Audi has released a series of images that show what’s to come Q6 e-tron Electric SUV is going through its paces on the snowy plains of far northern Europe.
The “near-production” e-tron Q6 prototype still wears a psychedelic black-and-white wrap to mask its finer design details, although we can see its sharp LED lighting signature as well as its new headlight design. .
Audi has confirmed its new EV will be available in both SUV and coupe-style Sportback body variants, and it will be based on the new Premium Platform Electric (PPE) architecture developed with Porsche.
Other new models confirmed for the PPE toolkit so far include the upcoming Audi A6 e-tron and the next-generation Porsche Macan EV.
The new architecture will feature an 800V on-board electrical system, “a powerful and efficient electric motor, an innovative battery and charge management system, and a newly developed electronic architecture”.
Audi states that the e-tron Q6 represents the “next major step in the electrification and digitalization” of the brand’s model range.
According to a 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 “supports Audi’s commitment to electric mobility”.
Audi has already confirmed the new Q6 e-tron will begin production at its Ingolstadt plant later in 2023, set to be built alongside the existing A4 and A5 range – although the facility will eventually shift to just produce EVs.
The plant, located at Audi’s global headquarters, will serve as a blueprint for the company’s transformation of its global factories.
In terms of where it sits in Audi’s SUV line-up, the e-tron Q6 will be the EV companion to the Q5 in the same way that the e-tron Q4 did when it sat alongside the Q3.
The E-tron Q6 shares underpinnings with the new Porsche Macan EV just like the Q5 while having family ties to the combustion-engined Macan.
Although the details of the electric drive have not yet been revealed, the Macan EV will reportedly offer it up to 450kW and 1000Nm in its most potent form, a drivetrain that will likely form the basis of the disputed performance hero e-tron RS Q6.
Overseas reports indicate the PPE architecture supports lithium-ion battery packs with around 100kWh capacity, while the 800V architecture allows charging up to 270kW, good for 5 to 80 percent charging in 25 minutes.
Expect production reveals 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 remains 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 an EV crossover Down Under at some point, potentially in 2024 or 2025.
Audi Australia now 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 sedans which share their underpinnings with the Porsche Taycan. The e-tron and e-tron Sportback will be renamed the Q8 e-tron and Q8 e-tron Sportback later this year when the facelift 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 soon-to-be-here Cupra Born, still need to be properly locked for Australia although it has been sold in Europe and the UK for several years.
Audi’s local managing director, Jeff Mannering, recently said the Australian arm was “pushing” for a 2024 sales launch for the Q4 e-tron, despite stopping short of posting a strong arrival timeframe.
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MORE: Audi Q6 e-tron production to start in 2023