Audi 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 the Q6 E-tron SUV. Our spies caught a prototype of the new model in Ingolstadt.
Confirmed for launch in 2022 by Audi CEO Markus Duessman, the new model will sit between the imminent Q4 E-tron, which uses the VW Group’s MEB platform, and the fullsized E-tron flagship, which is based off a modified version of the MLB SUV architecture. It will be built in Ingolstadt, where Audi is also building a new battery production facility to serve its expanding EV lineup.
It will serve as a sister car to the promised electric version of the Porsche Macan—in much the same way as Audi’s new E-tron GT sedan shares the bulk of its make-up with Porsche’s Taycan. As was the case with those two cars, the Porsche will arrive several months before the Audi.
The PPE architecture—based on the J1 platform used for the Taycan and E-tron GT—is designed for fullsized luxury models from the two firms, both in low-slung and SUV forms.
Porsche has confirmed that the current, combustion-engined Macan will initially remain on sale alongside the all-new electric car, paving the way for Audi to keep the same-sized Q5 in dealerships beyond the launch of the Q6 E-tron.
In terms of styling, this sighting of a prototype suggests heavy influence from the fullsized E-tron, with the Q6 adopting a cab-backward silhouette, gently sloping roof line and bulky rear arches. Though it will be mechanically identical to the Macan EV, the two will share little in the way of design cues.
The Q6 E-tron will have a more obvious performance focus than the current combustion car, 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, should send around 590 hp to both axles, though the PPE platform has been designed with just a rear-mounted electric motor as standard.
The PPE platform also has 800 volts charging functionality built in, which means the Macan EV and Q6 E-tron will be able to charge at speeds of up to 350 kW. Expect a range in excess of 315 miles, given the entry-level E-tron GT is quoted to be capable of 300 miles per charge.
The Q6 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, though 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 sedan that Audi first previewed in 2019 and has been described by company bosses as the most important Audi to use the PPE platform.
Photo credit: Brian Williams, SpideBilde