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Audi debuts next EV chapter with A6 E-Tron concept

Forthcoming Audi A6 E-Tron set to ride on a new ‘PPE’ modular architecture

23 Apr 2021

AUDI has debuted what will likely be the next chapter in its E-Tron story, this week revealing the A6 E-Tron concept at the Shanghai motor show.

 

Riding on all-new ‘Premium Platform Electric’ (PPE) underpinnings, the production-spec A6 E-Tron will be the first model of a new electric portfolio comprising the C, B and D segments to emerge as well as SUVs.

 

With production of the new PPE vehicles due to start in the second half of next year, designers say the A6 E-Tron concept’s styling is particularly close (95 per cent) to that of the production version with only small details to be changed to suit and comply with the various road-worthy legislation and requirements.

 

Described by Audi executives as being a fully-fledged member of the A6 family, the E-Tron concept measures 4.96 metres long, 1.96m wide, and 1.44m tall with its dimensions and door count being the only concrete similarities with the rest of the range.

 

Whereas the normal A6 is a bona fide sedan, the E-Tron version has been designed from the ground up as a sportback and features a drag coefficient of just 0.22Cd.

 

The biggest indication of the A6 E-Tron concept’s electric nature is the gaping but enclosed Singleframe grille which is supplemented by three fully functioning air vents on either side and below, said to be used to help cool the drivetrain, battery and brakes.

 

With a high belt line, pumped up rear haunches and frowning, squinty lighting signatures, the A6 E-Tron comfortably builds on the current Audi design philosophy of giving its cars “muscles” and its claimed power outputs will certainly help its bite match its bark.

 

Powered by a 100kWh lithium-ion battery, the A6 E-Tron concept develops 350kW of power and 800Nm of torque courtesy of its twin-motor set-up – one on each axle – and can travel “more than” 700km on a single charge.

 

Less potent range-minded versions will also emerge at some stage sporting just a single electric motor on the rear axle while an RS6 E-Tron is also “very likely” to materialise according to Audi executives.

 

With the battery able to be charged at up to 270kW, 300km of range can be added in just 10 minutes when hooked up to a DC fast charger.

 

25 minutes of charging meanwhile will take the battery from five per cent to 80 per cent.

 

In terms of performance, Audi says “even entry-level models designed for efficiency will accelerate to 100km/h in less than seven seconds”, while the dedicated performance versions will stop the clock in “well under four seconds”.

 

In terms of technology and standard equipment highlights, the A6 E-Tron concept is adorned with configurable LED daytime running lights, LED projector indicators, Matrix LED headlights and an OLED tail-light signature.

 

The whole package rolls on 22-inch alloy wheels while the paint has been specially developed to “reflect a significant percentage of the thermal radiation in sunlight, thus reducing the amount of energy that enters the car’s body”.

 

To help kill time while the battery charges, a series of inbuilt projectors – also used for various warning indications for both the driver and other road users – can display a console-style game for occupants to play provided there is a wall or some other suitable surface to project onto.

 

“A completely new technology architecture, the ‘Premium Platform Electric,’ or PPE for short, will serve as the technology platform for these vehicles in the future,” Audi said in a statement.

 

“Sporting the Audi A6 emblem, the concept car underscores its place in the brand's luxury-class model series.”

 

In Australia, Audi has sols 69 A6s so far this year ending March, accounting for 8.4 per cent of the $70,000-plus large car segment.


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