Audi: Q6 e-tron interior is preview of new design philosophy

Audi did not give a complete presentation of the upcoming Q6 e-tron with the technical data to offer at the IAA Mobility, but published the first official pictures of the interior of the PPE electric car at the trade fair. In addition, the Audi Q6 e-tron was exhibited in Munich largely uncloaked.

Image: Audi

The car on display in Munich is officially still a prototype, evident from the vehicle’s wrapping and emphasised by an Audi spokesperson. The interior is said to correspond to the production status – and the rest should also be close to the series production model. Memories of the e-tron quattro premiere come to mind, when Audi took part in various events with “prototypes” wrapped in white, grey and orange. In fact, the vehicles corresponded to the later production model.

Thus, the white-grey showpiece at the IAA Mobility probably also differs slightly, if at all, from the vehicle that is already being built in pre-production at the main plant in Ingolstadt. It probably even is a vehicle from the pilot series. Although the underlying PPE is an all-electric platform, the front of the Q6 e-tron remains steep and the bonnet relatively long, making for classic proportions. The visible elements seem like a logical development of the current Audi design. For some, it is a familiar and proven look; for others, it is a standstill.

In the pictures of the interior that Audi itself has published, it is clear that this is an Audi – here, too, the kinship to current models is evident, even if there are some changes. The Ingolstadt-based carmaker speaks of a new design philosophy.

Indeed, compared to the e-tron quattro/Q8 e-tron, the flat floor of the PPE allows for a different interior layout. The new E3 electronics architecture also contributes to the fact that design and functional scopes can be redesigned. In the layout, the team led by Audi design chief Marc Lichte decided to focus on “clear structures” and emphasise a cosy ambience. That means the so-called “soft wrap” extends from the doors across the entire cockpit to the centre console and is intended to create a “homogeneous and enclosing feeling of space”. The “homely ambience” is created by the fabrics, some of which are made from recycled materials. The armrest, for example, is covered with a grey mottled fabric – a component that was previously mostly made of high-gloss plastic, wood (imitation) or brushed aluminium.

Audi has not entirely dispensed with black high-gloss plastic in the Q6 e-tron. Based on the pictures, the centre console with storage tray, gear selector and start-stop button is still high-gloss, and the steering wheel touch fields and a relatively lush control unit in the driver’s door (for the exterior mirrors, seat and door functions as well as light and visibility settings, among others) are also made of the familiar material.

In the cockpit, one also notices the slightly different arrangement of the screens, which characterises the design. Visually, the 11.9-inch driver’s display of the “Audi virtual cockpit” and the now 14.5-inch MMI touchscreen for infotainment form a single unit. The touchscreen is designed as a curved display and tilts towards the driver – so that the driver can still reach the right edge of the display in his “driver’s reach.” A common frame surrounds both screens, the shape of which is intended to be reminiscent of the Audi-typical single-frame grille. Special ambient lighting is also designed to ensure that the Curved Display “literally floats” at night. An augmented reality head-up display is also available as an option.

Completely separated from this combined display unit, the front passenger will have an (optional) 10.9-inch display. Thanks to the “Active Privacy Mode with Shutter Technology,” the person in the front passenger seat should be able to watch films without distracting the person in the driver’s seat. In the basic version, a black high-gloss surface is installed in place of the monitor.


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