The Q6 and SQ6 e-tron: A New Era for Audi

Audi is going all in on electric vehicles. The UK’s leading premium car brand stands out at a time when other manufacturers are at a crossroads in terms of their future, as their intention to go all-electric has not been hidden. The Q6 and SQ6 e-tron are part of their plans to accelerate their electric transition this year and new SUVs are a safe bet in a market obsessed with them. The Q6 and SQ6 e-tron promise to combine performance and luxury, as well as being trailblazers for the German brand.

A Milestone Moment

The Q6 and SQ6 e-tron are the first models on the Premium Platform Electric (PPE) jointly developed with Porsche. The PPE platform allows for more space inside, as well as a long wheelbase with short overhangs to keep in line with Audi’s design philosophy. Representing Audi’s greater commitment to sustainability, the Q6 e-tron will be the first electric vehicle to be built at the Ingolstadt plant, marking a new chapter for the brand. The electric SUV will benefit from the newly developed E3 architecture, a high-performance system using 5 computers to control the main functions.

A Signature Design

The Q6 e-tron and its performance counterpart echo typical Audi design and the appearance of other e-tron models. Curves and creases are combined for a striking effect and the front design features a Singleframe grille and a mask in selenite silver or gloss black surrounding the 3D Singleframe and air intakes. The front daytime running lights and rear lightbar further add to the sleek but sporty design. The Q6 e-tron also features the world’s first active digital light signature. Twelve segments at the front can light up and dim down, whilst at the rear six OLED panels can generate a new image every 10 milliseconds. These features allow owners to personalize their car in a brand-new way, whilst the rear light can warn other road users about accidents and breakdowns using Audi’s proximity detection system which then displays warning symbols on the OLED rear light.

A Digital Interior

The interior of the Q6 e-tron is dominated by technology focused towards the driver’s needs. The 11.9-inch virtual cockpit and 14.5-inch MMI touchscreen display make it easy for the driver to access important information and control the infotainment, which Android Automotive OS powers for the first time. But fear not passengers, as the technology isn’t limited to whoever is behind the wheel. The 10.9-inch MMI passenger display has Active Privacy Mode allowing the other front occupant to stream videos without distracting the driver. The Augmented Reality Head-Up Display is a step forward for technology and can show speed, road signs, and navigation. The image plane can appear up to 200 metres away through clever tilting trickery. The interior itself is designed to feel homely with a feeling of space. Premium materials can be found throughout and the control areas are finished in gloss black. The Bang & Olufsen Premium sound system also features four speakers in each of the front seats.

Blending Range and Performance

The Q6 and SQ6 e-tron use powerful compact motors and a newly developed battery to deliver up to 381 miles of range. Audi has sped up charging stops thanks to 800-volt technology and a maximum charging capacity of 270 kW. A high-power charging station can add 158 miles of range in just 10 minutes and charge can rise for 10 to 80 percent in just 21 minutes. Audi hasn’t just prioritised efficiency as the Q6 accelerates to 62 mph in 5.9 seconds and, with launch control, the SQ6 can do 0-62 in just 4.3 seconds. To match the impressive dynamics, Audi has set up the suspension and chassis to provide grip. For the first time in an Audi, the rear tyres are wider than the front, and the rear-biased torque distribution enhances the driving experience.

Sustainable but Pricey

The Q6 e-tron range uses recycled polyester and plastic, as well as integrating scrap steel in the steel used for the roof. The Q6 and SQ6 e-tron will be the first EVs to be produced at Audi’s Ingolstadt plant and this is part of Audi’s scheme to refit their sites to manufacture electric vehicles, rather than building new facilities. The Ingolstadt plant hosts Audi’s new battery assembly plant and workers have been trained to transition to battery-powered vehicles. All the innovation and investment in electric vehicles comes at a cost, making the new Q6 and SQ6 pricey. When they go on sale on 30th April, the Q6 e-tron will start from £68,975, whilst the SQ6 will be available from £92,950. Expensive yes, but Audi hopes that the revolutionary model will kickstart a new era of innovation and sustainability.

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