• Tue. Jul 23rd, 2024

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2025 Audi Q6 e-tron Is a Tiny Tech Powerhouse: Electrical SUV First Drive

2025 Audi Q6 e-tron Is a Tiny Tech Powerhouse: Electrical SUV First Drive


The Tesla Mannequin Y’s success as 2023’s greatest promoting automotive globally proves what we already know: Midsize premium SUVs are so sizzling proper now (particularly in America) and many patrons within the class are each inquisitive about and able to make the EV conversion. The brand new Audi Q6 e-tron and its sport-tuned SQ6 variant are photographs aimed on the coronary heart of this extremely aggressive phase, marking their debut with a salvo of recent applied sciences. 

The Q6 is the primary Audi mannequin constructed on the brand new PPE electrical car platform shared with Porsche’s upcoming Macan EV, boasting quicker charging and improved effectivity. The EV fills its dashboard with the most recent era of the automaker’s tech and trio of OLED shows powered by Android and AI. Even the taillights break new floor with distinctive options that increase security and magnificence. Audi has pulled out all the stops for what may very well be a very powerful mannequin in its battery-powered lineup and a important step on the model’s path to full electrification.

Slotting into Audi’s e-tron household between the three-row Audi Q8 e-tron and the compact This fall e-tron, the Q6 measures 187.8 inches lengthy with a 114.1 inch wheelbase — scaled to exactly compete with the Mannequin Y and function a premium different to different midsize EV SUVs just like the VW ID 4, Ford Mustang Mach-E and Kia’s EV6. You will discover round 18.6 cubic ft of cargo area behind the ability carry gate. Up entrance, an extra 2.2 cubic ft of frunk storage accommodates a small carry-on measurement bag or the charging cable. Inside, a spacious cabin boasts room for 5 passengers with a flat, hump-free flooring. Audi additionally claims over 2 tons (US) of towing functionality for the midsize e-tron SUV.

EV efficiency and vary

Underpinning the Q6 e-tron is the Volkswagen Group’s new Premium Platform Electrical structure, which is shared with the upcoming Porsche Macan EV. At launch, the SUV shall be provided in two specs — Q6 and SQ6 — every with dual-motor all-wheel drive. The entrance motor is an asynchronous (ASM) unit that gives on-demand torque to the entrance axle as wanted, whereas the rear everlasting magnet (PSM) motor is a little more highly effective and serves full time. Each motors have been designed to make use of fewer heavy uncommon earth metals of their development and equivalent diameters for his or her rotors and stators, which permits them to share many parts, saving value and complexity. One notable shared element is every motor’s self-contained dry sump lubrication and cooling system — impressed by motorsports combustion engines — which injects oil straight onto the e-motors’ rotating parts to enhance thermal efficiency, effectivity and, finally, vary.

The Q6 will debut in its all-wheel drive SUV configuration, however rear-drive and Sportback fashions will be part of the household post-launch.

Audi

Within the US, Q6 e-tron quattro outputs a mixed 315 kilowatts (or round 422 horsepower), however can increase to 340 kW (456 hp) for a launch management burst to attain its estimated 5.0 second 0-60 mph dash. In the meantime, the stronger SQ6 e-tron steps as much as 360 kW mixed (483 hp) and a 380 kW (510 hp) launch-controlled dash to 60 mph in 4.2 seconds. The SQ6’s 143 mph high velocity can be barely greater than the Q6’s 130 mph velocity restrict. 

I used to be capable of expertise the SQ6’s energy firsthand after I hopped behind the wheel of a European-spec prototype for a really transient first drive round a parking zone dealing with course on the Audi Model Expertise Middle at Munich Airport. It is fast and intensely responsive in its Dynamic drive mode, which retains each motors energetic whereas additionally weighing up the steering for a extra exact really feel. Effectivity mode, alternatively, deactivates the entrance motor for improved vary, retaining what nonetheless looks like ample energy for round city motoring. I would want extra time behind the wheel for extra detailed driving impressions, so we’ll loop again on the Q6 e-tron when the North American spec arrives.

The Q6 and SQ6 configurations each make use of a brand new 100 kWh nickel manganese cobalt battery pack (or 94.9 kWh when accounting for reserve) that includes a brand new chemistry that requires much less cobalt to provide whereas claiming 50% extra vitality density than the earlier era. Audi says this permits the Q6’s pack to be 15% lighter than its earlier EV era of the identical capability, squeezing “over 300 miles” of vary between expenses. (Precise EPA estimates are but to be launched.) SQ6’s efficiency upgrades, bigger wheels and wider tires will value it a little bit of vary, however at time of publication, Audi hasn’t said how a lot.

One battery that acts like two

Audi additionally claims the brand new Q6’s 800-volt structure expenses 30% quicker than its earlier EVs. If yow will discover an 800-volt DC quick charging station, the EV can settle for as much as 270 kW, rocketing from 10% to 80% state of cost in as quick as 21 minutes. Nonetheless, most DCFC stations you may discover at this time function at 400 volts. To cope with this, Audi’s 800-volt battery can cut up itself into two “digital batteries” that cost in parallel at 400 volts every. On this mode, the utmost charging velocity drops to 135 kW, however there’s much less vitality misplaced to voltage conversion, doubtlessly saving cost time and price.

When linked to a decrease voltage DC quick charger, the Q6 e-tron’s 800-volt battery can cut up into two 400-volt banks.

Audi

One factor that I’ve all the time beloved about Audi’s e-tron fashions is that they are accessible with twin charging ports, which might now be discovered on the rear fenders of the Q6 the place they permit a bit extra flexibility when parking and charging at dwelling and vacation spot chargers. On the motive force’s aspect, the CCS combo port accommodates the DC quick charging and AC Degree 1 and Degree 2 charging. The passenger aspect port is AC solely, accepting as much as 9.6 kW/40A on North American single-phase 240-volt energy. Although Audi has dedicated to switching to the NACS customary, the Q6 e-tron is not going to characteristic the “Tesla port” at launch.

Like most EVs, the Q6 can be capable of recharge itself with recaptured braking vitality. There at the moment are 5 user-selectable regeneration modes, together with a brand new one-pedal driving mode that engages full regen when the accelerator is lifted and may carry the SUV to a cease with out touching the brake pedal. All modes provide as much as 220 kW of recuperation — reclaiming as much as 95% of braking vitality with every cease — robotically balancing friction brakes with the regeneration as wanted.

Lively OLED know-how

This would not be an Audi debut and not using a new lighting know-how that is too superior for our car laws right here within the States. The brand new Q6 e-tron debuts new era LED and OLED know-how. Up entrance, the daytime working lights characteristic 61 white LED segments every, whereas the back lights share 360 triangular digital OLED segments that may show animated sequences that greet the motive force when approaching or locking the car. This characteristic additionally powers 11 user-selectable themes that customise the look and form of the SUV’s gentle signature. One theme even options animations that play whereas driving, utilizing an algorithm to make sure that the general gentle output of the animation stays fixed to scale back distraction to different drivers. US laws stop using shifting lights on passenger vehicles, so we’ll get solely the static themes.

The following-generation OLED Matrix back lights characteristic person selectable themes and driver assist iconography.

Audi

Past simply wanting cool, Audi is pondering of how to make use of its lighting tech to enhance security. For instance, when activating the hazard lights or when the automated emergency braking system is triggered, the OLED taillights reshape to type a triangle icon (much like the form on the button for many vehicles’ hazard lights) to warn different drivers of hazard. Audi additionally demonstrated tail gentle configurations that notified pedestrians or different drivers that the Q6 was performing an automatic parking maneuver or {that a} door was about to open into a motorcycle lane. In all instances, the impact is delicate and does not appear to have an effect on visibility.

Audi Digital Stage

Settle in behind the wheel to be greeted by Audi’s new triple-display Digital Stage MMI infotainment suite. This setup mates a pair of versatile OLED shows — an 11.9-inch digital instrument cluster and a big 14.5-inch most important touchscreen — to a single glass panel that curves across the steering wheel. The {hardware} runs the latest-generation of Audi’s Multimedia Interface (MMI) software program, which is now based mostly on Android Automotive OS. Although, with out “Google Constructed-In,” customers will use Audi’s personal curated market fairly than Google Play Companies to obtain apps like Spotify, PlugShare, YouTube or Seashore Buggy Racing. (Video apps and video games, by the best way, shall be restricted to make use of when parked and charging.)

Audi’s market additionally permits downloadable “operate on demand” options like improved encompass sound processing or alternate gentle signature themes, which sort of sounds cool. Nonetheless, principally this opens the potential for microtransactions and paywalling options which, finally, I am not tremendous thrilled about.

Rounding out this triple display rig is the ten.9-inch passenger show positioned on the far proper of the dashboard. It is a totally featured infotainment interface that permits the entrance seat passenger to seek for and ship vacation spot to the principle navigation display, choose audio sources and extra. Passengers may even view video sources, like YouTube, whereas the car is in movement due to an Lively Privateness Mode that forestalls the motive force from seeing or being distracted by the auxiliary display.

There are fewer bodily controls and extra screens within the Q6 e-tron’s cabin, however a brand new AI voice assistant system (hopefully) reduces distraction.

Audi

This era of MMI options fewer bodily and haptic controls than earlier than, sadly, shifting extra controls onto the contact display and voice management. To that finish, the Q6 will characteristic Audi’s new AI-voice assistant powered by a mixture of cloud-based and offline pure language recognition with over 800 capabilities, many with as much as 100 variations. The system can even be capable of reply knowledge-based questions concerning the car itself (like “how a lot stress goes into the tire?”) and normal topics.

Directional microphones be certain that a baby within the backseat cannot change the route by shouting, “Hey Audi, navigate to Coldstone” — solely the motive force can do this. When the car detects that the motive force is alone within the cabin, the “Hey Audi” hotword is not even needed; simply converse aloud and the automotive will reply.

The Q6 e-tron can be accessible with a big augmented actuality head-up show that initiatives velocity, navigation and driver assist data into the motive force’s subject of view. Audi says the HUD can be used to play one in every of two video games utilizing steering wheel controls when the e-tron is parked. Alongside the sting of the dashboard on the base of the windshield, customers can even notice the Audi Interplay Mild, a strip of 84 full-color LEDs that gentle up and animate to speak numerous capabilities, such because the flip sign, driver assist alerts or the AI Assistant voice command. The strip is seen from exterior the car, permitting it to additionally function a charging indicator when plugged in. We have seen the same know-how used on the Q6 e-tron’s older cousin, the Volkswagen ID 4.

The SQ6 e-tron’s extra aggressive design and bigger wheels are visible indicators of its elevated energy.

Audi

What’s subsequent for the Audi Q6 e-tron?

Having checked the tech and brought the Q6 and SQ6 e-tron SUVs for very quick first drives has left me excited for this new addition to the EV panorama and desirous to spend extra time behind the wheel, expertise the efficiency below real-world circumstances and see how Audi’s distinctive method to dashboard tech shakes out on the highway.

The primary Audi Q6 e-trons will start reaching European clients this summer season with orders opening this month (March 2024) beginning at 74,700 euros (round $81,203). North American costs will virtually definitely be considerably decrease to fit in between the smaller This fall ($56,395) and bigger Q8 ($75,595) e-tron fashions, however remaining MSRP hasn’t been introduced. Count on to study extra when reservations open within the coming weeks at AudiUSA.com.

Submit-launch, Audi expects so as to add Sportback variations and two rear-wheel drive configurations to the combination (one lengthy vary mannequin and an entry-level spec that I reckon will use a smaller 83 kWh battery pack.) When requested whether or not we’ll ultimately see an excellent hotter-trotting RS Q6 e-tron variant, representatives of the automaker refused to verify past realizing smiles.



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