Charge more for a different roof. Why not?
Our photographers have previously captured the 2023 Audi Q6 e-tron, an upcoming mid-size electric SUV, testing as early as 2021. They've even spotted the high-performance RS Q6, which will be Audi Sport's first RS-branded EV SUV. But this is the first time we've seen the Q6 e-tron next to its Q6 Sportback e-tron sibling.
Audi's 'Sportback' models are essentially more coupe-like versions of sedans and SUVs. Examples include the A7 Sportback (a more coupe-like A6 with a liftback) and the e-tron Sportback (an e-tron with a more rakish roofline). These models have been successful for Audi since the company can charge more for what ultimately amounts to a styling change. It only makes sense for the Q6 Sportback e-tron to pick up where the e-tron Sportback left off.
Audi's confusing EV nomenclature aside, the Q6 Sportback e-tron will offer the same changes we've come to expect from one of the company's coupe-like SUV models. The front end looks identical to the standard Q6 e-tron, but the roofline is more curvaceous, leading to a sleeker C-pillar. It's tough to see through the camouflage, but the Sportback will have slightly different taillights and a unique spoiler.
This altered roofline may improve aerodynamics slightly, though we doubt it will have any meaningful impact on range or performance. It will have an impact on cargo space though, as all Sportback SUVs offer less room in the trunk versus their standard counterparts.
Both Q6 e-tron variants will ride on the upcoming PPE platform, which will also underpin the upcoming Porsche Macan EV and the Audi A6 e-tron. This platform should enable 350-kW DC fast charging and 300-plus-mile range. In terms of performance, we expect a dual-motor setup with approximately 469 horsepower and 590 lb-ft of torque. As for the RS model, it should delivery at least 600 hp. The Q6 e-tron should debut some time in 2023, but it could be significantly longer before it shows up at US dealers.