Audi has released a series of images showing its upcoming Q6 e-tron electric SUV being put through its paces in the snowy plains of far northern Europe.
The “close-to-production” Q6 e-tron prototype is still wearing a psychedelic black-and-white wrap to cover up its finer design details, though we can make out its sharp LED lighting signatures as well as its new split headlight design.
Audi has confirmed its new EV will be available with both SUV and coupe-styled Sportback body variants, and it’ll be based on the new Premium Platform Electric (PPE) architecture co-developed with Porsche.
This new architecture will feature an 800V on-board electrical system, “powerful and efficient electric motors, an innovative battery and charging management system, and a newly developed electronics architecture”.
Audi notes the Q6 e-tron represents “the next major step in the electrification and digitalisation” of the brand’s model range.
According to the media release, the luxury arm of the Volkswagen Group plans to introduce “more than” 20 new models by 2025, including “more than” 10 new fully-electric models.
The company has committed to sustainable production operations, and has an in-house battery assembly plant that “underpins Audi’s commitment to electric mobility”.
Audi has already confirmed the new Q6 e-tron will commence production at its Ingolstadt plant later in 2023, set to be built alongside the existing A4 and A5 lines – though the facility will eventually pivot to just producing EVs.
The plant, located by Audi’s global headquarters, will serve as a blueprint for the company’s transformation of its global factories.
The Q6 e-tron shares underpinnings with the new Porsche Macan EV much in the same way the current Q5 has family ties to the combustion-engined Macan.
While details of the electric drivetrain are still to be revealed, the Macan EV will reportedly offer up to 450kW and 1000Nm in its most potent form, a drivetrain that will likely form the basis of a mooted RS Q6 e-tron performance hero.
Overseas reports indicate the PPE architecture supports lithium-ion battery packs with around 100kWh of capacity, while the 800V architecture allows for charging at up to 270kW, good for a 5 to 80 per cent charge in 25 minutes.
Expect a production reveal for the Audi Q6 e-tron and Q6 e-tron Sportback in the coming months, ahead of a European sales launch before the end of 2023.
It’s still to be confirmed if and when we’re likely to see the Q6 e-tron in Australian showrooms, though the company’s global electrification push suggests we’ll see the EV crossover Down Under at some point, potentially in 2024 or 2025.
Audi Australia currently offers the e-tron and e-tron Sportback electric SUVs, as well as the new e-tron GT and RS e-tron GT four-door sedan that shares its underpinnings with the Porsche Taycan. The e-tron and e-tron Sportback will be renamed to Q8 e-tron and Q8 e-tron Sportback later this year when the facelifted range arrives.
The smaller Q4 e-tron and Q4 e-tron Sportback, based on the same VW Group MEB platform as the VW ID.3 and ID.4, as well as the Cupra Born due here imminently, are still to be properly locked in for Australia despite being on sale in Europe and the UK for a number of years.
Audi’s local managing director, Jeff Mannering, recently said the Australian arm is “pushing for” a 2024 sales launch for the Q4 e-tron, though stopped short of noting a firm arrival time frame.
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