Electric Audi Q6 wants to out-Tesla the Model X

2015 Audi e-tron quattro concept

Expect more than 500 hp from beefed up R8 e-tron powertrain at Frankfurt Motor Show debut

Audi has shown an official sketch of the Q6 SUV, which will be revealed in concept form at the Frankfurt Motor Show next month previewing a competitor to the upcoming Tesla Model X.

Dubbed the e-tron quattro, the SUV will be the first direct competitor to a Tesla model, and with enough electric car technology in the Volkswagen Automotive Group it was perhaps only a matter of time before we saw a direct challenge to one of its models, current or upcoming.

The e-tron quattro concept uses the lessons learned from the company’s Aerosthetics concept, which tries to reduce aerodynamic drag through design solutions. Audi claims a cd value of 0.25, which is a record in the SUV segment, though the car is still technically a concept. The size of the concept itself, meanwhile, is what one would expect: right between the Q5 and the Q7. Audi says that there’s enough room for four, indicating that the Q7 will stay the sole three-row SUV in the range.

2015 Audi e-tron quattro concept interior sketch

The powertrain of the R8 e-tron sports car provides the basis for the e-tron quattro concept, which uses three electric motors — two on the rear axle and one on the front axle — to drive the SUV. That’s an extra motor on top of what the R8 e-tron uses. This also means the SUV will have a greater horsepower output, likely in excess of 500 hp and 500 lb-ft of torque since the R8 e-tron produces 454 hp. Audi is staying mum on the exact power figures of the concept for now.

For energy storage the e-tron quattro concept uses a lithium ion battery positioned underneath the floor and between the two axles, preserving a low center of gravity and offering a range greater than 310 miles.

We’ll see if the concept will have two trunks now that there is no engine in the way. In addition to setting an aerodynamic record, the e-tron quattro may also set a luggage space record.

When can we expect it in stores? 2017 looks like a good bet, though the company has not explicitly confirmed this. There’s still the whole Frankfurt Motor Show ahead of us, so automakers are saving all the concrete details for the main event.

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