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First taste of new Audi Q6 e-tron

July 26, 2023

Premium Platform Electric (PPE)

Okay, PPE? Now what is that? The Audi Q6 e-tron sits on the new Premium Platform Electric (PPE) developed in conjunction with Porsche. As the name suggests, this platform is designed specifically for electric propulsion. The modular design that includes variable wheelbase and battery capacity makes the platform suitable for a wide range of models: from SUV and CUV to Sportback and Avant. The platform also houses powerful electric motors, hefty battery packs and efficient fast chargers. On those matters, by the way, Audi is not going to comment now. However, Audi does share a remarkable amount of details about the Q6 e-tron’s lighting.

Second-generation digital OLED technology

The new electric-powered SUV features second-generation digital OLED technology. In addition, the Q6 e-tron is the first car in the world to have an “active digital light signature. Six 360-segment LED panels are integrated into each taillight unit. Through a special algorithm, a new image is created every 10 milliseconds.

The moving light underscores the Q6 e-tron’s dynamism as well as its ability to communicate. The active digital light signature at the front is achieved through the interaction between the algorithm and twelve dimmable segments in the headlights. These segments work together in such a way that the light intensity is constant.

Audi Q6 e-tron prototype

Three-dimensional effects on a two-dimensional surface

The latest OLED technology has several new features, according to Audi. For starters, for the taillights, the light is exceptionally homogeneous and high-contrast. OLED technology eliminates the need for additional reflectors and light guidance in the light units. This makes the taillight units extra efficient. Thereby, it is possible to create three-dimensional effects on a two-dimensional surface. Thus, completely new designs for the taillight units become possible.

At the front of the Audi Q6 e-tron, it is noticeable that the digital daytime running lights and the light modules for the main lights are optically separate. Through 70 individual LEDs with a prismatic structure and a metal 3D frame, the daytime running lights transform into transparent 3D objects, forming the digital eyes of the car, so to speak.

Audi Q6 e-tron prototype

Communication light

Several Audi models were already available with the light function “proximity indication,” which warns other road users of approaching (too) close. On the Audi Q6 e-tron, this feature is further expanded: in fact, a “communication light” is also integrated into the digital OLED taillights. Specific light signals and warning symbols alert other road users to accidents and stopped cars, for example. The information for this comes from swarm data. As in the Audi A8 with the advanced traffic information system, the Q6 e-tron’s digital headlights also warn oncoming traffic of (potential) danger.

Exit warning

Audi already has models with “exit warning,” which alerts occupants to cyclists and cars approaching from behind when the doors are opened. The “communication light” on the Audi Q6 e-tron adds that it now also alerts rear-facing cyclists and cars themselves if the doors open. Extending the safety concept to other road users leads to a higher level of safety for everyone.

A specific light signature from the front and rear “communication light” signals to other road users how far an automatic parking maneuver of the Q6 e-tron has progressed and thus when it is safe to approach the car.

Light to personalize via app

Up to eight digital light signatures are available for the headlights and taillights of the Audi Q6 e-tron. The selection can be made through the in-car HMI or through the myAudi app. For even more customization, additional signatures are available through option packages, such as with a coming/leaving-home scenario. These options can also be ordered after purchasing the car, possibly even for a specific period of time.

Audi Q6 e-tron prototype

Audi Q6 e-tron prototype

Audi Q6 e-tron prototype