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Audi previews its Tesla-fighting Q6 e-tron EV ahead of the Frankfurt Motor Show

A German magazine has published what it claims are the first official images of the Audi Q6 e-tron concept that will bow this September at the Frankfurt Motor Show.

Updated on 07-30-2015 by Ronan Glon: Added new pictures and more information.

The Q6 e-tron is billed as a close-to-production concept that accurately previews a new crossover aimed squarely at the Tesla Model X. The German car maker has confirmed the Q6 will usher in the design language that will influence all of its upcoming EVs over the next few years. The images published by Auto, Motor, Und Sport don’t show the Q6’s front end, but from the side it appears to borrow more than a few styling cues from recent additions to the Audi lineup like the Q7 and the A4.

The concept’s rakish D-pillar gives it a slightly less utilitarian look than the Q5, but it’s still nowhere near as sporty — and aggressive-looking — as the BMW X6 and the Mercedes-Benz GLE Coupe. It will be built largely out of aluminum in a bid to partially offset the weight added by the bulky battery pack.

Power for the Q6 e-tron will come from an all-electric drivetrain built using components sourced from the R8 e-tron parts bin. Although full details are still being kept under wraps, sources close to Audi have revealed the electric motors will zap all four wheels with about 500 horsepower and over 500 foot-pounds of torque.

The Q6 will offer a maximum driving range of about 310 miles, meaning it will be able to drive 40 miles further on a single charge than the Model X, at least on paper. Additionally, it will inaugurate the futuristic inductive charging technology that Audi has developed to make charging cables a thing of the past.

Related: Self-driving Audi R8 e-tron piloted concept

Full details about the Audi Q6 e-tron concept — assuming that’s what it’s called — will emerge in the weeks leading up to its public debut in Frankfurt.

What’s next?

Car & Driver reports the Q6 concept that we’ll see in Germany in a few weeks will be toned down and added to the Audi lineup as a regular-production model. It is tentatively scheduled to go on sale in early 2018 as a 2019 model with a price tag that will lie in the vicinity of $100,000.

The Q6 will launch with an electric drivetrain, but Audi will quickly expand the lineup with a gasoline-electric, plug-in hybrid model and, possibly, a fuel cell-powered model. However, it sounds like the Volkswagen-owned company has ruled out gasoline- and diesel-powered variants of the Q5’s slinkier sibling for the time being.