2025 Audi Q6 E-Tron: Audi’s High-Tech Flagship Has Arrived

By automotive-mag.com 11 Min Read

Audi isn’t letting an itty-bitty slowdown in the growth of EV sales derail its pivot to becoming an electric-only automaker. On Monday, the German luxury brand unveiled the latest and perhaps most crucial step yet in its electric efforts: the 2025 Q6 E-Tron. 

Arriving in the extremely popular form factor of a midsize SUV, the Q6 E-Tron aims straight at the heart of American car-buying. It uses an all-new battery-and-motor platform that will undergird a host of future Audis and Porsches. It’s a mechanical sibling to the new Porsche Macan, which is already making waves and isn’t even out yet. 

And it debuts the Volkswagen Group’s next-generation electrical and software architecture, showcasing the fruits of an effort that’s been notoriously fraught and slow-going. 

No pressure, right?

Audi isn’t shunning gasoline just yet. But the Q6 is a key part of Audi’s strategy to offer an EV in all “core” vehicle segments by 2027. And once its next generation of combustion-powered live out their days—around 2033—the brand will be all-electric.

If there’s one model that can bring buyers to electric Audis en masse and help usher in that future, it’s the Q6 E-Tron. 

InsideEVs went to Germany last week to get the lowdown on the Q6 E-Tron from Audi’s engineers and drive the new SUV, albeit very briefly. So let’s dive in. 

(Full Disclosure: To make sure InsideEVs got a preview of the Q6 E-tron, Audi flew me out to Germany, put me up in a hotel and fed me schnitzel in large quantities.)

Specs That Matter

The Q6 E-Tron arrives in the U.S. in late 2024 with two variants to start: the Q6 E-Tron Quattro and the sportier SQ6 E-Tron. It slots in between the compact Q4 E-Tron SUV and the Q8 E-Tron, a full-size family-hauler. The E-Tron GT, a sports sedan that’s a fraternal twin to the Porsche Taycan, rounds out Audi’s electric portfolio.

Unlike any of those models, the Q6 E-Tron rides on Audi’s new Performance Platform Electric (PPE) platform, which can be configured to fit a range of different sedans and SUVs from both Audi and Porsche. That new tech allows for excellent range, charging speeds and performance, Audi says. On paper at least, that seems to be the case. 

Both the Q6 Quattro and SQ6 come equipped with dual motors in front and rear and all-wheel drive. The Quattro claims a peak of 456 horsepower and hits 60 mph in roughly five seconds, Audi says. The SQ6 churns out 510 horses and rips to 60 in 4.2 seconds. Unlike the upcoming PPE-equipped Porsche Macan Electric, the Q6 E-Tron has an asynchronous motor up front and a permanent magnet motor in the rear. That allows the Audi to disengage its front motor to slash energy consumption when needed. 

A 100-kilowatt-hour battery pack nestled in the Q6 E-Tron’s floor will deliver more than 300 miles of EPA range in the Quattro, according to Audi’s internal estimates. That’s more than any Audi EV before it. 

Pricing is still a question mark, but that range figure should make the Q6 E-Tron competitive, in at least one crucial metric, with the vehicles Audi has identified as its biggest rivals. Those rivals include the Mercedes-Benz EQB, Ford Mustang Mach-E, Nio EC6 and EL6 (from a Chinese startup) and, of course, the Tesla Model Y, the world’s best-selling EV. 

It’s worth noting that the new all-electric Macan, of which the Q6 E-Tron is a close relative, jumped nearly $20,000 in price over the old gas-powered Macan. Porsche is arguing it’s worth it for the performance increase here, but it’s unclear how Audi will round this out. 

2025 Audi Q6 E-Tron

A rear-wheel-drive version coming down the pike (with the same 100 kWh battery but one motor instead of two) should offer quite a bit more mileage and will be the choice for Audi buyers who want absolute maximum range. A high-performance RS variant as well as a  Sportback version, Audi’s name for a fastback, are in the works too. Timing on those is TBA.

The brand is touting some impressively quick charging speeds, too. Thanks to an 800-volt architecture (like Audi already uses in the E-Tron GT), the Q6 will be able to accept a veritable firehose of electrons: 270 kilowatts of charging power to be exact. There aren’t too many EVs on the market that can match that. Along with the new Porsche Taycan, it should be a charging-speed monster.

When plugged into a sufficiently powerful plug (rated at 270 kW or higher), the Q6 E-Tron can recharge from 10-80% state of charge in 21 minutes, Audi says. Assuming a total range of 300 miles, that maths out to a solid 210 miles of potential driving. 

Interestingly, when using a charger that doesn’t operate at 800 volts, the Q6 E-Tron flips a switch that divides its pack into two 400-volt sections. Those then charge simultaneously at 135 kW, slashing charging times at less powerful stations. Under those circumstances, 10-80% should happen in 30 minutes, Audi says. 

2025 Audi Q6 E-Tron

The question on everybody’s mind: Does it get a NACS plug? 

Although Audi plans to move over to Tesla’s North American Charging Standard eventually, the Q6 E-Tron will come with the conventional Combined Charging System (CCS) port at launch. Audi isn’t ready to announce when its new cars will get NACS from the factory or how it will roll out adapters for Tesla’s charging stations, Audi spokesperson Mark Dahncke said, explaining that there’s still testing to be done to make Audis work with Tesla’s infrastructure. 

(Some background, in case you need it: Most automakers have announced plans to shift from CSS, the old charging-plug standard, to NACS, which historically was only equipped on Tesla’s cars and at its Supercharger stations. Now, car companies have struck deals to use Tesla’s plug design and, therefore, much of its charging network.)

Audi hasn’t announced pricing for U.S.-bound models yet, but the base MSRPs of the Q4 E-Tron ($55,200) and Q8 E-Tron ($74,400) offer some clues. The Q6 E-Tron is expected to fall somewhere right in the middle, perhaps in the mid-$60,000 realm. 

The PPE Platform

The Q6 is just one possibility derived from the PPE platform. In broad strokes, the idea was to develop a platform that could deliver high performance, lots of range, fast charging and excellent efficiency—all while being simple to produce at scale. 

It bridges the gap between the Volkswagen Group’s MEB platform, which is for lower-end vehicles and doesn’t offer particularly high performance, and the J1 platform, which is used by the high-end E-Tron GT and Porsche Taycan. 

Audi PPE Platform

Part of achieving all that involved developing more lightweight and efficient motors. The PPE platform supports three different motors for the front axle and two for the rear, all of which can be manufactured on the same production line.

Compared to Audi’s first-generation rear drive unit, the PPE’s rear motor is 62% more power-dense and 50% more energy-efficient, Audi says. 

Audi PPE Platform

The PPE’s battery pack uses a new chemistry for Audi and large prismatic cells co-developed with the Chinese battery maker CATL. Bigger cells mean this Audi can pack more active material into a given area, boosting energy density. Individual cells are stacked into modules, allowing for different battery capacities. For example, the 83 kWh Q6, which will be sold outside the U.S., has essentially the same pack as the 100 kWh version, just with two modules poked out of its center.

Audi says the new, simpler layout allows it to assemble batteries faster and with more automation than before. To put things into perspective, the Q8 E-Tron’s battery pack comprises 36 modules and 432 cells. The Q6’s battery is made up of 12 modules with 180 total cells. 

Audi Q6 E-Tron PPE Platform motors

Audi also did a lot of work on thermal management, building improved systems that heat or cool the PPE battery to the optimal temperature for charging and driving. New to the Q6 is what Audi calls “continuous” thermal management. In extreme temperatures, the Q6 will automatically regulate its internal temperature to preserve battery longevity, even when it’s parked. 

2025 Audi Q6 E-Tron

But the hardware specs are only part of the mission here. The new Audi Q6 E-Tron is a huge deal on the software and UX side too, which we’ll cover in a separate story. In the meantime, do you think this Audi is shaping up to be as promising a contender in the EV crossover space as the Macan is? Let us know in the comments. 

Contact the author: [email protected]

Share This Article
Leave a comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *