With the Tesla Model X closer than ever, and BMW considering an all-electric SUV as well, Audi needs to get the Q6 e-tron out sooner than later.
Tesla already has 20,000 down payments on the Model X, so you know it’s coming soon. BMW is also mulling over the idea of an electric SUV to go alongside its X5 xDrive 40e plug-in hybrid. So electric, and hybrid, SUVs are becoming a big deal, especially in the North American market. It makes sense that EV SUVs, like the Model X, would be such a desirable thing in the US. We love SUVs and Tesla is our EV darling, so it’s natural that the US wants the Model X badly.
The Model X will be a coupe-like SUV, similar to the BMW X4 or X6. It will also have two electric motors, similar to the current Model S P90D. This will allow the Model X to effectively be all-wheel drive and have absolute torque vectoring, as the on-board computers can give either axle as much power as needed without the need to use driveshafts or differentials. This, combined with higher ground clearance, will actually allow the Model X to off-road a bit. Though, not much as the Model X will likely weigh as much as a small shopping mall, like its Model S brethren. No word yet on power or range, but expect both to be superior to even the current Tesla leader, the Model S P90D.
The Audi Q6 e-tron will be based on Audi’s latest MLB platform, which is said to have been designed to accommodate EVs and hybrids. This gives Audi a distinct advantage, as the MLB platform is superior to the one used by Tesla, in terms of weight and size. The MLB platform uses an extensive amount of aluminum, magnesium and other lightweight alloys, so it’s not only very light but very stiff as well. The Q6 e-tron will also use a similar powertrain setup as the R8 e-tron, which has a range of up to 280 miles, besting the Tesla Model S. It will also use a similar setup to the Model X, with one electric motor at each axle. Given the Q6’s extra mass over the R8 e-tron, it will have an estimated range of around 250 miles, keeping it very competitive.
Audi has a plan to release a myriad of new vehicles over the coming years. The Audi Q6 e-tron is just one of many, but it might just be the most hotly anticipated one. It’s the car that will put Audi right into contention with Tesla, and even maybe BMW, when the time comes. EV SUVs will be a very big deal soon, so Audi needs to get right out in front of this and attack Tesla head on if it wants a chance to dominate the segment. With the MLB platform, the R8 e-tron’s powertrain and Audi’s new found knowledge of making lightweight cars, I think the Q6 e-tron really stands a chance.