New Audi Q6 e-tron: interior revealed, plus prototype review
Audi releases new images of the upcoming Q6 e-tron, revealing its interior in full
- 45, 55, SQ6 and RSQ6 e-tron versions
- Audi claims a 370-mile range
- On sale in spring 2024
The latest images of the upcoming Audi Q6 e-tron electric SUV have been released, revealing the new car’s interior for the first time. The new shots also give us our best view of its exterior so far, with just a subtle livery still covering its bodywork.
The interior is fairly conservatively styled, in keeping with the brand’s evolutionary design ethos, but it’s packed with lots of tech and high-quality sustainable materials to back up its eco-friendly credentials. These include fabrics called Elastic Melange and Argument, which Audi says are made from 100% recycled polyester. The S model will also get the option of Nappa leather or another recycled material known as Dinamica microfiber.
There’s an 11.9-inch virtual cockpit and 14.5-inch touchscreen display, both of which are integrated into the same curved panel that faces the driver, for a more focused feel. The front passenger isn’t completely forgotten, though, as they also get a 10.9-inch screen ahead of them. It gets a sophisticated privacy mode which hides the screen from the driver’s point of view, so the passenger can watch a movie without causing a distraction.
The Q6 e-tron will sit between the Q4 e-tron and Q8 e-tron in the brand’s lineup, meaning it will face fierce competition from the BMW iX3, Lexus RZ and Tesla Model Y. With the development of the Q6 e-tron well underway, we’ve been given a chance to drive one of the prototype models to see how the mid-size electric SUV is shaping up, and you can read our first impressions at the bottom of this article.
New Audi Q6 e-tron design and practicality
On the outside, the car features impressive-looking lighting technology, with the Q6 e-tron getting daytime running lights with 61 LEDs in each unit – the production model will get a feature to allow drivers to customise the light signature with six different patterns available.
At the rear, the electric SUV gets the brand’s latest OLED tech for its rear lights – each of the 360 OLED elements can be lit to varying degrees of brightness, which allows for lighting patterns with a 3D effect. Audi says these could even be exploited to display warning messages to other road users.
The latest Q6 e-tron is based on an entirely new platform for the brand, known as the Premium Platform Electric (PPE) which has been developed with sister brand Porsche. Audi says the platform allows for a more spacious interior, with room for extra storage spaces. There’s a large centre console with two cup holders, a wireless smartphone charging tray and smartphone charge ports. The Q6 e-tron’s floor is flat, which should make the rear section of the car more comfortable for occupants.
Audi says the Q6 e-tron gets a boot with 526 litres of space, increasing to 1,529 with the rear seats folded down, plus another 64 litres in the frunk. That’s some way off the Tesla Model Y, which boasts a total boot capacity of 854 litres with the rear seats in place, or 2,041 litres with the seats folded down, and that’s not even including the 117-litre frunk. The BMW iX3 has a smaller 510-litre boot with the seats in place, although this increases to 1,560 litres with the rear seats folded down, so it’s more or less on par with the upcoming Q6 e-tron.
Audi Q6 e-tron powertrains, range and charging
Powertrains expected from launch for the Q6 e-tron include a dual motor setup with a system output of 395bhp in the 55 model, which is upped to a whopping 510bhp in the SQ6 performance version. A cheaper 45 model is expected to join the range later on with less power than the 55.
Audi also recently confirmed the next RS model will be electric, which is expected to be the RSQ6 e-tron variant of the midsize electric SUV. We’d expect a power figure of around 600bhp and even more aggressive styling to help it stand out against the SQ6 e-tron.
So far it looks as though the Q6 e-tron will get just one 100kWh battery option, which gives an official 370-mile range in the 55 model. The car will also get 270kW charging capability, allowing for a 10-80% recharge in under half an hour.
There’s been no confirmation on pricing yet, but if the entry-level 45 model starts from around £55,000 when it eventually goes on sale, as has been rumoured, it would comfortably undercut the BMW iX3. The 55 is expected to cost from around £65,000 and the SQ6 e-tron will cost over £80,000 given its longer list of standard tech and higher performance.
The Audi Q6 -tron will get a full reveal towards the end of 2023, with the car going on sale in around spring 2024 in Sport, S line, Black Edition and Vorsprung trim levels. The RSQ6 e-tron is expected to arrive later in 2024, and a coupe-SUV Sportback version of the Q6 e-tron is also expected later down the line with a price increase over the standard bodystyle of around £3,000.
Audi Q6 e-tron prototype review – Alex Ingram
We travelled to the Faroe Islands to test a pre-production prototype of the upcoming Q6 e-tron in 55 and SQ6 guise. On the move, one of the first things we noticed was how comfortable and refined the 55 feels. Admittedly the roads were smooth in the first place, but the Q6 e-tron ironed out even the largest bumps when they did come up.
The car’s motors were also particularly quiet, which Audi has said was a top priority when developing the car, although road noise was louder than expected. The brand has also put in a lot of work to create a natural braking feel for the regenerative braking system. Engineers have been successful in this respect, with a firm, natural feel through the brake pedal that will be familiar to anyone used to conventional discs and pads, while being capable of recouping up to 220kW of energy.
The regenerative braking settings can be tweaked via paddles on the steering wheel, and the difference between the weakest setting – which allows you to coast along freely – and the strongest settings is rather notable. ‘B’ mode allows for one-pedal driving, with the system capable of bringing the car to a complete stop rather smoothly if you take your foot off the accelerator pedal.
However, the overly light steering did fall somewhat short, failing to offer much in the way of feedback or precision. When we compared the 55 model against the SQ6, we also couldn’t tell any difference in the handling or ride, despite the latter’s performance credentials. The SQ6 e-tron gets from 0-62mph in around 4.5 seconds compared to the 55 models’ six-second sprint, but we’d say the 55 felt plenty quick enough – depending on what happens between now and the production-ready models, the SQ6 e-tron might feel like overkill, especially for families.
While Audi has claimed an official range figure of around 370 miles, our test car showed around 260 miles on a full charge – given its status as a prototype, however, we assume there is still work left to do in this respect, so will wait to pass judgement on the final production version.
Audi has so far kept the Q6 e-tron interior under wraps, and indeed our test car’s interior and infotainment system was hidden from view. It was very spacious, however, with ample headroom and knee room for occupants. Quality also felt flawless as we’ve come to expect from the brand, even in this prototype example.
The Q6 e-tron’s long bonnet gives a handy space to store charging cables and although boot space capacity figures haven’t yet been confirmed, it didn’t look too far off that of the Q8 e-tron’s 605-litre boot.
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