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Audi Q6 e-tron gets up to 398 miles of range with PPE electric drive

New Audi Q6 e-tron electric drive boosts range up to 398 miles

Audi Q6 e-tron right side front window and door handle.
Audi / Audi

Earlier this month, we wrote about the Premium Platform Electric (PPE) electric drive system jointly developed by Audi and Porsche. The design goal was a smaller, lighter, and more efficient electric drive system with improved thermal management, resulting in greater range and faster charging. Audi just announced a new electric drive variant, the Q6 e-tron, that delivers on the PPE promise.

Why the Q6 e-tron’s performance boost matters

Audi Q6 e-tron quattro and Aui Q6 e-tron parked on a gray sand surface with forested hills and mountains in the background.
Audi / Audi

Range and charging time are two of the biggest obstacles to buyer purchase and satisfaction with battery electric vehicles (BEVs). High BEV initial purchase price and sufficiently available public charging stations are also major concerns, but market forces have already begun to put downward pressure on EVs and charging networks are increasing, if slower than anyone would like.

Audi has already shown it can be a leader in BEV sales and make a profit with the earlier generation electric drive architecture. Now, with the first reported results from the new PPE architecture, Audi is leading again. The Audi/Porsche PPE won’t be the last electric drive development, but it’s heartening to see solid progress from the joint effort, which should encourage other automakers to step up their own development efforts because PPE is proof that the research pays off. Car makers do have another choice, and instead of stepping up, some may decide to step aside, but hopefully, the biggest players will stay in the game.

What is the improvement with the new electric drive

Audi Q6 e-tron drive unit cooling.
Audi / Audi

The PPE electric drive architecture that Audi is reporting is a new variant for the Q6 e-tron. Audi will continue the current Q6 e-tron quattro and sporty SQ6 e-tron models. The new variant is a more efficient rear-wheel drive model with 240 kW system output.

The new architecture Q6 e-tron isn’t an all-wheel-drive vehicle, and with 6.6-second zero-to-60 mph acceleration, it’s not a speed demon. However, Audi reports the new model has up to 398 miles of range, as measured by the European WLTP system, which can be more generous than EPA ratings. The new version Q6 e-tron can regain up to 161 miles of range in ten minutes at a fast charging facility.

The new Q6 e-tron variant is available now to order starting at about $75,000, with the first customer deliveries scheduled in August.

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Bruce Brown
Digital Trends Contributing Editor Bruce Brown is a member of the Smart Homes and Cars teams. He also writes technology news…
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