The Audi Q6 e-tron Takes Centre Stage At Milan Design Week

By Jeremy Taylor

4 weeks ago

Audi's latest car steals the spotlight at Europe’s most glamorous design fair


Giant wobbly mirrors and bizarre street architecture: motoring editor Jeremy Taylor and sustainable fashion expert Jessica Talbot-Ponsonby discuss her visit to Milan Design Week with Audi, where the Audi Q6 e-tron takes centre stage.

Audi Q6 e-tron

JT – So, why is the new, all-electric Audi Q6 e-tron centre of attention at Europe’s most glamourous design fair?

Well, I’m glad you asked. Audi chose the new Portrait Milano hotel as the location for its House of Progress – showcasing all that is good about the brand. The focal point was the Piazza del Quadrilatero, for an installation called Reflaction.

The Audi Q6 e-tron

I like an installation. What was all that about?

Reflaction was a cross between reflection and refraction – basically an enormous, building-sized mirror created by international design studio BIG, or Bjarke Ingels Group.

Looks a bit wobbly to me. Please explain.

According to the blurb, it was there to encourage visitors to ‘reflect on their actions and their impact on the future’ as part of a unique visual experience. This was the place to see Audi’s vision of sustainability.

Or take some interesting selfies, I imagine. Sustainability: that’s very much your subject of expertise. A bold step forward or just greenwashing?

There actually is some good stuff going on with the new Q6 e-tron, Audi’s latest battery-powered SUV due on sale in May.

What I like about the new Q6 is that it packs a 100kWh battery, which makes it good for up to 381 miles – considerably better than the GT e-tron we road-tested recently. I digress. Tell me about the Q6’s eco-credentials?

A circle of Audi Q6 e-trons

To start with, some of the steel for the car comes from material recovered from end-of-life vehicles. Then there’s the PlasticLoop Project which, for the first time, uses recycled automotive plastic waste that has been gained through chemical recycling.

Anything else?

Yes, the Q6 will also have a windscreen made from 30 per cent recycled car glass. Audi is the first premium manufacturer to use the technique.

And the Q6 e-tron is also the first new Audi to be based on the Premium Platform Electric (PPE), developed with Porsche. Should be interesting and a key rival to the electric BMW iX3 and Mercedes EQC too. So, continuing the wobbly theme, tell me about those street seats?

Probably not the best seat to relax with a cup of hot coffee! Those 30 rotating red chairs in the Piazza San Babila were actually more comfortable than they look. Just don’t expect to see them in an Audi any time soon.

Red rotaing chairs in Milan

DISCOVER

Discover more about the Audi Q6 e-tron at audi.co.uk

Jessica Talbot-Ponsonby is Director of Programmes at London College of Fashion, studying for a PhD in sustainable e-textile design.