► It's Audi's first all-electric car
► Q6 E-tron crossover EV revealed
► Here in 2018, target: Tesla
Audi’s first pure electric vehicle will be the Q6 E-tron, revealed here in this CAR magazine artist's impression. It’s a sporty crossover coupe said to have a strong resemblance to Lamborghini’s Urus concept from some angles, though aerodynamics may yet alter that shape.
In an ideal world Audi would – just like Tesla – start its battery-electric vehicle (BEV) with a clean sheet of paper. But a bespoke architecture is complex and expensive, and has homologation risks in markets such as China.
So Audi’s plan is a derivative vehicle on the next Q5's MLB platform, and built in an existing facility. Thus the new Q6 family is born, expanding Audi's SUV footprint. That way the investment is lower and the model less vulnerable if volume is slow to build.
Audi Q6 E-tron: a very rapid kind of crossover
Audi vows that the Q6 E-tron must eclipse the Tesla in every respect: power and torque, and driving range – even under draining conditions like the autobahn or Nordschleife.
Such ambitious goals require a heavily modified architecture, vehicle concept, battery configuration and drivetrain application. The battery pack is said to be as large as 100kWh (bigger than the R8 E-tron's, in other words).
Weight must be minimised, and when combined with the two electric drivetrain options – with 300bhp/332lb ft and 400bhp/479lb ft – Ingolstadt sources reckon they have a Tesla Model S beater. Range is said to be touching 200 miles.
Uh-oh… they’re preparing RS-spec upgraded E-trons too
Yes, a 500bhp/553lb ft flagship Q6 E-tron is planned, just in case. The Q6 E-tron would be available purely with electric 4wd.
The car is expected in 2018, with a price starting around £60,000. Perfectly placed to battle the new Tesla Model X, coming later in 2015.
Why is Audi building an all-electric crossover? Simple. Many US states are preparing rules whereby 15% of all cars sold must be pure electric by 2025. Car makers must act now to be ready in time...