Audi Q6 e-tron Sportback is somewhat predictable expansion – Preview

Simple but effective

Audi Q6 e-tron Sportback (Illustration: Larson)

Although BMW once made the coupe-SUV great, Audi undoubtedly executes this concept in the purest and most predictable way. The electric Q6 e-tron also appears as a Sportback and our Photoshop artist hardly has to put in any effort.

Highlights Audi Q6 e-tron Sportback

  • Q6, but with a sloping roofline
  • Notable spoiler
  • Difficult position next to Q8 e-tron Sportback

Audi presented the Q6 e-tron in March. Although the electric SUV visually fits in neatly with the other high models from Ingolstadt, it brings a lot of innovation underneath. The Q6 is the first Audi on the purely electric PPE platform, and is therefore a technical brother of the Porsche Macan. This makes the newcomer light years more modern than the Q8 e-tron, which started life as E-Tron and is on a base also intended for fuel cars. The Q8 is slightly larger on the outside, but the Q6 performs better. Moreover, the two are directly in each other’s waters with their price tag, because they can both be purchased from around 78 grand.


S versions are also available in both cases, and both cost around €100,000. “You can never have too many SUVs,” they must have thought at Audi. Together with the Q4 e-tron, the Germans’ electric SUV range now consists of three different models. Or five, because the Q4 and Q8 are also available as a sleek Sportback. Not yet the Q6, but that will change very soon. The Q6 Sportback has already been spotted in camouflaged form and remains true to the crystal-clear interpretation that Audi uses for a coupe SUV.

In the drawings we see a Q6 e-tron with a sloping roofline, which only differs from the regular model above the shoulder line. Even the rear light units survive the intervention. Audi therefore approaches this theme differently than competitors Mercedes and BMW, both of which choose to give so-called coupe SUVs a significantly different or even completely unique body. A BMW X6 is clearly not an X5, a Mercedes GLE Coupé is very different from a regular GLE.

Directly above the shoulder line, the Q6 e-tron immediately deviates from its more practical brother, because at the bottom of the rear window a spoiler edge pierces stubbornly into the air. It replaces the rear wiper, which this model does not have. At an additional cost, there are roof rails on the convex roof that slopes down from the B-pillar.

Audi Q6 e-tron Sportback (Illustration: Larson)

Audi Q6 e-tron Sportback (Illustration: Larson)

Under the cap

In fact, the Q6 e-tron Sportback’s most notable feature is that Audi has kept it under wraps until now; With the Q4 and the Q8 e-tron we immediately saw both body variants. We expect the same powertrains in the Sportback as in the regular Q6, including a 517 hp SQ6. The less powerful e-tron quattro – no numbers this time – still has 387 hp. The driving range for the regular Q6 is a maximum of 625 kilometers, but is slightly higher for the Sportback. The reason is easy to guess: the strongly sloping body is more streamlined, and streamlining is very important in an EV.

Sportbacks through the years

At Audi, the name ‘Sportback’ is not reserved for coupe SUVs, but appears on just about every different body shape. The first Sportback appeared in 2004, long before there were electric SUVs or SUVs with a sloping roofline. It was the second generation A3 in five-door trim, which was a cross between a hatchback and a station wagon. In 2009 it was time for the next application of ‘Sportback’, this time on the A5. This car certainly did not become sportier than the Sportback variant, which was again the version with rear doors. Where the regular A5 was a two-door coupe or convertible, the A5 Sportback was and is an elongated five-door liftback with coupe lines.

From 2011, the A7, based on the same lines, was also called Sportback, but in practice we simply kept it ‘A7’ due to the lack of other variants. The least Sportback-like Sportback was undoubtedly the A1 Sportback, simply the five-door A1. After new generations of the A1, A3, A5 and A7 Sportback, it was only in 2019 that it was time for the first SUV with the name ‘Sportback’, the Q3 Sportback. The E-Tron Sportback appeared in 2020, and in 2021 a Q5 Sportback that Audi apparently added to the range as a rush job after the facelift of the Q5. The Q4 Sportback from the same year looks slightly more harmonious, but we see it less often than the regular Q4. That may be exactly the intention, because Sportback buyers are in fact sacrificing space and money to appear a little more exclusive.

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