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HomeAutomobile2025 SQ6 E-Tron lights the street forward for Audi

2025 SQ6 E-Tron lights the street forward for Audi

  • 2025 Audi SQ6 E-Tron goes on sale in November for about $15,000 lower than the Porsche Macan EV
  • Audi’s PPE structure has extra environment friendly and highly effective motors than different SUV E-Trons
  • SQ6 E-Tron advantages from an out there air suspension with adaptive dampers

An underground parking storage under the cobblestone streets of San Sebastian, Spain’s outdated city may be an unlikely place to element the cutting-edge expertise underpinning Audi’s evolutionary electrical car platform. With concrete pillars as stout as a Gothic basilica, parking spots no wider than a Lancia hatchback, and convoluted exits so slender that even Moped riders exit in single file, the brand new 2025 Audi Q6 E-Tron SUV caught out like…an American.

It didn’t match round this Bay of Biscay seaside city, based centuries earlier than the inner combustion engine or electrical energy. But Audi’s technological showcase proved that it may possibly coexist with the outdated world as the fashionable world plunges irrevocably into the long run.  

The aspect mirrors energy retracted, the parking sensors cried like robots being tortured, and entrance and rear digital camera projections on the 14.9-inch touchscreen show assured me that with sufficient finagling, I might return with out difficulty from ditching Audi’s prescribed route. 

At almost 188 inches lengthy, the brand new 2025 SQ6 and Q6 are large by city European metropolis requirements, however sized good when the midsize crossover SUV lands in November in North America’s hottest luxurious automobile section. Though it was made in and examined in Europe, this contemporary SUV casts an American internet, the place the German model sells about 40% of all its international autos.

It needs to be no shock that the five-seat crossover SUV measures as much as the benchmarked bestselling Tesla Mannequin Y. But in construct high quality and composure it’s lightyears forward, and the in-car expertise leaps previous Tesla as properly.

2025 Audi Q6 E-Tron

2025 Audi Q6 E-Tron

Audi Q6 and the PPE (Premium Platform Electrical)  

The brand new Q6 makes use of the model’s PPE (Premium Platform Electrical) structure that not solely underpins the associated Porsche Macan EV however will likely be rolled out within the RS Q6 and the A6 electrical sedan arriving subsequent 12 months. (Editor’s notice: If Audi taxonomy confounds you in the course of the transition, know that each even-numbered Audi from right here on out will likely be a battery electrical car, and the odd-numbered fashions will use combustion engines.) 

A regular dual-motor all-wheel-drive system will likely be used on a bunch of forthcoming autos primarily based on the PPE. Driving each across the hilly roads in northern Spain’s Basque Nation impressed me with their steadiness of energy, effectivity, and luxury, and made me overlook in regards to the forgettable This fall E-Tron and the underwhelming Q8 E-Tron. 

Audi employs a 140-kw induction motor on the entrance axle that helps with takeoff and dietary supplements heavy energy calls for, however when cruising it just about decouples, or spins freely, so the 280-kw everlasting magnet synchronous motor in again serves as the principle propulsion unit. The extra compact motors weigh much less and requires about 30% much less set up area than the motors used within the This fall and Q8. The brand new motor designs have extra effectivity and about half of the friction losses versus the last-gen motors. 

The lighter weight motors and different efficiencies within the platform assist maintain the Q6’s weight in verify at about 5,300 kilos, which is about 300 kilos heavier than a Q7 however 500 kilos lighter than the bigger Q8 E-Tron. Level being, the second-generation electrical platform’s weight loss plan is working. 

The Q6 E-Tron generates as much as 456 hp and a 0-60 mph time of 4.9 seconds, whereas the SQ6 E-Tron generates as much as 509 hp and a 0-60 mph time of 4.1 seconds. The torque breaks right down to 203 lb-ft from the induction motor and 428 lb-ft from the tightly wound rear motor. 

Whereas each have launch management (press brake, flooring accelerator, let off brake), the SQ6 packs extra of a intestine punch, nevertheless it’s nothing too abrupt. It’s extra of a right away, anticipated acceleration. The 5 drive modes lend extra nuance to the driving expertise. Dynamic has a agency pedal response versus the mushy response in Effectivity, and every mode impacts the steering response as properly. 

2025 Audi SQ6 E-Tron

2025 Audi SQ6 E-Tron

One of many extra nice surprises from the SQ6 was a brand new steering rack that’s linked to the subframe. It has fewer rubber parts and fewer elasticity, Audi engineers informed me. Regardless of the case, there’s a extra direct connection to the street. Within the tightness of the parking storage, there was every kind of resistance so I might higher negotiate the millimeters I needed to work with, whereas on the winding hilly roads slight inputs end in vital suggestions. 

The drive modes additionally alter the non-obligatory suspension as properly. Each fashions will arrive within the States with metal springs and passive dampers inside a five-link unbiased suspension, however each Q6 and SQ6 fashions I’m testing have adjustable adaptive dampers and an air suspension that alters the trip peak by about 2.5 inches complete.

Audi doesn’t have U.S.-spec floor clearance at press time, nevertheless it seems and feels decrease than eight inches. Off-road mode raises it about 1.3 inches however I wouldn’t use it for something greater than getting out of mucky conditions on an entry street. Effectivity mode lowers it 1.2 inches from Consolation for optimum cruising vary, Dynamic lowers it 0.8 inch, and an Particular person mode allows you to play with all of the issues, together with shutting off the pretend noise and adjusting the myriad security programs. 

With its thicker antiroll bars and stiffer sidewalls on its 285/40R21 summer time tires, the SQ6 suffers much less squish in turns than the Q6, and general handles with extra agility than its 5,300-pound curb weight would counsel. Audi additionally claps on 6-piston calipers for extra chunk on the entrance brakes, however most often, the Q6 fashions don’t use the friction brakes all that a lot. 

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Audi’s newest regenerative braking system

Audi says that 95% of the braking within the Q6 fashions is dealt with by the motors, which might seize as much as 0.25 g of deceleration. Even while you press down on the brake, it’s utilizing each motors to decelerate the automobile first earlier than the friction brakes get referred to as to motion. Audi gives as much as 5 regen brake settings that solid the widest internet over potential EV adopters. I favor “B” mode within the console gear selector. It permits one-pedal driving the place stopping is a matter of feathering the accelerator. As soon as at a full cease, it doesn’t creep ahead. 

My co-driver didn’t just like the abruptness of it. We each performed with the paddle shifters that regulate to 3 ranges of braking, with the bottom setting successfully replicating a coast mode like in a gasoline automobile. On this setting, my co-driver commented on the dearth of preliminary chunk from the pedal then an excessive amount of chunk at about midway by way of the pedal journey. I discovered it predictable sufficient, although it could take some adjustment. Most house owners will discover their desired setting of the 4 choices and go away it, or possibly they’ll go for Auto mode that modulates regen braking from the digital camera system studying the street and visitors forward. 

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Audi Q6’s 100-kwh battery pack and 800-volt structure

The SQ6 additionally handles extra like a wagon than an SUV because of the low-set 100-kwh battery pack made up of 12 modules of 15 prismatic cells every. It sits 5.9 inches tall within the low flooring between the axles, and the extra energy-dense nickel-cobalt-manganese lithium-ion battery cells are optimized for a usable 94.4 kwh, so Audi’s not holding something again. 

The PPE’s 800-volt system accepts a DC fast-charge of as much as 270 kw, if you’ll find a public charger pumping electrons at that charge. We don’t should cost it, however Audi estimates a 10-80% state-of-charge in 21 minutes, or, in the course of the first 10 minutes of cost at that charge it might recoup almost 135 miles of vary. That’s quick.  

Homeowners can use Plug & Cost at Electrify America stations that routinely hook up with your account, so that you don’t have to swipe a card. Even at an EA station rated at 135 kw, the 800-volt charging system just about splits into twin 400-volt circuits that may cost in parallel in 35 minutes.

At dwelling, on a 40-amp 240-volt AC circuit, the Q6 E-Tron’s 9.6-kw onboard charger fills the battery  in about 10 hours. Audi says a 19.2-kw onboard charger will likely be made out there at a later date, and when linked to an 80-amp, 240-volt circuit, it ought to reduce the house cost time in half. 

2025 Audi SQ6 E-Tron

2025 Audi SQ6 E-Tron

2025 Audi SQ6 E-Tron

2025 Audi SQ6 E-Tron

2025 Audi SQ6 E-Tron

2025 Audi SQ6 E-Tron

Audi Q6 augments the digital interface with ChatGPT-enabled voice instructions

The entire electromechanical wizardry occurring beneath the pores and skin of the Audi Q6 and SQ6 is hinted at by the stage of screens on the sprint and the sunshine present surrounding it. The North American market gained’t get the eight customizable headlight and taillight signatures that embrace an indicator gentle that may pulse or dilate sequentially. 

The Q6 has a 14.5-inch touchscreen to accompany its 11.9-inch digital gauge cluster, and it runs Audi’s newest infotainment system. A passenger touchscreen of 10.9 inches that’s unreadable by the motive force permits the passenger to behave as navigator. It’s much less intrusively built-in into the sprint than in lots of luxurious rivals (See: Mercedes-Benz Hyperscreen). 

Wi-fi Apple CarPlay and Android Auto are included, however the voice recognition system is now augmented by ChatGPT that may not solely course of as much as 800 car instructions (reminiscent of “Put down the passenger window”), in line with Audi, however it may possibly additionally be taught to reply basic curiosity questions reminiscent of, “What’s one of the best pintxos place round right here?” 

Our temporary testing in a German automobile pushed on Spanish roads spoken to by Individuals had predictably combined outcomes. Nonetheless the shift away from the contact interface was a welcome one. The best trick was it might inform when the motive force or passenger are talking, and ignore the passenger, or at the very least not allow them to flip off lane management. If solely we might do the identical to back-seat drivers.

A lot of the inside gentle present combined visible awe with security. A lightweight bar made from 84 LEDs spanning the sprint on the cowl gave navigational cues at approaching turns. For instance, its proper half illuminated inexperienced at an oncoming proper flip. It was discrete and useful, particularly if you happen to favor to close off voice instructions, and if you happen to’re sporting polarized sun shades that dim among the head-up show.

Customary driver-assist and security programs embrace automated emergency braking with pedestrian and bicycle owner detection on the entrance and rear, blind-spot screens, adaptive cruise management, automated excessive beams, a driver-attention monitor, and a rear-seat reminder. It’s rather a lot to maintain observe of, however most settings will be modified and it takes solely a few hours to get used to it. 

One of many cooler out there options was the upgraded Bang & Olufsen sound system with 4 audio system built-in into the entrance headrests. With navigation instructions energetic, they sounded within the driver’s headrest audio system with out interrupting the music to the remainder of the automobile.

Porsche Macan EV

Porsche Macan EV

2025 Audi SQ6 E-Tron, left, Q6 E-Tron, right

2025 Audi SQ6 E-Tron, left, Q6 E-Tron, proper

The $15,000 SQ6 query

Questions stay, particularly relating to worth. Audi reps stated the 2025 Q6 will value about $15,000 lower than the $82,000 Porsche Macan EV. Contemplating that different SQ SUV fashions value wherever from $15,000-$20,000 greater than the bottom mannequin, the SQ6 will doubtless value barely greater than the bottom Macan EV. It’s arduous to advocate both the Q6 or the SQ6 E-Trons with out costs. 

What’s sure is that the Q6 E-Tron, the SQ6 E-Tron, and the PPE platform mark an evolutionary step for the model’s electrical autos. The SQ6 E-Tron represents one of the best quantity electrical automobile Audi sells right here (with fond exception to the GT E-Tron), making the This fall E-Tron and to a lesser extent the Q8 E-Tron appear to be USB-A in a USB-C world. The brand new Q6 E-Tron is a correct luxurious electrical SUV that shines the sunshine ahead, even underground. 

Audi paid for airfare and lodging for Motor Authority to current this firsthand report.



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