Audi’s long-awaited electric alternative to the Q5 previews a radical new approach to cockpit design

While Audi had already previewed Q6 e-tron prototype in July earlier this year, the brand has now given us a first look at its interior, unveiling it at the Munich Motor Show recently. The Q6 E-tron SUV sets the tone for a wide-reaching rethink of the German firm’s interior designs, adopting a ‘human-centric’ arrangement that majors on digital functionality and ease of use.

  1. New PPE EV platform allows rethink of brand’s digital interfaces
  2. Gets curved panoramic twin screen setup with separate passenger screen
  3. Also gets optional augmented reality head-up display

Audi Q6 e-tron SUV interior philosophy

The new Audi Q6 E-tron is the first car to ride on the new PPE EV platform, opening up new packaging possibilities and introducing a new electronic architecture which allows for a near-total rethink of Audi’s digital interfaces. Audi highlights the focus its designers have placed on the real-world needs of its driver and passengers, with a newly designed interior.

“By understanding the interior as the centre of our customers’ lives and experiences,” head of design Marc Lichte said, “we are rejecting the status quo and systematically designing the vehicle from the inside out.”

Audi Q6 e-tron SUV interior design and features

The Q6 E-tron gets a curved, panoramic display measuring 14.5-inch paired with an 11.9-inch digital cockpit. Both screens are housed in a curved wraparound panel on top of the dashboard complemented by an optional augmented reality head-up display. Front passengers also receive their own screen, with a 10.9-inch display integrated into the dashboard, capable of setting navigation routes and music selection. It can also be shielded from the driver’s view to minimise distractions.

An LED strip running around the cabin has a brightness of 1200cd, and serves three functions: it welcomes occupants on entry, flashes when the indicators are on and shows the state of charge when the car is plugged in.

The digital assistant, now represented by an avatar on the digital display, can locate nearby chargers and adjust certain functions when summoned by the command “Hey Audi”. Audi says it can learn from its users over time to offer “the best possible support” without being asked – like automatically setting the climate control.

Elsewhere, softwrap materials feature in the cockpit and on the centre console made with sustainable materials. The instrument panel can be specified as wood or brushed aluminium. Both the driver and passenger get a cupholder and two USB charging ports, plus a wireless charging pad.

Audi Q6 e-tron SUV underpinnings, powertrain

One of more than 20 new models the brand plans to launch by 2025, the Q6 E-tron is underpinned by the new Premium Platform Electric (PPE) architecture co-developed with Porsche, which will be used by the Macan EV. It promises 600km of range, confirmed to our sister publication Autocar UK by technical development boss Oliver Hoffmann. PPE allows a charging rate of up to 270kW thanks to its 800V technology.

Full performance figures for the Q6 E-tron have yet to be released, but the Audi A6 E-tron concept packs a claimed 470hp and 800Nm from its dual-motor, four-wheel-drive powertrain. The Macan boosts this to 603hp and more than 953Nm thanks to new permanently excited electric motors using a ‘double V’ magnet arrangement. However, this technology may be reserved for Porsche, or for a future ‘RS’ variant of the Q6.

Audi Q6 e-tron SUV launch and production

Previously planned to launch last year, the Q6 E-tron will be revealed in production-form in the second half of this year, hitting the market by the start of 2024. This will be followed by the launch of a coupé-SUV Sportback version which is expected to trade some practicality and affordability for a more fashionable and aerodynamic body shape, yielding a slight boost in range. It will also be the first electric Audi to be built at the brand’s historic Ingolstadt factory, which currently produces the Audi Q2, Audi A3, Audi A4 and Audi A5.

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