Audi is going full speed ahead with its electric-car development, and the company’s second all-electric model (after the R8 e-tron) will be an SUV similar and size and appearance to the Audi e-tron Quattro concept shown at the Frankfurt auto show last fall (pictured).
Audi says that the concept car’s impressive 300-plus-mile driving range will make it to production as well, thanks to a potent electric drivetrain with three electric motors and a large battery pack. We don’t yet know any more details about the exact size of the battery pack or the supposed “quick battery charging” capability, but the related Audi R8 e-tron supercar uses a 92-kWh lithium-ion battery pack and a so-called Combined Charging System that incorporates both direct- and alternating-current charges.
We do know that the new all-electric Audi SUV will ride on the same MLB platform as the Audi Q7. As it will fit in between the Q7 and Q5 in size, it stands to reason that this new model will wear a Q6 badge. The e-tron concept, which Audi says “provides a clear indication” of the production crossover’s look, featured a low, sporty stance that’s more reminiscent of a wagon than an SUV, with Audi’s new “singleframe” grille featuring prominently up front and a futuristic, button-free dashboard inside.
We first reported on this Audi electric crossover in 2014, when European correspondent Georg Kacher predicted that a Q6 e-tron would arrive in four years with a 300-400-hp electric drivetrain and a price around $100,000. This new model, along with plenty of other plug-in hybrid models, is part of Audi’s strategy to pump up its electrified portfolio to target Tesla, a goal made even more important now by the company’s desire to distance itself from the diesel emissions scandal.
Production of the Audi Q6 e-tron will begin in 2018 at a plant in Brussels, Belgium, which will also produce battery packs. Stay tuned for more news on this Audi EV as we learn more information in the coming months.