Audi Q5 E-tron: Porsche Macan EV sibling due with 500km range

HomeCar NewsAudi Q5 E-tron: Porsche...

audi q6 3Audi and Porsche are sharing development of a new Premium Platform Electric (PPE architecture), and one of the first Audi models to use the new underpinnings will be a Q5 E-tron.

Set to be unveiled in 2022 ahead of a market launch the following year, the new SUV will sit between the imminent Q4 E-tron, which uses the Volkswagen Group’s MEB platform, and the full-sized E-tron flagship, which is based on a modified version of the MLB architecture.

It will serve as a sister car to the promised electric version of the Porsche Macan, in much the same way as the new Audi E-tron GT shares the bulk of its make-up with the Porsche Taycan. As was the case with those two cars, the Porsche will arrive several months before the Audi.

audi q6 10The PPE architecture – derived from the J1 platform used by the Taycan and E-tron GT – is designed for full-sized luxury models from the two firms, both in low-slung and SUV forms. The Macan  EV was first revealed by Autocar in October 2018 and quietly previewed by Porsche late last year.

Porsche has confirmed that the current petrol-engined Macan will initially remain on sale alongside the all-new electric Macan, paving the way for Audi to keep the current Q5 in dealerships beyond the launch of the Q5 E-tron.

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The big-selling Q5 has only recently been facelifted and is now available with both mild-hybrid and plug-in hybrid powertrains, helping to minimise its impact on Audi’s fleet emissions average, so should remain on sale into 2023/2024. It’s not yet clear whether Audi is planning a third generation of the Q5 or whether it could be replaced entirely by the Q5 E-tron.

In terms of styling, our first sighting of a prototype suggests heavy influence from the E-tron, with the Q5 E-tron adopting a cab-backward silhouette with a gently sloping roofline and bulky rear arches. Although it will be mechanically identical to the Macan EV, these images suggest the two will share little in the way of design cues.

audi q6 13The Q5 E-tron will have a more obvious performance focus than the current Q5, given the nature of its PPE architecture. The most powerful variant, likely badged RS in line with Audi’s plan to electrify its performance sub-division, will likely send around 440kW and 830Nm to both axles, although the PPE has been designed with just a rear-mounted electric motor as standard.

The PPE platform also has 800V charging functionality built in, which means the Macan EV and Q5 E-tron will be able to charge at speeds of up to 350kW. Expect a range in excess of 500 kilometres, given that the entry-level E-tron GT is quoted to be capable of 487 kilometres per charge.

audi q6 16The Q5 E-tron will offer a dynamic advantage over MEB-based electric cars from Audi and Volkswagen, too, courtesy of inbuilt torque-vectoring and rear-axle steering functionality, although these will likely be reserved for the more expensive performance options.

It remains unclear whether this new electric SUV will arrive before an A4-sized electric saloon that Audi first previewed in 2019, and has been described by company bosses as the most important Audi to use the PPE platform.

Felix Page

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