Keywords: 2016, 2019, audi, q6, awd, all-wheel drive, 4-wheel drive, suv, ev, electric vehicle, battery electric, crossover, quattro, hatchback, renderings, 5-door, plug-in hybrid, phev, plug-in, fuel cell, hydrogen, fcev, cuv
Description: The upcoming Audi Q6 is the brand's high-tech green showcase. Read more and see pictures at Car and Driver.
What It Is: The Q6 is a four-door CUV closely related to the next-generation Q5. It will come to market with alternative powertrains only, including a fully battery-electric version. A plug-in hybrid will follow, and there is the possibility of a hydrogen-fueled model, as well. Although it has four doors, the Q6 will have a coupelike roofline and an extremely low coefficient of drag. Inside, it will feature the next generation of Audi's screen-based "virtual cockpit" instrumentation previewed by recent concept cars such as the Audi Prologue.
Why It Matters: The Q6 is Audi's attempt to take on Tesla—and to fortify its claim of "Vorsprung durch Technik" (“Progress through Technology”). It will move Audi's "e-tron" styling language, aimed at distinguishing vehicles with alternative powertrains, one step further ahead. Described by Audi R&D chief Ulrich Hackenberg as a "Sports Activity Vehicle," it aims to offer a Tesla-like driving experience. Considering the uncertain prospects and volatile regulatory framework for electrics, the Q6 is a gamble for Audi. If it works, it will give Audi a head-start over offerings from BMW and Mercedes-Benz. Moreover, it likely won’t come to market much later than the oft-delayed Tesla Model X.
Platform: Based on Audi's second-generation modular-longitudinal (MLB) architecture, the Q6 will be able to accommodate multiple powertrain options and the latest driver-assistance systems. The Q6 will offer extensive autonomous-driving features, matching or exceeding those of the next-generation Audi A8. The Q6 also will be fitted with an air suspension, and its body will make extensive use of aluminum.
Powertrain: The fully electric version of the Q6 will use components from the upcoming R8 e-tron. With all-wheel drive, around 500 horsepower, and more than 500 lb-ft of torque, it will be one of the quickest SUVs on the market. Audi will offer an inductive-charging option that does away with the need to plug the car into an electric outlet, but it will not offer battery swapping, a technology that Audi CEO Rupert Stadler has repeatedly ruled out. Range is expected to exceed 310 miles.