Audi is putting its upcoming new Q6 e-tron electric SUV through sub-zero testing. Audi says that the car is being tested in 'the far north of Europe', which we take to mean Lapland - where almost all European car makers go to stress-test their new models in conditions that really put batteries, motors, heaters, locks and everything in-between through the cold-weather ringer.
Shares with the new Porsche Macan
The Q6 e-tron is an all-new model for Audi and will be analogous in size to the current Q5. It rides on the new PPE (Premium Platform Electric) architecture which will also be shared with the new electric Porsche Macan, which - like the Q6 - is due to go on sale early next year after a first reveal at the end of 2023.
Audi bosses describe it as "the largest model offensive in the history of the brand with the four rings." 20 new models will be launched in the next three years, and more than half will be fully-electric cars.
The Q6 e-tron's full technical spec hasn't been released, but if it closely shadows the new Macan, then we can expect a range-topping model with a battery of more than 100kWh capacity and a range of more than 600km. There will be more affordable models with smaller batteries and lesser ranges, too.
It'll charge quickly, too - the PPE platform has been built around an 800-volt charging system which means, as with the e-tron GT and e-tron quattro SUV (soon to morph into the new Q8 e-tron), that you can charge at speeds of up to 270kW from an ultra-high speed DC public charging point.
The Macan is set to have as much as 600hp from its top-spec two-motor, all-wheel drive setup, but such power outputs are likely to be reserved for an RS version of the Q6. There will be more conventional models than that, as the Q6 will also share its PPE platform with the new A6 e-tron saloon and Avant estate. Concept versions of the A6 e-tron have already been shown off with a 470hp quattro twin-motor drivetrain and a range of more than 700km (although the taller, less aerodynamic Q6 might struggle to match that), and the PPE platform can be used for single-motor, rear-wheel drive applications too.
As with other Audi SUV models, there will be a 'Sportback' version with a sloping rear roofline and coupe-ish styling.
Focused on sustainability
"Our Vorsprung 2030 strategy provides the right answers, even in times of multiple crises," says Audi's CEO Markus Duesmann. "We are completely focused on sustainability and systematically advancing the digitalisation and electrification of our products."
Duesmann also said that the production line staff at Audi's Ingolstadt factory are being re-trained to build these high-end electric models and that "Audi is transforming at an increasing pace into a leading provider of connected, fully electric premium mobility."