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New Audi RS Q6 e-tron SUV spotted for the first time

The sportiest variant of the upcoming Q6 e-tron will come with more power and a new look

Audi is developing a performance-focused version of its new Q6 e-tron and we’ve caught it testing the road. It could adopt Audi’s famed RS badge, becoming the first pure-electric Audi SUV to do so and only the second RS EV from the brand, following the RS e-tron GT

So far we’ve only seen Audi give the sportiest e-tron SUV models an ‘S’ badge. However the Q6 will sit on new PPE architecture which will be shared with the next-generation Porsche Macan. With improved charging, range and battery sizes, PPE should warrant a full-fat RS Q6 e-tron model. 

From this latest spy photographer imagery we can see the RS Q6 e-tron will offer some new styling cues over the regular model. We’ve seen the Q6 e-tron testing in both coupe and SUV form although the RS version has only been spotted in the SUV bodystyle so far. Given the popularity of Audi’s coupe-SUVs we should see the RS Q6 e-tron available with a sloping roofline as well. 

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The front end of the RS uses the same split headlight signature of the Q6 and the upcoming A6 e-tron, although beneath it we can see new vertical air intakes. The alloy wheels are no different to the ones seen on Q6 test cars but the brake calipers have been painted red - which could indicate the RS will gain greater stopping power. Judging by the RS e-tron GT, overall design tweaks will be kept to a minimum. 

The PPE architecture is an evolution of the J1 platform the e-tron GT uses. This means it could borrow that car’s 800-volt, 636bhp powertrain as well as super-fast charging up to 350kW. 

The RS model should be built on the same production line as the standard Q6 e-tron at Audi’s Ingolstadt factory. We can expect to see the sporty SUV launch sometime in 2024. 

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Senior news reporter

A keen petrol-head, Alastair Crooks has a degree in journalism and worked as a car salesman for a variety of manufacturers before joining Auto Express in Spring 2019 as a Content Editor. Now, as our senior news reporter, his daily duties involve tracking down the latest news and writing reviews.

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