The Audi Q6 e-tron is the first car on  the VW group's PPE platform
The Audi Q6 e-tron is the first car on the VW group's PPE platformAudi

2024 Audi Q6 e-tron | A deep dive into the tech of this luxury electric SUV

The Audi Q6 e-tron is underpinned by an all-new platform and is coming to India in 2025

The all-new 2024 Audi Q6 e-tron is a technological tour de force. In Audi’s own words, it's a milestone in their transition to full electric mobility. It debuts a brand new electric platform, promises more range, performance and also sports Audi’s new interior design architecture including a new operating system. The Q6 e-tron previews everything that’s to come in the future as well with cars like the upcoming electric A6 e-tron. Here's everything that you need to know about this all-new India-bound luxury EV.

Audi Q6 e-tron: new underpinnings

Before a deep dive into the underpinnings of the Q6 e-tron, a quick run through of the other electric platforms of the VW group. First there's the ‘MLB Evo’ platform which is a legacy ICE architecture adapted for electric mobility, which underpins the like of the Audi e-tron SUV. Second we have the ‘MEB’ platform which is a born electric architecture, i.e. developed for EVs from the ground up, and used across the group in cars like the Audi Q4 e-tron, Skoda Enyaq iV and Volkswagen ID4, the latter two of which are coming to India this year. Then there’s the ‘J1 Performance’ platform used by the Audi e-tron GT and Porsche Taycan. And now, the newest member of the lot, this new PPE — Premium Platform Electric — platform which has made its debut on the Q6 e-tron. Jointly developed by Audi and Porsche, this architecture is designed to underpin EVs ranging from midsize to large premium cars like the upcoming electric version of the A6 and A8 sedans.

The platform has brought with it new hardware and software including AI tech. The architecture, dubbed E³ 1.2 e&e internally (E³ stands for end-to-end electric), will allow the German marque to adapt and make changes to the fast evolving technology in the EV space as it has decoupled the hardware and software interdependence in the system.

The Audi Q6 e-tron gets a dual-motor setup
The Audi Q6 e-tron gets a dual-motor setupAudi

Audi Q6 e-tron: the guts of the PPE

The PPE — Premium Platform Electric — is a newly developed modular drive system consisting of three main components: the electric motors, power electronics, and transmission. And all the detail work gone into it has been with one goal – a higher degree of efficiency. These units are more compact than the VW Group’s current electric models and have a scalable design which means that the torque output can be varied by changing the length of the stator in the electric motor. It also has switched from wet sump to dry sump lubrication and just to give you an idea of the level of detailing, just this switch has given 5km more range.

The Audi Q6 e-tron gets a full-width light bar at the rear
The Audi Q6 e-tron gets a full-width light bar at the rearAudi

Audi Q6 e-tron: battery, motor and specs

The Q6 e-tron also sports a newly developed lithium-ion battery with 12 modules and 180 prismatic cells with a total gross capacity of 100kWh (94.9kWh net). The battery promises a WLTP-claimed range of 625 kilometers on a single charge. It runs on 800-volt technology and supports 270kW fast charging. Which means, provided you have an ultra fast charger, up to 255 kilometers can be added in just 10 minutes of charging time. Moreover, 10 to 80 per cent will take just 21 minutes.

The Q6 e-tron gets a dual motor setup. There's an asynchronous motor (ASM) on the front axle which is rated for 188bhp and 275Nm. This unit only comes into play when you need power, for example during launch control or when you're really giving it the beans, otherwise it can rotate freely without significant drag losses. On the rear axle there's a compact permanent-magnet synchronous motor (PMSM) rated at 375bhp and 580Nm. The PSM works more efficiently as a main motor while the ASM is more efficient as a boost motor and hence the two different kinds of motors. And all this is scalable. The axial length of the front and rear motors is 100mm and 200mm respectively. If the need for power arises in the future, or Audi rolls out an RS version of the Q6 e-tron, the stator length can be increased. Moreover, the upcoming rear-drive only versions of the Q6 will discard the front motor altogether. And that will also save weight. How much do you ask? Well, the front motor weighs 87.5kg. So it'll be a significant number and will also help with the range. Scalability is really the key here.

The Q6 e-tron is available in two variants currently. The standard Q6 e-tron has a total system output of 382bhp. It can do the 0 to 100kmph sprint in 5.9 seconds, top out at 210kmph and deliver a WLTP-claimed range of 625km on a single charge. And if you want more performance, there is the SQ6 e-tron. It gets a total output of 483bhp which raises to 510bhp when launch control is activated. This version does 0 to 100kmph in 4.3 seconds flat and has a top whack of 230kmph. Range for the Q6 e-tron is slightly lower at 598km (WLTP-claimed).

The Q6 e-tron, unlike the Q8 e-tron, also gets single-pedal driving. Audi has tweaked the recuperation to maximise efficiency. The brand claims that 30 per cent of the range comes from energy recuperation. And it's achieved by regeneration. So the initial part of deceleration comes from the regen from the rear axle because it is most efficient. If you demand more braking, then the front axle regen kicks in, followed by the friction brakes on the front axle and finally, the friction brakes on the rear axle. Also, in a situation when ABS kicks in courtesy of hard braking the regen is still active.

The Audi SQ6 e-tron offers up to 510bhp
The Audi SQ6 e-tron offers up to 510bhpAudi

Audi Q6 e-tron styling

The styling of the Q6 e-tron is typically Audi, i.e. it strikes the right balance between looking traditional and also having some dynamic, futuristic, elements. Up front it has the brand's familiar large single-frame ‘inverted’ grille flanked by a pair of sleek split-headlamps. The headlight system comprises of ‘digital lights’ at the top which are essentially the DRLs and the main Matrix LED lights below. The digital lights get eight different configurable graphics which you can tweak as per to your taste. Down below on the front bumper, the Q6 e-tron gets four large air vents and a radar sensor for ADAS capabilities.

At 4,771mm long, the Q6 e-tron is around 200mm shorter than the Q8 e-tron but it's 90mm longer than a Q5, not to mention 70mm wider – it's a big car. Wheel options range from 18- to 21-inches, with the sporty SQ6 getting 20-inch wheels as standard. The Ed got a chance to hop in the back seat of the Q6 e-tron and he was happy to report that it has an ample amount of headroom and knee room for passengers up to 6 ft tall. At the rear the SUV gets a full-width light bar connecting its wraparound LED tail lights. The tail lights also have few OLED elements in them which allow for similar configurable patterns like the front.

Audi Q6 e-tron interior

The Q6 e-tron debuts Audi’s brand new interior design architecture, a new operating system and more digitalisation. Taking centre stage inside the car is an OLED panoramic curved display for the virtual cockpit (11.9-inch) and the infotainment (14.5-inch). This is a first in any Audi and not only does it look good, but it's also way more practical. Being curved it is more legible to the driver and also gives a nearer access to the infotainment. The Q6 also gets an optional 10.9 inch LCD screen for the passenger.

More features include an augmented HUD, 84 LED strips for ambient lighting, a 3D 830W 20-speaker Bang and Olufsen sound system and a digital assistant which uses AI for predictions, like recommending you use the massager while on a long highway drive etc.

Audi Q6 e-tron expected price and India launch

The Audi Q6 e-tron with its new electric architecture is more efficient in every way possible. Its power density is up by 62 per cent, the torque density is up by 66 per cent and its system performance is up by 33 per cent. Not only that, the vehicle's energy consumption of the drive units is down by a whopping 50 per cent and the vehicle energy consumption by a cool 30 per cent. Yes those are a lot of stats, but then the Q6 e-tron is a really impressive machine. And while its India launch hasn't been confirmed yet, we reckon this luxury SUV will surely make its way to our shores in 2025, going by the success of its other electric siblings in India. The Q6 e-tron will sit under the Q8 e-tron, so it's expected to be priced around the ₹80-90 lakh mark.

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