Originally published on EV Obsession.
The long-rumored Audi Q6 E-Tron will be headed to production starting in 2018, according to recent reports. The model will reportedly feature an all-electric range of ~310 miles per charge — this just remains more talk/PR from Audi, though, until we see something concrete.
The news was revealed during the company’s recent annual meeting, which also saw mention made of the (rather obvious) fact that the Q6 E-Tron is set for release between Audi’s Q5 and Q7 SUV models.
Our sister site Gas2 provides some more information:
Very few details have been released yet, but we do know that Audi’s head of engineering, Dr Ulrich Hackenberg, has promised that it will not look like any other Audi that has come before. The closest guess is that it will resemble the Prologue Allroad concept the company unveiled earlier this year at the Shanghai Auto Show. The Prologue design language has also been highlighted in the Prologue Avant and Prologue Coupe concepts. The Q6 E-Tron will share its platform with the 2016 Q7 e-tron and upcoming 2017 Volkswagen Cross-Blue SUV.
The Q6 may be offered with gasoline and diesel engines as well as plug-in hybrid variants, according to the folks at Transport Evolved. But the biggest news is that the E-Tron version will have approximately 310 miles of all electric range. It’s closest competitor, of course, will be the much anticipated Tesla Model X. But industry observers think the Model X, which will be heavier than the Model S it is based on, will have “only” 200 miles of range. In the world of electric cars, range is as critical to sales as cubic inches were back when great thumping V-8 engines ruled the road.
It should be remembered here, though, of course, that Tesla’s (quite real) Model X is set to hit the market this year, whereas Audi’s (still vaporous) Q6 E-Tron is set for 2018. Three years is a long time in the electric vehicle sector. The market may very well be in a completely different state by the time that Audi’s offering is nearing release — potentially limiting success notably. The Tesla Model X, on the other hand, seems rather likely to carve out a nice chunk of sales for itself. Plus, the X will have amazing acceleration, Tesla’s much-loved tech/infotainment, falcon-wing doors, free Supercharging, and reportedly the driving feel of a sports car. “Competitor” is a relative term.
Audi will not have a system of dedicated charging stations like the Tesla SuperCharger network that offers drivers free electricity for life, as just noted, but it is known to be working on wireless recharging technology that will eliminate the need to plug in its car entirely. That’s something.
Will the Q6 E-Tron be able to compete with the Model X on price and features? We don’t know the answer to that question yet, since not many details about either car have been released. The only thing we know for sure is that while Tesla has been struggling to get production of the Model X started, the rest of the world’s automakers have been hard at work preparing their own electric SUV models to compete with it.