Audi forges ahead with its “e-volution” towards electric mobility as it unveiled the four-door Audi A6 e-tron concept at the ongoing Auto Shanghai 2021 show. This unveiling was held only five days after debuting the all-electric Audi Q4 e-tron and Q4 Sportback e-tron compact SUVs globally.
The Audi A6 e-tron concept uses Audi’s new Premium Platform Electric (PPE) architecture that will serve as the brand’s technology platform for future models. Beginning in late 2022, the first production cars in the C- and later also B-segment will be relaunched with PPE technology, including SUVs and sporty sedans.
By wearing the Audi A6 emblem, the Audi A6 e-tron concept secures its place in Audi’s luxury-class model series. The A6 has represented the brand in one of the world’s highest-volume segments since 1968—and until 1994 as the Audi 100. An electrified drive system has long been used in the Audi A6, with a full hybrid version released in 2011, and with the current Audi A6 TFSIe that has a plug-in hybrid powertrain.
The Audi A6 e-tron concept furthers these efforts by having an all-electric power plant.
PPE technology ensures that what the Audi A6 e-tron concept’s lines imply is translated into dynamic driving performance and suitability for daily use. Depending on the selected drive system and model version, an Audi A6 e-tron is expected to boast a range of more than 700 kilometers (based on the WLTP standard), and the most powerful members of the family will sprint from rest to 100 km/h in less than four seconds.
The Audi A6 e-tron concept’s two electric motors are capable of delivering a total output of 350 kW and a torque of 800 Newton meters. The model’s front wheels are connected by a five-link axle specially optimized for electric vehicles, while a multi-link setup resides in the rear. The concept car rides on air suspension with adaptive dampers.
The battery size and wheelbase of Audi’s PPE vehicles are scalable, making them suitable for use in different market segments. The combination of a long wheelbase and short overhangs translates into more legroom for front and rear passengers. The absence of a transmission tunnel, simply not needed in all-electric vehicles, creates more cabin space. Audi’s trademark Quattro all-wheel-drive system is also accommodated in PPE models.
The Audi A6 e-tron concept’s styling immediately declares it as an electric-powered Audi, thanks to a large enclosed Singleframe grille bordered by deep air intakes (to cool the drivetrain, battery, and brakes), as well as a monolithic form—as if the body is made from a single mold. The wheel arches are also connected by the specially sculpted battery area highlighted with a black inlay, a design element that hallmarks Audi’s electric vehicles. Typical as well of Audi e-tron models are the sleek, camera-based exterior mirrors. Large 22-inch wheels, short overhangs, and a wide coupe roof arch give the model the proportions of a sports car. The sloping rear side window is pure Audi Sportback design.
Further identifying the Audi A6 e-tron concept as an Audi is its lighting technology. Its headlights and taillights are slim and flush with the body lines. Digital Matrix LED and digital OLED technology make it possible to achieve maximum brightness and a wide range of features while at the same time offering customizable light signatures. Three high-resolution LED projectors are built-in into the sides of the body to greet occupants with messages. More projectors display warning symbols on the ground—to warn a bike rider that the car door is about to open, for example—and generate turn signals.
With the Audi A6 e-tron concept, Audi ensures that the PPE architecture will transform the company toward electric mobility via volume and variety, becoming yet another Audi success story.