In recent years, Audi has focused on developing sustainable solutions to support the increasing electrification of the range. This has led to a slow abandonment of driving pleasure, sacrificed on the altar of efficiency at all costs.

But now, with the new Audi Q6 e-tron, the German manufacturer is making a profound change of pace, returning to driving dynamics, even for a model where performance is not the main objective. It's an electric car that's different from the rest of the brand's EVs, and returns to the claim that the manufacturer has been making for years: being at the cutting edge of technology.

Exterior | Interior | Driving | Curiosities | Price

Audi Q6 e-tron: exterior

But first things first. The new Q6 e-tron is based on the PPE platform, developed in collaboration with Porsche. This is an 800-volt electric architecture around which the car is developed over a length of 4.77 metres and a wheelbase of 2.89 metres. The design language is new to Audi, especially at the front. Here, the stars are the lighting clusters, which are developed in two elements: the taller ones serve as daytime running lights and offer a choice of eight different designs. The main light clusters, meanwhile, are articulated lower down and use Matrix LED technology.

The attention paid to the model's aerodynamics is reflected in the presence of a completely closed grille and several movable openings at the front. In addition, the Audi engineers' renewed attention to driving pleasure is also expressed by the presence of wheels of different sizes on the front and rear axles.

Audi Q6 e-tron: road test

The rear of the Audi Q6 e-tron

Audi Q6 e-tron: inside

While there are plenty of new features on the outside, the inside is truly revolutionary. The styling approach has changed completely and it is now the technological content developed around the concept of a digital stage made up of three screens that takes centre stage. The first, positioned behind the steering wheel, has a diagonal measurement of 11.9 inches and is housed in a single frame with that of the 14.5-inch infotainment system, which runs on the Android Automotive operating system. There's also a third screen for the front passenger, measuring 10.9 inches.

There's plenty of space on board, guaranteed by a generous wheelbase that leaves plenty of room, even for people sitting in the back. Cargo capacity is also good. Access to the compartment is via an electrically operated tailgate: the floor is even and offers, in standard configuration, a minimum volume of 526 litres, which becomes 1,529 litres by folding down the backrests of the second row.

Audi Q6 e-tron: road test

The interior of the Audi Q6 e-tron

Audi Q6 e-tron: how does it work?

Three powertrains are available for the Q6 e-tron. All use a gross 100 kWh lithium-ion battery, rechargeable up to 270 kW, which transmits power to a single rear engine producing 326 PS and 625 km of range on the e-tron performance version, or to two engines for a total of 387 bhp and 381 miles of range on the e-tron quattro, or 517 PS and 372 miles of range on the SQ6 e-tron quattro. I took the wheel of the mid-range variant, which proves to be the most balanced and perfect choice for those looking for a comfortable everyday electric without sacrificing a bit of sportiness.

Aside from its performance in terms of speed, what's most satisfying about the Q6 is the fine-tuning of its settings. The electronically-controlled suspension faithfully reproduces the unevenness of the road, limiting body movements and providing good precision when cornering. The dynamic distribution of power between the two engines gives the Q6 very neutral handling. The feel of the brake pedal, which is always well modulated, and of the steering, which, although highly reduced, is still very communicative, is also good.

Audi Q6 e-tron: road test

The front of the Audi Q6 e-tron

Audi Q6 e-tron: curiosities

But one of the most interesting elements of Audi's new electric car is its energy recovery strategy, managed by a special control unit (one of five on board) that also manages the adaptive suspension. Every time you release the accelerator pedal, this unit autonomously recovers energy from the front or rear motors, or both.

Audi Q6 e-tron: road test

a side view of the Audi Q6 e-tron

The choice of energy recovery is made according to the driving mode active at the time, the driving style and, once again, by analysing the movement of each suspension in real time. Thanks to a special actuator mounted on each shock absorber, the system is able to understand what the body's movements are at a given moment, and then intervene on the recovery via one of the two motors in order to balance the car as much as possible.

Audi Q6 e-tron: price

In the UK, the Audi Q6 e-tron, Q6 e-tron Performance and the Q6 e-tron quattro are offered in three trim versions: Sport, S line, or Edition 1. The base e-tron has a starting price of £59,975, while the e-tron Performance starts at £63,475. The two-motor quattro version starts at £68,975. At the top of the range is the SQ6 e-tron, available from £92,950.

Gallery: Audi Q6 e-tron (2024)