Vorsprung durch Technik. For those of you who don’t speak German, that means Progress Through Technology. It’s Audi’s slogan, especially when it comes to its upcoming model, the Q6 SUV.
The Q6 SUV will be a coupe-like SUV and slot between the Q5 and Q7, obviously, and will take on cars like the BMW X6 and Mercedes-Benz GLE Coupe. However, the Q6 will debut with alternative powertrains only, no traditional combustion engines for the Q6. It will likely start out as a pure electric vehicle, using a similar battery/motor setup as the Audi R8 e-tron. A plug-in hybrid version will likely come later and there’s the possibility later down the line for a hydrogen model. The idea is to create a high-tech, alternative power SUV to combat the likes of the upcoming Tesla Model X.
The Q6’s styling will likely be highly influenced by the Audi Prologue Concept and other Audi e-tron vehicles, like the R8 and A3. R&D chief, Ulrich Hackenberg, describes the Q6 as a “Sports Activity Vehicle”, the Q6 will likely have a sportier look and feel to it, as opposed to just another EV. Inside the Q6 will house some of Audi’s latest technology, like the latest and greatest MMI infotainment system, the latest in Virtual Cockpit technology and likely different modes for the Quattro all-wheel drive system. So while the Q6 will be extremely efficient, whether it be a plug-in hybrid or pure EV, it will be sporty as well and be a proper Audi.
To combat the Tesla Model X, which will most likely have some sort of ludicrous mode, or an equally hyperbolic acceleration mode, the Q6 will pack a punch. The Audi Q6 could possibly use a version of the powetrain setup in the Audi R8 e-tron, which packs 500 hp and 500 lb-ft of torque. This would make the Q6 one of the fastest SUVs on the market, if not the fastest thanks to the instant electric torque, and should be faster than the Tesla Model X. The R8 e-tron’s, and subsequently the Q6’s, powertrain consists of an electric motor at each axle to give it full-time, true torque vectoring all-wheel drive. So not only will it be faster than most, but it should handle off-road better than most as well. Range is expected to be somewhere around 310 miles and could feature inductive charging instead of conventional charging.
We should be seeing the Q6 within a couple of years, as it’s scheduled to go on sale in 2018 as a 2019 model. No word yet on if the plug-in hybrid version will launch with the EV, but the EV version is the main priority. The Audi Q6 will do battle with the BMW X5 xDrive40e, the Mercedes-Benz GLE 500e Coupe and the Tesla Model X. If the current Q7 is of any indicator as to how the Q6 will be, the competition better look out.