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2023 Audi Q6 e-tron shows off split headlights while testing

The split-headlight treatment has gained traction and now Audi’s getting into the game with its latest crop of battery-electric vehicles. Among the first to get it is the 2023 Audi Q6 e-tron, which spy photographers caught testing in Sweden free of any cladding. Despite the swirly camouflage, the crossover’s design details are beginning to show. Front and center are the production split headlights featuring main projectors mounted lower down in the front fascia. The rest of the vehicle looks traditional, meaning there could be two variants coming, the standard SUV as you see here and a Sportback version similar to the e-tron Sportback and Q4 e-tron Sportback.

In terms of size, the 2023 Audi Q6 e-tron will slot between the larger e-tron SUV and Sportback and the smaller Q4 e-tron family. The spy photos show that this crossover is similar in size to the BMW iX and slightly larger than the popular Q5. Its rear window is at a slight angle but isn’t as dramatic as what you’d find in the Q5 Sportback. As a result, the greenhouse remains upright, giving it a look that’s more akin to traditional crossovers. Spy photographers also caught a prototype with the drapes uncovered, exposing the split headlights and Audi’s new enclosed single-frame grille. This particular vehicle has it finished in silver and features a black Audi badge, likely hinting that this vehicle has the Black Optics package. The enclosed grille appears to have been reshaped, too, and appears to have been widened versus its current iterations.

Confirmed for launch this year by Audi’s CEO, Markus Deussmann, the Audi Q6 e-tron will be among the first vehicles on the PPE platform (Premium Platform Electric). Co-developed with Porsche, this architecture will be the foundation for many future BEVs from Volkswagen Group’s luxury brands thanks to its modularity and flexibility. Its sister vehicle is the upcoming Porsche Macan EV, the all-electric second generation of the sporty compact SUV. Audi will also use the PPE platform for the A6 e-tron, which was recently previewed by two concept cars, a sedan, and a wagon. Bentley is also reportedly utilizing this for their first BEV, which is due out in 2025 since PPE was designed from the start to accommodate everything from compact to full-size vehicles.

Audi and Porsche developed the PPE platform with an 800-volt charging architecture. This means vehicles on it will be able to DC charge at rates of up to 350 kW, minimizing the amount of time you spend plugged in. Expect a range of over 300 miles per charge since this was built from the ground up specifically for BEVs. Audi is also reportedly adding rear-wheel steering and torque vectoring capability to improve the Q6 e-tron’s road manners. In addition to the standard model, expect sporty S and RS variants to debut sometime afterward.

The 2023 Audi e-tron is part of a larger electrification offensive from the Volkswagen Group. This will see an array of BEVs join the Audi lineup alongside the Q4 e-tron, e-tron GT, and e-tron SUV and Sportback. In addition to the Q6 e-tron and A6 e-tron, there’s another sedan coming that’s sized similarly to the A4 and will be underpinned by the PPE platform. Audi is also leading the development of Project Artemis, which will culminate with the addition of new flagship models for it and Bentley.

Written by Stefan Ogbac
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