Advertisement

The 2025 Audi Q6 E-Tron Is Built Better, Faster, Smarter

Photo: Audi
Photo: Audi

Audi’s latest EV, the 2025 Q6 E-Tron SUV and its more powerful sibling the SQ6, will sit smack in the middle of Audi’s electric SUV lineup, nestled between the Q8 E-Tron and the petite Q4 E-Tron. The actual sale date of the car isn’t until the end of the year, and I was only allowed to tool around in prototypes on a parking lot test track. While this limits our ability to review the vehicle ahead of its premiere, it does mean the Q6 has more time to cook. That’s definitely a plus, considering that Audi calls the Q6 its most digital car yet. It also rides on a brand-new platform, and our problems with the Q4 E-Tron were mainly with the unfinished feel of the digital experience and the rough handling of the car itself.

Full disclosure: Audi flew me out to Munich to take a look at the Q6 E-Tron in its center in Munich. They put me up at a nice hotel and fed me fairly regularly.

Photo: Audi
Photo: Audi

While the Q4 is built on the MEB platform developed mainly for Volkswagen’s ID series, the Q6 sits on the new Audi–Porsche jointly developed PPE architecture (Premium Platform Electric), which made its debut with the brand-new Porsche Macan EV. I think this is fantastic solid ground to build a very enjoyable electric crossover. While that might give any buyer pause — jumping into an unproven electric platform feet first isn’t for the faint of heart — the short time I spent in the Q6 still clearly indicated this platform delivers the Audi feel and performance we’ve been hoping for.

ADVERTISEMENT

That performance of the Q6 E-Tron includes 422 horsepower, with 456 hp delivered when using launch control, which will send your Q6 from 0 to 60 mph in an estimated sub-five seconds and to a top speed of 130 miles per hour with the accelerator down to the floor — more than enough for any mid-size SUV. The SQ6 will pump out 483 hp while driving and a staggering 510 hp during launch control, with a 4.2-second 0-to-60 time and a 143-mph top speed.

Photo: Audi
Photo: Audi

Europeans are getting a smaller battery option that won’t come to our shores. Range-hungry Americans would likely pass on a 80-kWh battery pack anyway. The Land of the Free is getting the 100-kWh, 800-volt lithium-ion battery pack only. The European officials figure it is good for almost 380 miles of range on the more optimistic WLTP, but in the U.S., that figure has yet to be nailed down. All the company could tell us was the Q6 would be good for “over 300 miles,” so we’ll need to wait for the Environmental Protection Agency to settle up with Audi at a later date. The batteries are made up of 12 lithium-ion cells that can be replaced individually when one fails, adding again to the longevity of the battery; just one of many advancements that ups the durability of this EV.

Audi says owners can charge at 250 kW up to 40 percent capacity thanks to advanced battery cooling systems, and it’ll still be charging 150 kW up to 80 percent. The Q6 can get to 80 percent charge in just 21 minutes, and after only 10 minutes of being plugged in, the Q6 can gain 158 miles of range. At 80 percent, you’ll have at least a few hundred miles of travel in your vehicle.

Photo: Audi
Photo: Audi

Using Audi’s infotainment system to navigate to the closest charger, the car can prepare the battery for optimal charging temperatures. This cooling and heating system also extends the life of the 800-volt battery and preserves as much mileage as possible, though extreme cold and heat can still mess with the range (can’t blame Audi for physics). The first-gen Q6 E-Tron will come with the CCS plug, which is a bit of a pain for American drivers, but Audi is coming out with a North American Charging Standard (NACS) adapter for early customers, and later models will be sold with the NACS port. The Q6 comes with charging ports on both sides of the vehicle, which is pretty dang handy for folks who have installed a fast charger in their own garage.

Then there’s the regenerative braking, which picks up extra charge from any form of braking, even if no regen braking is engaged. The braking system in the Q6 allows for one of the best one-pedal driving experiences I’ve had in a while. Again, my time in the Q6 was restricted to a prototype in a parking lot, but taking my foot off the accelerator led to a very natural feeling of coming from 50 mph to a dead stop, with none of the sudden jerks of previous systems I’ve tried both from Audi and other brands.

Photo: Audi
Photo: Audi

And the technological improvements don’t stop there. Standardization of parts in the front and rear axles means less complexity and an easier construction, leading to reduced costs. The front axle has three different variants, while the back has two. The rear axle comes with a permanently excited asynchronous motor and direct rotor core cooling, which allows Audi to nearly abandon heavy rare earth metals in the magnets – another cost-cutting measure that adds to the Q6’s green bona fides while losing none of the car’s efficiency. The rear axle generates 280 kW while the front hits 140 kW. The rear motor will mainly propel the Q6, but the front motor can be engaged for a truly Quattro experience.

One of the coolest features are the bitchin’ multipixel OLED array lights which, of course, we here in the USA are not going to be able to fully enjoy. That’s frankly too bad, because the moving lights create a sense of depth and dimension that is truly unique. Current guidelines from the National Traffic Safety Administration and the Society for Automotive Engineers dictates that our lights be constantly burning rather than sparkle or create a moving effect like the Q6’s can.

Photo: Audi
Photo: Audi