The first production model using the Premium Platform Electric (PPE), the Q6 e-tron ushers in a new electric era for the Audi brand.

19 March, 2024

The wait is over and the first images of the new Audi Q6 e-tron have been revealed globally of this important new model for the brand. The Audi Q6 e-tron (and its performance sibling the SQ6 e-tron) is the first all-electric model series produced at the Ingolstadt plant and is the first series production model to use the Premium Platform Electric (PPE) that has been developed jointly with Porsche. It represents not only a significant model in its own right but a quantum leap forward in Audi’s electrification plans right across the board, setting new standards for what electric models can do, as well as showcasing new technology and design languages both inside and out.

This new platform will form the basis of future electric models from Audi and opens up myriad possibilities for the brand going forward.

“Built on the new PPE platform, the Audi Q6 e-tron is the next technological leap in premium electric mobility for our customers,” Audi CEO Gernot Döllner, said of the significance of this new model.

“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 Q6 e-tron also introduces a newly developed 100kWh (94.9 net) lithium-ion battery made up of 12 modules and 180 prismatic cells that is capable of delivering a range of up to 625km (WLTP cycle). This provides the power to the compact and efficient twin electric motors  on the Q6 e-tron delivering 285kW and up to 380kW on boost in the SQ6 e-tron. Both launch models available in Europe will feature electric quattro drive to all four wheels, with single-motor, rear-wheel drive models to follow. The Q6 e-trom hits 100km/h from rest in 5.9 seconds on the way to a governed top speed of 210km/h, while the SQ6 e-tron cuts a full 1.6 seconds off the sprint time and gives the performance model a top speed of 230km/h.

With its 800-volt technology and maximum charging capacity of 270kW, the Q6 can add 255km of range in as little as 10 minutes using an ultra-fast charger, while charging from 10 percent of capacity to 80 percent can be achieved in around 20 minutes.

Increasing recuperation from braking is also a major feature and this new technology also features ‘bank charging’ for the first time, where at a charging station offering 400-volt technology, the 800‑volt battery is automatically divided into two batteries at equal voltage, which can then be charged in parallel with up to 135kW. In this case, depending on the state of charge, both halves of the battery are first equalised and then charged simultaneously. 

At a glance the Q6 e-tron does not represent a radical departure for the brand and is easily recognisable as an Audi, but with its own style and presence. Measuring in at 4771mm long with a wheelbase of 2899mm,1993mm wide and 1648mm high, it offers tremendous interior space for passengers and luggage alike, which translates to great versatility and usability from a lifestyle point of view. 

Visually the exterior utilises Audi design language but further evolved from the now familiar e-tron styling. The interplay of sharp creases and rounded surfaces like those around the quattro blisters create a dynamic exterior with an undeniably sporting bent, while the introduction of all-new lighting technology front and rear likewise adds to that dynamic impression as well as opening up a new world of lighting possibilities.

Featuring the world’s first active digital light signature, the lighting both front and rear is not only more dynamic and configurable, but allows communication between the Q6 e-tron and other road users, representing a huge advance in terms of vehicle safety. Up front, the active digital light signature is created by the interaction of a newly developed algorithm with 12 segments that dim up and down. In addition to greater intensity, this system allows a total of eight digital light signatures in the redesigned daytime running lights of the Matrix LED headlights.

At the rear, the second generation of digital OLED rear lights can also be individually configured, and can communicate with the vehicle’s surroundings in a targeted manner  utilising Car‑to‑X. In addition, the rear lights take the proximity detection system already used in models like the Audi Q5 to new heights, warning other road users of accident and breakdown sites using integrated warning symbols in the digital OLED combination rear light in critical driving or traffic situations.

Inside the changes to interior architecture and introduction of new technology is most evident, with a new curved display area called the Digital Stage, which features an 11.0-inch display  and a 14.5-inch touchscreen. Ambient lighting makes the Curved Display seem to float at night and in addition to the digital stage there is a 10.9-inch MMI front passenger display which features Active Privacy Mode designed to stop it from distracting the driver. 

Controls and operating systems are even more driver-focused than on previous Audi models, though the overall feel of the cabin is open, light and spacious. This is no illusion with significant room for the five adult passengers and boot storage of 526 litres that becomes 1529 litres with the rear seats folded flat. There’s a further 64 litres of storage under the bonnet and those rear seats also offer 40/20/40 split folding for maximum versatility and the absence of a transmission tunnel makes for considerable foot room for the middle rear passenger as well.

Indeed passenger comfort and luxurious finish is a mainstay of the new interior which also features the extensive use of recycled materials and the touch points to the new technology have been beautifully integrated into the fully connected, digital interior. Newly developed electronic architecture called ‘E’ (End-toEnd Electronic Architecture) is the most powerful architecture to date in terms of its computing power and will ultimately be used across the Audi model range. It is based on a new domain computer structure with five high-performance computers (High-Performance Computing Platform, HCP), which control all vehicle functions – from infotainment and driving functions through to semi-automated driving in the future.

The Q6 e-tron also features a new Augmented Reality heads-up display that is available as an option and redefines head-up displays with its unique display which makes the symbols, car information and navigation directions appear to sit up 200m ahead of the car so as to become part of the driver’s vision rather than a n distraction from the road ahead. 

The vehicle also uses Audi's self-learning voice assistant to control numerous vehicle functions and for the first time features an avatar in the MMI and the head-up display.

There is also voice assistant which now understands more than 800 words and uses AI to learn continuously based on user behaviour to best support the driver – be that in terms of navigation suggestions to proactively suggesting functions based on past choices or outside data.

The Q6 e-tron uses Android Automotive OS as its operating system for the first time, with content like the Audi connect services and the enhanced e-tron route planner continually kept up-to-date by the use of over-the-air updates. The system also allows for online functions and apps like Youtube to be available straight to the vehicle without the use of a smartphone. This function opens up a world of choices for in-car entertainment on top of the connected functions that have become part and parcel of the Audi experience.

Then there is the Bang & Olufsen premium sound system with it 20 speakers – four of which are mounted in the headrests of the front seats, enabling sounds zones in an Audi for the first time. The overall results one of cutting-edge technology and infotainment in this totally connected vehicle, catering to all tastes of all passengers while providing a next level driving experience for the one behind the wheel.

Of course safety and driver assistance systems are state-of-the-art and also introduces the new adaptive driving assistant plus. This not only helps with the likes of acceleration and lane guidance but also also uses high-resolution map data and swarm data from other vehicles aggregated in the cloud to improve the handling of the Q6 e-tron. Using collected data from cameras, radar and ultrasonic sensors, it is able to create a virtual route and to follow that route across differing speed ranges and even in traffic jams for the ultimate in driver assistance.

The Q6 e-tron represents a technological tour de force that showcases significant strides forward in terms of drive and battery technology, automotive lighting as well as interior design, in-car systems and driver assistance systems.

While its exterior design may be more of an evolution than a revolution, under the skin, the Q6 e-tron is a game-changer for the brand, pointing the way forward for future electrified Audi offerings.

Although the exact arrival date for the Q6 e-tron models is yet to be confirmed for Australia, this first look confirms the great strides this model represents for the brand and its on-going electrification plans. A new era of electrification is upon us.

For more information on the Audi Q6 e-tron, register your interest here to be kept up-to-date on vehicle specification, pricing and arrival dates as they come to hand.

NB: This information and any vehicle specifications refer to the model range offered in Germany and are subject to change upon arrival to Australia. The vehicles pictured feature overseas specifications.