TechnologyQ6 e-tron: never has an Audi electric SUV looked so much like...

Q6 e-tron: never has an Audi electric SUV looked so much like a Porsche

Audi’s most anticipated car of the year is, unsurprisingly, an SUV. The Q6 e-tron, as its name suggests, is placed between the current Q4 and the Q8, to which it also strongly resembles. But unlike its little one and its big brother, this new Q6 will benefit from a more solid technological base: it will be the first Audi vehicle built on the PPE platform.

PPE is the name of the platform developed jointly with Porsche and which already equips the electric Macan. Why is it important? Because it is a latest generation 800 V architecture and it will be used by the group’s high-end models. Its main advantages are already known, they are charging and consumption capacities much higher than what Audi has been able to do so far. Indeed, the brand with the four rings had already ventured into 800 V with the Audi e-tron GT and its J1 platform, but the new technical base used on this Q6 e-tron goes a notch higher.

© Audi

If we had to summarize this Q6 e-tron, we could say: relatively few changes in terms of design, since it is part of the tradition of e-tron SUVs, but a lot of new features inside.

However, there is one design element that caught our attention, it is the optical part. The Q6 e-tron not only introduces a new lighting signature, but also new technology. It is now possible to personalize your light signature at the front and rear. The principle of operation is approximately the same, although the lighting technologies used are different. At the front, there is an LED system which allows you to turn on or off part of the lighting panel and thus choose your own signature among those offered by Audi.

At the rear, we go one step further. On the one hand, instead of LEDs, OLED panels are used, six in total, or three per headlight. As with a TV panel, these can be turned on or off as needed, but on the Q6 e-tron, this possibility is used quite judiciously. As at the front, it is possible to choose the lighting of your choice, but it is also possible to choose an animation, such as a video sequence, which will be played continuously on the rear lights. And for the first time, this technology is approved for the road.

Audi Q6 E Tron Quattro
© Audi

This system has two interests in addition to tickling our little geek fiber. Personalization on the one hand, but also security. Audi already includes several warning sequences for other vehicles. These can indicate an approaching danger, too close proximity between two cars or simply the fact that the Q6 e-tron is going to undertake a parking maneuver.

Let’s now move on to the platform part and what it will change for Audi.

Above average technical abilities

Of course, a latest generation platform is not everything. The Q6 e-tron also relies on more tangible elements to demonstrate a high-end technical sheet.

It starts with a huge battery, a 100 kWh unit (94.9 kWh payload to be exact), which allows it to go beyond 600 km of autonomy, 625 km precisely, like a certain Renault Scénic which we tested recently. But this is different from most of its competitors and the added value allowed by the 800 V platform is elsewhere, on the charging capacity. On this point, the Q6 e-tron displays an explosive power of 270 kW (the average is more around 150 kW), which considerably reduces its charging times at a fast terminal.

Audi Q6 E Tron4
© Audi

Under these conditions, charging from 10 to 80% can be done in just 21 minutes, but more generally, Audi claims that its SUV only needs 10 minutes of charging to recover 255 km of range. These numbers provide insight into what the Q6 e-tron will do in ideal conditions. But even if the reality of the facts is a little less glorious, they remain no less impressive. To put it another way, at present only Porsche and premium models from Hyundai and Kia offer similar charging performance. What they all have in common, as you will have understood, is an 800 V technical platform.

Its batteries are also manufactured in Germany in Inglostadt, for the first time. Their advantage compared to the previous generation is immense: they have better energy density which allows their weight to be reduced by 15% compared to what the same battery would have been on the MEB platform.

Energy recovery, the other advantage of the PPE platform

The platform also places emphasis on energy recovery, particularly during braking or deceleration phases. 95% of all braking can be managed electrically by the motor. This has two direct consequences: the pads and discs are not used and, above all, energy can be recovered.

Finally, the arrival of new power units is also accompanied by another novelty: the use of a new engine lubrication system has changed. By simply using oil specific to motor racing, it was possible to gain 5 km of autonomy on each charging cycle.

Audi Q6 E Tron Quattro
© Audi

Motorization and performance

On the engine side, the Q6 is also very ambitious. As usual, Audi will offer its SUV in two versions, classic and sporty, respectively named Q6 e-tron and SQ6 e-tron. The first will be based on a 285 kW engine capable of going from 0 to 100 km/h in 5.9 seconds. As for the second, it will set the bar a little higher with a 380 kW engine and a 0 to 100 km/h in 4.3 seconds. The maximum speed of the two versions will be 210 km/h and 230 km/h respectively.

An even more muscular version should be revealed in the coming months. Unsurprisingly, it will adopt the RS badge, but it is impossible at the moment to know what it will be capable of.

A new generation interior

The other change, undoubtedly the most visible, concerns the interior. The Q6 e-tron introduces a whole new environment, but also a new dashboard that should logically be found on several future models.
This new interior, the “Digital Stage” is a 3-screen system, which is organized around this large curved panel: the panoramic display. This integrates the two main screens which will be used by the driver: an 11.9 inch screen (instrumentation), another 14.5 inch (for the media part) and the 3rd dedicated to the passenger 10.9 (optional). ).

Read: Q6 e-tron: Audi makes its biggest interior change in 9 years

That’s for the most visible part. But what we also learned is that the electronic platform of this Q6 e-tron also changes. Google Automotive is now in charge, but only in the background. In fact, contrary to what we see at Renault or Volvo, for example, where the interface looks exactly like that of an Android smartphone, Audi favors its own software overlay with a new version of its MMI. This is capable of hosting applications, there are already around fifteen, but not from the Google Play Store, you have to go through a third-party application store. This reduces the interest of a system based on Android, but this option could perhaps evolve in the future.

First driving sensations

Several weeks before its launch and ahead of official tests, we had the chance to take the wheel of this Q6 e-tron, in its SQ6 version, for a few minutes. Not enough to justify a full report on the dynamic performance of the SUV, but still enough to make our mouths water.

This SQ6 e-tron is a little power monster which invites very dynamic driving and which also seems capable of handling it. In short, you will have understood, we can’t wait to test it in real conditions.

Prohibitive prices, obviously

Audi makes no secret of it, the objective of this Q6 e-tron is to challenge the hegemony of the Tesla Model Y. If technologically speaking, the SUV with the four rings does not lack arguments, it will certainly have difficult to compete on price. The Q6 and SQ6 e-tron are premium models and are priced at particularly high prices. Audi’s Q6 e-tron will start at more than 83,000 euros. As for the SQ6 version, it will be negotiated at a minimum of 99,800 euros. Both versions will be officially released at the end of March. As for us, we will have the opportunity to talk to you again about these two big babies, in an upcoming essay.

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