The Audi Q6 e-tron is a difficult birth. Just like the electric version of the Porsche Macan. This is due to problems with the Premium Platform Electric (PPE). But now all the stumbling blocks seem to have been removed and Audi is gradually pulling the cloth from the new BEV-SUV. After the first few kilometers have already been driven in prototypes, it is now the turn of the interior and infotainment, which are at least as important in a modern car as agility and dynamics.
With the Audi Q6 e-tron, the focus is on people. That should actually be the case with every automobile. But the Ingolstadt carmaker reverses the design philosophy. The principle is now from the inside out. "With the Audi Q6 e-tron, we are already giving concrete form to our vision today," says chief designer Marc Lichte. What this future of electric cars looks like can be seen in the interior, which differs significantly from the ambience of the Audi Q4 e-tron.
Curved monitors are now also being used by the Ingolstadt company, as is the case with BMW and Porsche. The advantage of this "curved display" is that the driver can reach the touchscreen more easily. At Audi, the infotainment consists of a 14.5-inch touchscreen, an 11.9-inch cockpit and an optional 10.9-inch passenger screen. As is known from Porsche, the image on this monitor cannot be seen from the driver's seat. So the co-pilot can enjoy the Netflix series in peace without the driver noticing. A voice input that should work much better than is currently the case and a head-up display with augmented reality complete the operating concept.
So with the Q6 e-tron, the elements displayed on what appears to be an 88-inch screen fly about 200 meters in front of the windshield. One would think that this indispensable element of the operating and display concept is standard. This is not the case, as some motorists cannot get used to this concept. A prime example is the US, where polarized sunglasses are very popular there, drivers cannot see the displays very well and are more annoying than helpful. However, the Audi drivers have to say goodbye to the tried-and-tested push-pull actuator.
The infotainment platform is based on Android Auto, which VW Group's own software company Cariad tailored to the Q6 e-tron. Actually, the software should be of one piece. At least that was the plan under the aegis of the ousted VW boss Herbert Diess. But the problems with and at Cariad were one reason that the former BMW man had to resign in Wolfsburg. So now Android. It will probably be necessary to get in bed with the Americans in order to get the car, which is already late, onto the market as quickly as possible. Nevertheless, the Audi technicians insist that the decisive elements of the software come from their own house, i.e. Cariad. Thanks to artificial intelligence, the language assistant should adapt to people's habits and learn constantly. The map material does not come from Google either, but from the map specialist Here, which was acquired together with BMW and Mercedes.
Back to the strengths of the car manufacturer. The interior makes a good impression. The screens fit comfortably into the environment and we could reach the touchscreen without any problems when trying to sit for the first time. However, the digital direct selection buttons are quite small, so that you have to aim briefly. The tiles of the apps are bigger and easier to hit. The fact that you can charge with 60 watts at the front and (optional) also with 100 watts at the rear via the USB-C connection is great. So also the laptop. Tall Europeans have plenty of space in the rear and the headroom is more than sufficient. Speaking of which: The trunk has a volume of 526 liters, with the backrests folded down it becomes 1,529 liters. There is also an (optional) frunk with 64 liters.
Sustainability and recycling play a major role in the fabrics of the Schöner-Wohnen-Ambiente. There are recycled PET bottles in the seat panels or floor mats, the steering wheel rims are covered with vegan leather that is said to be just as durable and non-slip as the traditional version. The same applies to the bolsters of the leather seats, which are also vegan. Audi relies on combinable packages for the equipment lines. Last but not least, in order to reduce the complexity of the production of the vehicle and the costs at the same time. The interior makes a chic impression, even if you should always have a microfiber cloth with you due to the many piano lacquer surfaces.
Light plays a major role in the Q6 e-tron. Be it the changing graphics of the OLED rear lights, which also warn the cars behind with a red triangle in the event of danger, or the ambient lighting in the car, which is part of the operating concept and shows the progress of charging the battery in color.