Wednesday, July 17, 2024
First ReviewsFirst Drive Review 2025 Audi Q6 e-tron: Then There Were Three

First Drive Review 2025 Audi Q6 e-tron: Then There Were Three

Audi Introduces the Q6 e-tron: A New Benchmark in Electric SUVs


– The Q6 e-tron introduces Audi’s new PPE platform and advanced E3 1.2 electronic architecture.

– Developed with Porsche, it offers 382 to 510 hp, impressive tech, and innovative design.

– Expected range is around 500 km, with fast charging from 10% to 80% in just 21 minutes.


In 2019, Audi brought us its first all-electric SUV with a model simply named e-tron. Last year, this model was redesigned, and is now known as the Q8 e-tron.

In 2022, the company launched the Q4 e-tron, Audi’s version of the Volkswagen ID.4.

This year, the Q6 e-tron is the company’s third all-electric SUV, due to arrive in Canada at the end of this year.

2025 Audi Q6 e-tron | Photo: Daniel Rufiange

The plan

The brand with the four rings has a very specific plan. It plans to offer an electric model in every major automotive segment from 2027 onwards. The Q6 e-tron and its performance variant, the SQ6 e-tron, are part of this plan. With this model, Audi will offer a compact, midsize and larger electric SUV (the Q8 is not a full-size model like the Chevrolet Tahoe).

As for the Q6 e-tron, it marks a key step in Audi’s electric evolution. Not only does it enable the automaker to broaden its offering, but it also introduces a new platform, the PPE (Premium Platform Electric), as well as a new electronic architecture, the E3 1.2, which will eventually enable the integration of a host of advanced technologies, including vehicle-to-vehicle communication, including the broadcasting of messages to other road users via the model’s light signature.

Science fiction.

2025 Audi Q6 e-tron | Photo: Daniel Rufiange

The development

The Q6 e-tron was developed in conjunction with Porsche, which in turn gave birth to the electric version of the Macan. The PPE structure is as flexible as you could wish, and we’ll be seeing many different products over the coming years. Note, however, that this is Audi’s first application of the PPE structure, with the Q4 e-tron and Q8 e-tron benefiting from different structures.

Audi sees its new Q6 as the start of a new era. What the PPE allows is the ability to push back the boundaries.

2025 Audi Q6 e-tron | Photo: Daniel Rufiange

The design

Exterior

The design of the Q6 e-tron takes up the familiar e-tron signature, but in a slightly more defined way for a model that easily stands out on the road. More controversial is the muzzle, which features a busy grille. The lines of the profile and rear are more consensual, even adding a sporty look thanks to the pronounced shoulder at the height of the rear wheels. Wheels range from 18 to 20 inches for the Q6 e-tron and from 20 to 21 inches for the SQ6 e-tron.

Interior

2025 Audi Q6 e-tron | Photo: Daniel Rufiange

On board, we’re on familiar ground when it comes to quality, as materials are of excellent workmanship and assembly quality matches the logo on the steering wheel. Speaking of the latter, it’s more elliptical than round, with a flat bottom and top.

A glance at the dashboard betrays the era in which we live. In front of our eyes, a huge glass surface groups together the instrument cluster screen (11.9 inches), then the multimedia system screen (14.5 inches), which is an Android affair with this Q6. To the right, there’s an optional third surface, this time 10.9 inches for the passenger, who can follow the navigation information or listen to a movie thanks to continuous playback.

2025 Audi Q6 e-tron | Photo: Daniel Rufiange

Ambient lighting is also top-of-the-range, with a strip running the width of the dashboard, close to the windshield. Chic.

As for comfort itself, the seriousness of the model becomes clear as you settle into the seats. In the rear, thanks to a very generous wheelbase, legroom is excellent. Trunk space, at just over 1,500 litres, is less impressive.

Technologically advanced

Perhaps the most impressive thing about the Q6 is the amount of advanced technology it brings to the table. Our brief contact with the model only offered a glimpse. There’s more to discover. In the meantime, here are a few examples which should suffice.

2025 Audi Q6 e-tron | Photo: Daniel Rufiange

For example, with the navigation system, we’re entitled to augmented reality, where a wealth of information can be added to the head-up display to enhance the experience and make it easier. With navigation activated, we were treated to arrows that moved to show us the direction to take, in addition to the system’s indications. Audi also mentions that the virtual assistant is supported by artificial intelligence, so it will learn from your habits to serve you better.

The advanced electronic architecture to which we referred earlier offers a host of possibilities. The headlamps, for example, use six OLED (organic light-emitting diode) panels, allowing owners to choose from eight different lighting signatures.

Powertrain and performance

2025 Audi Q6 e-tron | Photo: Daniel Rufiange

The Q6 e-tron is powered by a 100 kWh (94.9 usable) lithium-ion battery, with front and rear motors. The standard version develops 382 hp and 395 lb-ft of torque, while the SQ6 e-tron offers 510 hp and 605 lb-ft of torque. Performance is impressive, with acceleration from 0 to 100 km/h in 5.9 seconds for the Q6 and 4.3 seconds for the SQ6.

Behind the wheel, the Q6 e-tron offers a dynamic, fluid ride, despite its weight. The chassis manages weight effectively, thanks in part to a different approach with the front axle, but also with the steering rack, now attached to the subframe. Feedback is good. Simply put, the driving experience is easy. It feels like riding a lighter, smaller model.

Range

2025 Audi Q6 e-tron | Photo: Daniel Rufiange

Audi’s efficiency figures are based on the more generous European WLTP cycle. This suggests caution. Range, for example, is quoted at 625 km with the regular version. However, you need to subtract between 20% and 25% from this to get the EPA figures that will prevail in North America. This should translate into something in the region of 500 km.

As for recharging capacity, it’s interesting, and one of the key elements in Audi’s design philosophy. Performance is not just a question of power, but also of the ability to recover energy quickly. For example, thanks to its 800-volt architecture, which delivers 270 kW of power, it will be possible to boost energy levels from 10% to 80% in just 21 minutes.

2025 Audi Q6 e-tron | Photo: Daniel Rufiange

And to demonstrate just how different the offering can be from an electric model belonging to a luxury manufacturer, the battery can split in two if the charging station can only handle 400-volt architectures. In this case, two sections of the same voltage are created and can be recharged in parallel, at a maximum power of 135 kW. Depending on the state of charge, the two battery halves are first brought to the same level, then charged simultaneously.

Price and arrival on the Canadian market

The Q6 e-tron won’t be cheap. However, at the time of writing, Canadian prices had not yet been shared. The model will first make its debut in Europe (imminently), afterwards it will head for North America, which should translate into an arrival before the end of 2024.

There’s no doubt about it, this is a solid player on the horizon, in a segment that already boasts several players, including the Porsche Macan EV, Cadillac Lyric, Mercedes-Benz EQE SUV, BMW iX, Genesis GV70, Tesla Model Y/X and Volvo EX90.

2025 Audi Q6 e-tron | Photo: Daniel Rufiange
2025 Audi Q6 e-tron | Photo: Daniel Rufiange

 

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