken the wraps from the much-anticipated Q6 e-tron, poised to challenge the best-sellers with the cutting-edge architecture it shares with the Porsche Macan EV. The zero-emission model must mirror the success of its combustion-engined sibling, the globally acclaimed Q5.

After a prototype reveal last year, Audi has released the full specs and final design of the Q6, its compact SUV. With a total length of 4.7 meters, it will try to lure customers from one of Europe’s most coveted car categories.

For Audi’s line-up, this is the debut of the innovative PPE platform, a collaborative effort with Porsche that underpins the Macan EV, which is already in order. Also, the Q6 e-tron marks the first Audi electric vehicle to roll off the assembly line at the factory next to the brand’s headquarters in Ingolstadt, symbolizing a new era for the brand’s EV production.

Classic design

At first sight, it’s hard to distinguish the battery-powered model from its combustion-engined siblings. Externally, the Q6 e-tron embraces a conservative aesthetic, trying to catch attention with its sculpted wheel arches. Its proportions are classic, with merely the pinched headlights unmasking its later arrival.

Some closer inspection reveals a vehicle rich in detail. Those headlights feature active digital oleds and are split in two (like on recent Citroën and Hyundai models). At the back, these lights can communicate with their surroundings (Car-2-X) and warn in the case of an accident ahead or when the car is in semi-autonomous driving mode – a world first. The distinctive ‘Singleframe’ grille has been covered as it protrudes from the car’s facia in a three-dimensional fashion.

Android Automotive OS

As typical for an EV platform, PPE combines short overhangs with a long wheelbase, resulting in a spacious interior. The most significant leap forward is the dashboard, designed around a new layout with a state-of-the-art operating system. It has up to three displays: an 11.9-inch Virtual Cockpit, a 14.5-inch multimedia system, and a passenger screen (10.9-inch). Almost no physical buttons have been integrated.

That operating system runs on Android Automotive OS, which is kept up to date through over-the-air updates. With an app store, voice control, and a self-learning virtual assistant, the Q6 e-tron is on par with today’s most advanced connectivity tools. Spoken orders are also visualized on the multimedia screen.

The trunk holds 526 liters, which can be expanded to 1,529 liters by folding the rear bench. The frunk, made from recyclate materials, offers a 60-liter stowage for the charging cables.

Behind the digital experience sits the new E³ 1.2 electronics architecture, designed for all future Audi models. Five high-performance computers (HCP) control all vehicle functions, from infotainment to semi-autonomous driving capabilities. It represents the most potent electronics architecture to date.

RS Q6 will follow

At launch, two versions of the Q6 e-tron will be available, equipped with dual motors and a substantial 100 kWh battery with a range of 625 kms. Charging capabilities, made seamless by automatic vehicle identification through Plug&Charge, are equally impressive. The Q6 e-tron benefits from 800-volt architecture and peak charging at 270 kW, matching the high standards set by the Porsche Taycan.

This enables a charge of 225 kilometers in ten minutes when conditions are suitable. Despite the size of the battery, charging from 0 to 80% can be performed in 21 minutes. Talking about fast, a highly anticipated RS Q6, promising over 600 hp, will join the range later, as will rear-wheel-drive variants. Home charging is at a standard 11 kW.

Audi makes some bold statements about the recuperation system, claiming it can govern 95% of all daily braking maneuvers, resulting in solid energy management.

Despite the first versions featuring AWD, Audi’s dynamic approach is rear-wheel biased due to active torque distribution, a bigger e-motor in the back, and larger tires on the rear axle. New for the active driving aids is an autonomous assistant that uses cloud-based map data and swarm data to position the vehicle more precisely concerning its surroundings.

Audi’s new SUV will hit the market in the third quarter of 2024. Prices are € 75,900 for the base model (387 hp) and € 96,150 for the S version (489 hp).


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