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Audi Q6 E-tron brings 388 miles of range and up to 510bhp

Audi Q6 e tron reveal event front three quarters
Audi Q6 e tron reveal event front three quarters

Prices will start at £68,975 for the Q6 E-tron quattro, rising to £92,950 for the SQ6

The new Audi Q6 E-tron represents a “technological leap”, the brand's boss Gernot Döllner has claimed, as its first model built on a high-tech new platform.

The BMW iX3 and Jaguar I-Pace rival will be launched with a choice of dual-motor all-wheel-drive powertrains, including a range-topping SQ6 E-tron with up to 510bhp. When it goes on sale in the UK in April, prices will start at £68,975 for the Q6 e-tron quattro, rising to £92,950 for the SQ6.

It will sit between the Q4 E-tron and Q8 E-tron in Audi’s bespoke electric SUV line-up. But while the new SUV’s exterior styling is a relatively conservative development of those existing models, the technology it features promises a significant step forward from the firm’s previous EVs.

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The Q6 E-tron uses the advanced new Premium Performance Electric (PPE) platform that Audi has co-developed with Porsche.

Also employed on the new Porsche Macan Electric, the platform will underpin a host of performance-focused Audis in the coming years – such as the A6 E-tron saloon due later this year. It will also be used for EVs from other Volkswagen Group premium brands, including Bentley.

Audi Q6 E-tron: Powertrains and performance

Audi SQ6 front quarter static
Audi SQ6 front quarter static

The PPE architecture is twinned with a new electronic architecture called E3, which will combine to underpin a new generation of vehicles from Audi and Porsche, along with other premium VW Group brands such as Bentley.

The Audi Q6 e-tron is the next technological leap in premium electric mobility for our customers," said Audi boss Gernot Döllner. "The PPE shows how we are pooling expertise within the Volkswagen Group and thus making electric mobility scalable. Thanks to the PPE, we are able to launch high-volume models with high technical standards in different segments and thus further electrify our portfolio,"

The new architecture designed to be highly scalable for medium-sized to large vehicles and can be offered with both rear-drive single-motor and four-wheel-drive dual-motor powertrains.

The main power unit is a permanent magnet synchronous motor on the rear axle with up to 375bhp. To optimise efficiency, an asynchronous motor that produces up to 188bhp is used on the front axle of the dual-motor models.

Audi claims the new motors offer 62% more power density and 33% greater performance than the first-generation units on the Q8 E-tron, while also reducing overall vehicle energy consumption by 30%. The motors also feature a new direct cooling system, and feature a motorsport-style dry sump design, which reduces the amount of fluids needed for lubrication. Both those moves are designed to increase efficiency further.

Power for the motors comes from a 94.9kWh usable capacity (100kWh total) lithium ion battery that features a new design comprising 12 modules – a third as many as in the Q8 E-tron's pack – and 180 prismatic cells, which are now larger and feature less cobalt.

The new design means the battery is claimed to offer 5% higher energy content with 30% greater energy density, while also being 15% lighter than the previous generation.

Audi Q6 E-tron charging
Audi Q6 E-tron charging

The battery also features a new thermal management system to better control the temperature and therefore improve efficiency. A cooling plate has been integrated into the pack to better control temperatures, while a new composite-fibre underbody is lighter and allows for improved heat control. A software-based thermal management system uses predictive data to calculate the need for heating or cooling in advance. There is also a built-in heat pump as standard.

The Q6 E-tron Quattro offered at launch will produce 382bhp and 436lb ft of torque from its dual-motor set-up, giving a 0-62mph time of 5.9sec. It will be capable of travelling at up to 3.6mpkWh, says Audi, giving an official range of 388 miles.

The initial range-topper will be the hot SQ6 E-tron, which has its motors tuned to offer 483bhp, rising to 510bhp when the launch control system is deployed.

It takes just 4.3sec to complete the 0-62mph sprint and has a top speed of 142mph, although its official range is trimmed to 372 miles.

Audi SQ6 rear quarter static
Audi SQ6 rear quarter static

Both models will feature adjustable brake regen systems, which can either be manually controlled using paddles or set to a one-pedal model. In its most aggressive form, the regen can slow the car at up to 2.5 metres per second.

The PPE platform uses an 800V architecture, like the Porsche Taycan and the Hyundai Motor Group’s E-GMP platform, and this allows for ultra-rapid charging. Q6 E-tron owners will be able to charge their cars at speeds of up to 270kW, allowing for 158 miles of range to be added in 10 minutes.

On slower, 400V chargers at speeds of up to 135kW, the battery splits itself into two banks that can be charged in parallel, which, says Audi, optimises the charging speed and efficiency.

Home charging can be conducted at speeds of up to 11kWh and, as with the Q8 E-tron, the new model will feature an AC charging port on each side – although this time on the rear flanks, rather than the front wings.

The Q6 E-tron launch range will be expanded by the arrival of two single-motor models. One will use the 100kWh battery to offer the longest possible range. The other will be an entry-level model with an 83kWh (total) battery. That smaller battery essentially uses the same pack but has fewer modules in it, making it cheaper and more efficient to produce at the same facility in Ingolstadt.

Audi SQ6 E-tron rear
Audi SQ6 E-tron rear

The dual-motor powertrain features a rear-biased torque distribution system and the different front and rear motor sizes means that varying amounts of power can be sent to each axle even under full load.

The car also gains wider rear wheels to better deploy the extra power on the road.

The Q6 E-tron has a redesigned front drive axle, with the control arms positioned in front of the suspension arms, which, claims Audi, allows for better packaging of the battery and improved dynamic performance.

The firm also says the new front axle improves the steering, especially with the steering rack now fixed to a subframe.

Audi Q6 E-tron: Design and lighting