Audi Q6 E-Tron to debut March 18

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The Audi Q6 E-Tron’s gestation feels like it’s gone on longer than it has. Perhaps that’s because Audi began developing a Q6 model more than a decade ago that was going to fight for share against the BMW X6. Or it might be because Audi teased a hydrogen-powered Q6 in 2015. Or it might be because Audi was showing pre-production BEV prototypes in 2021, when the battery-electric sibling to the Porsche Macan EV was meant to go on sale in 2022. Or it might be because we drove two more prototypes six months ago, pored over the new interior five months ago, and feel like we know all the important bits. None of that matters now; at last, the doctors have induced labor, and Audi will officially give birth to the thing on March 18.

A teaser image posted to Audi’s LinkedIn page came with the caption, “Overtake your expectations.” That will be difficult to do, our expectations already set almost too high to see with the naked eye. After our drive, we called the Q6 E-Tron “about as satisfying as EVs get,” and “remarkably happy to turn into corners,” and “the most harmonious, satisfying electric SUV we have driven so far.” We called its platform-mate Macan EV “Next-gen in every possible way,” its few drawbacks only applicable in comparison to the ICE-powered Macan, none of which should bother the Audi.

We expect two trims out of the gate, a Q6 55 E-Tron with 375 horsepower that can be boosted temporarily to 395 hp, and an SQ6 with a steady 482 hp that ramps to 509 for bursts. The Q6 is expected to hit 60 miles per hour in under six seconds, the SQ6 in less than 4.5. Lower trims will follow, on wheels as small as 18 inches in some markets, as well as an upper RS Q6 E-Tron trim, and a Sportback version. We’ve been led to believe range will come in around the 350-mile mark.

The interior plays popular tricks, an 11.9-inch gauge cluster conjoined with a 14.5-inch infotainment screen into a single curved unit, plus a 10.9-inch screen for the passenger that could be an optional extra. The next-level HUD was designed to display information at different “depths” in space, creating a more convincing augmented reality experience in which items shown can appear to be as far ahead as 656 feet. The ambient lighting, formed in part by an LED strip ringing the cabin, not only sets moods, it variety of animations communicates locking the doors, mimicking the turn signals, and conveying the state of charge when plugged in. There will be power for one’s ears, too, an optional 22-speaker Bang and Olufsen sound system kicking 830 watts. 

Stay tuned in ten days for all the details on how the PPE architecture has been used to obeys the Ingolstadt mandate of Vorsprung durch Technik. The Q6 E-Tron is expected on sale later this year as a 2025 model. 

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