Audi has revealed a concept version of the all-electric Audi Q6 SUV at the Frankfurt Motor Show. The car is set to go one sale in 2018, priced at around £60,000.
Billed as a “foretaste of the production version”, the e-tron show car has a range of more than 310 miles, yet can sprint from 0-62mph in just 4.6 seconds on the way to a top speed of 130mph.
Audi Q6 styling
That mix of low running costs and performance is as much thanks to the car’s styling as it is to the combined 370kw power of its three super-efficient electric motors.
Its ‘green house’ design, with a passenger compartment that’s noticeably thinner than the rest of the car, gives the Q6 a best-in-class drag coefficient of 0.25 Cd, a figure that’s helped by the its enclosed floor and long flowing lines.
At speeds of 50mph and above vents close in the grille to make the Q6 more aerodynamic, while at high speeds the boot-mounted spoiler extends by up to 100mm and works in tandem with an active rear diffuser to help smooth air flow.
Meanwhile, conventional wing mirrors are replaced with rear-facing cameras, again to cut drag, and the car’s roof doubles as a solar panel. At 1.98m in length it would be the largest solar panel ever fitted to a production car, and can be used to power ancillaries as well as increase driving range.
From the outside you’ll also spot Audi’s world premier of its latest lighting system, called Matrix laser OLED (Organic Light-Emitting Diode). The system allows the driver to use full beam headlights without dazzling other road users, while the OLED elements are dimmable.
Audi Q6 powertrain
As in the e-tron concept, three electric motors will power the new Q6. At low speeds the car is effectively front-wheel drive with one motor powering the front wheels. But flooring the accelerator brings the two electric motors powering the rear wheels into play, to unleash total power of 370kW (equivalent to 496hp).
That translates into raw figures of 0-62mph in 4.6 seconds and a top speed of 130mph. However, the instant torque figure of 590Ib ft (a Ferrari 488 GTB has 561Ib ft) means the Q6 will feel even faster than its figures, and the car’s setup allows power to be sent to whichever wheel needs it most for excellent driving characteristics.
At higher speeds, the standard air suspension lowers the body by up to 30mm to reduce drag, while the all-wheel-steering that features in the e-tron would make the Q6 feel agile and safer when performing high-speed avoidance manoeuvres. The car features five-link lightweight aluminium suspension combined with 22-inch wheels wearing huge tyres that should offer lots of grip and minimal body lean.
When you’re not in the mood for a motorway slog, piloted driving takes much of the strain out of a long trip. It uses a combination of radar sensors, a video camera and a laser scanner to detect objects up to 80m away and could drive the car completely autonomously in the future.
Audi Q6 interior design
As an Audi interior, particularly one that’s destined to be fitted to the company’s technological show case, you can expect great things from the new Q6’s insides. The e-tron concept features a dashboard design that points a few degrees towards the driver and a large central armrest that gives a sports-car-like look and features its own digital display.
OLED displays are a major feature in the e-tron’s cabin and can form much of the car’s interior trim thanks to their thin construction. In front of the driver, there’re are three in total including a curved version of Audi’s Virtual Cockpit display that replaces the conventional instrument binnacle and looks much like the 12.3-inch screen available in the new Audi Q7.
They all combine with a more conventional-looking 14-inch centre display that is voice activated and could also follow hand gestures. In the back, there’re two more OLED displays, giving rear-seat passengers separate controls for the car’s ventilation and infotainment systems.
Audi Q6 interior space and storage
Audi says the concept car offers “ample space” for four adults, meaning the new Q6 should do, too. The car’s flat floor means head and legroom is decent and all passengers get individual seats (there’s no bench in the rear).
Because there’s no exhaust system to eat into luggage space, the boot is also impressively large offering a capacity of 615 litres with the back seats up and up to 1,725 litres with them down. For reference, a Range Rover Sport offers 489 and 1,761 litres respectively.
The excellent aerodynamics and electric motors, have the secondary effect of making the interior much quieter than in a conventional SUV.
Audi Q6 charging
If the e-tron concept is anything to go by, the new Q6 could also be fitted with a contactless charging system, with a charging plate fitted beneath the car’s parking space. The car’s piloted parking system would be used to park the car perfectly over the plate and the charging system is said to be 90 per cent as efficient as plugging the car into a socket. With the DC plug, for use at charging stations, the Q6 could be fully charged in 50 minutes, while 30 minutes of charge is said to be enough to cover nearly 250 miles.
Audi Q6 on-sale date and price
That the e-tron concept car looks close to production ready means we shouldn’t have to wait too long for the road-going Audi Q6. It is expected to go on sale in 2018, with a price tag of around £60,000.