Audi Q6 E-tron brings 388 miles of range and up to 510bhp

Do you have to balance the new technology with a design that will be familiar to customers?

“We have a clear strategy for our E-tron models, which we respect – but you also have to do the next step. Looking inside, I see it really as ‘step, step, step’. You can’t jump too far into the future because you have to respect what you have already. Right now, we have two columns for our ICE and EV cars, and we’re building up each one. So you have to do the right step at the right time.”

So are you using electric models to build new design traditions?

“There will be a time when Audi just has E-trons. We’re in a time of transformation and you have to find a balance. In 15 years, when we just have E-trons, there could be a different design language, but until then we have to respect where we are.”

How much of the Q6 E-tron will be seen on future PPE-platform cars such as the A6 E-tron?

“We’re building up the E-tron line. We have the Q4, Q8 and GT, and the Q6 E-tron is the next half-step. We’re waiting for the next half-step, which will come with the A6 E-tron later this year with another improvement. Then we’ll keep on going and going.”

Opinion: Welcome to EV 2.0

Yes, the Audi Q6 E-tron is yet another premium electric SUV. The third one from Audi, in fact. So you might not think it’s all that significant – but don’t be fooled. Because this, along with the Porsche Macan Electric with which it shares a platform, really marks the start of a new generation of EVs from the VW Group’s upmarket brands.

The Q8 E-tron used a modified version of an ICE platform and the Q4 sits on VW’s mass-market MEB architecture. But PPE has been developed by Audi and Porsche specifically for a new wave of EVs, with an overt design focus on electric technology and software. In many ways, the Q6 is our first sight of an Audi electric car developed entirely from a truly clean sheet of paper.

The key to this platform is flexibility: the focus on software and computing allows for both over-the-air updates (and, in a less welcome move, potentially more pay-to-access features) and faster general development. It’s also a time to pivot. Firms like Audi now have plenty of knowledge of electric technology – and it’s time to really show what they can do.

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