Audi Q6 e-tron spied winter testing

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Audi is working on its upcoming electric Audi Q6 e-tron, and it has been spied cold weather testing.

The new Audi Q6 e-tron is on the way and as we can see from these latest spy shots, a full reveal could be imminent. The new Audl all-electric SUV will come in both coupe and regular SUV body styles as well in hot RS trim when it launches in 2023.

Our latest spy images show a slightly less disguised version of the Q6 e-tron and Q6 e-tron Sportback, revealing some new design details. Both bodystyles have the same amount of camouflage and we’ve seen both testing together multiple times, suggesting they’ll be released at the same time.

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The Q6 e-tron will be positioned between the Q4 e-tron and the recently updated Q8 e-tron SUV. This means the Q6 model will be pitched as a rival to the Tesla Model Y, BMW iX3 and Nissan Ariya.

The latest batch of spy shots show a prototype still clad in heavy camouflage, but it’s clear that the Sportback model will retain the overall styling direction of the regular car, with a closed-off, textured front grille flanked by a pair of dual LED headlights. Beneath we can see side air intakes with strakes.

Previous spy shots show a pre-production test car with two-tone bodywork – hinting at potential personalisation options. A full-width light bar with a signature similar to the e-tron GT will mark out the Q6’s rear end, and the more aerodynamic silhouette of the Sportback model could liberate a few extra kays of range over the standard SUV. Boot space will obviously take a hit, however.

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We’ve also seen the Q6 e-tron’s undisguised front end during testing before, providing our best look at Audi’s new electric car styling language – which we’ve previewed in our exclusive images. Contrast colour panels are expected to feature throughout, while sharp shoulderline creases will give the Q6 e-tron some added muscle.

We expect the Q6 will be comparable in external dimensions to the combustion-engined Q5, but with a longer wheelbase and increased passenger space enabled by the new platform.

Inside, the car is likely to adopt the new 11.6-inch central touchscreen used in the Q4 e-tron. However, the design could be different due to the platform, and also to separate both models in terms of price and positioning.

The PPE architecture found underneath the Q6 e-tron will be shared with the next-generation Porsche Macan, which is due to be launched in 2023 as a full EV sitting alongside the existing, petrol-powered Macan. Despite both the Q6 and new Macan sharing similar hardware and software, they will be visually separate both inside and out.

The PPE platform is an evolution of the J1 platform found under the e-tron GT four-door, as well as the Porsche Taycan. That means it’ll have an 800-volt electrical architecture, enabling super-fast DC charging at a rate of up to 350kW.

Audi also says the platform will allow the EV’s battery pack to charge from five to 80 per cent capacity in around 25 minutes. A shorter charge using the fastest possible DC rapid charger can also add 300km of range in just 10 minutes.

Alastair Crooks

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