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Hot electric SUV takes shape

Audi’s Q6 E-Tron is yet to be revealed but already a hotter version from Audi Sport is being tested in public view.

The prototype in our latest spy shots, caught testing recently at Germany’s Nürburgring racetrack, is for an expected RS version of the Q6 E-Tron, a vehicle that will likely go by the name Q6 RS E-Tron. Audi Sport already offers an electric vehicle in the form of the RS E-Tron GT.

The prototype may look like earlier testers we’ve seen for the regular Q6 E-Tron, but there’s a new front fascia sporting what appears to be side intakes with active shutters. There’s also an extended lip spoiler, chunkier side skirts, and a rear fascia with a possible diffuser insert.

2024 Audi Q6 RS E-Tron spy shots - Photo credit: S. Baldauf/SB-Medien

2024 Audi Q6 RS E-Tron spy shots – Photo credit: S. Baldauf/SB-Medien

Lowered suspension and an upgraded wheel and tire package also set apart the latest prototype from the earlier testers. And the bright red brake calipers seen here are also a common design element featured on Audi RS cars.

The Q6 E-Tron is a fully electric SUV similar in size to the Q5. It’s being developed alongside Porsche’s electric Macan on a new Volkswagen Group EV platform known as the PPE, which promises 800-volt technology and over 300 miles of range.

The Q6 E-Tron is expected to have a 100-kwh battery and dual-motor all-wheel-drive powertrain with around 469 hp and 590 lb-ft of torque. The RS version should have something closer to 600 hp, though whether this will be via a dual- or tri-motor system is unclear.

2024 Audi Q6 RS E-Tron spy shots - Photo credit: S. Baldauf/SB-Medien

2024 Audi Q6 RS E-Tron spy shots – Photo credit: S. Baldauf/SB-Medien

The Q6 E-Tron was due to be revealed this year though the debut is now expected to take place in early 2023, meaning we’ll likely see it arrive at dealerships as a 2024 model. The RS version should launch later in 2023. Audi is also working on a more coupe-like Q6 Sportback E-Tron, and this body style should get the RS treatment.

Production of the Q6 E-Tron range will be handled at Audi’s plant in Ingolstadt, Germany, which has been prepared for production of PPE-based vehicles, as well as batteries.

Audi has ambitious plans for EVs, as the automaker aims to have 20 in its lineup as early as 2025. It has already launched the E-Tron, E-Tron GT and Q4 E-Tron, and will soon add the Q6 E-Tron, as well as an A6 E-Tron. An electric A8 replacement is expected to be revealed in 2024 and start sales in 2025. Beyond 2026, Audi has said it will only launch EVs.


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