Audi took many by surprise in April during the Auto Shanghai with the unveiling of an electric concept car carrying an “exciting” name – Audi Concept Shanghai. At that time, we assumed it would be a fancier Volkswagen ID.6 carrying the Four Rings, which turned out to be true in August when fully revealing images of the electric SUV were posted on the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology (MIIT) as part of the homologation process.
Fast forward to November 19, Audi has taken the wraps off the production model at the Auto Guangzhou 2021. It goes by the name of Q5 E-Tron, and yes, it’s essentially an ID.6 wearing a tuxedo. If you’re thinking it looks like a larger Q4 E-Tron, you’re not alone, although we’d wager it’s not necessarily a bad thing since the three-row EV doesn’t look (too) bloated.
The new electric SUV is the second Audi model developed by the VW-SAIC exclusively for the Chinese market after the rather intriguing A7L Sedan unveiled earlier this year. That technically makes the Q6 E-Tron a luxurious version of the ID.6 X since its alter ego, the ID.6 Crozz, is sold by the other joint venture with FAW.
The seven-seat SUV stretches at 4,876 millimeters (192 inches), precisely the same length as its VW cousin, and features an identical wheelbase measuring 2,965 mm (116.7 in). As you can see in one of the official images, Audi also intends to sell the Q5 E-Tron with a six-seat layout featuring captain’s chairs for the second row. These images depict the “40” and “50” models, finished in white and red with rear- and all-wheel drive, respectively.
The “40” gets an 83.4-kWh battery and a sole electric motor mounted at the back where it delivers 201 horsepower. Step up to the “50” and you also get a front-mounted motor contributing to a total output of 302 hp while using the same battery as the lesser version. There will also be an entry-level “35” in RWD guise with 177 hp and a smaller 55-kWh battery.
The MEB-based Q5 E-Tron will remain a China-only affair while Europe and North America will get the more sophisticated Q6 E-Tron. It’s due to be unveiled next year as Audi’s first EV riding on the PPE platform co-developed with Porsche and twinned with the next-generation, electric-only Macan.