The A6 Avant E-tron, Audi’s latest concept car, is a luxury executive car that appears to be near to production readiness.
Last year, Audi stunned us with a concept version of an all-electric A6 car which will be based on a new EV platform developed in collaboration with Porsche. Premium Platform Electric, or PPE, is the name given to the new EV architecture by the two Volkswagen Group divisions. It’s been talked about for a few years, and it’ll be used to power larger vehicles in Audi and Porsche’s next electric lineups.
It’s also at least Audi’s fourth distinct platform for its EVs. Audi adapted one of its internal combustion platforms to include batteries and electric motors for the original E-tron and E-tron Sportback. The company is using the Porsche Taycan’s J1 platform to power the E-tron GT. And it’s building the Q4 E-Tron and Q4 Sportback E-tron on Volkswagen’s modular MEB platform.
The A6 Avant E-tron is the first “completely tangible look at future production models” that will be built on the PPE platform, Audi Board Member for Technical Development Oliver Hoffmann said in a statement.
A lot of this won’t matter to customers in the end, because these Audi EVs won’t have “powered by Porsche” badges on the steering wheel or on the exterior. However, the Volkswagen Group has tremendous resources — especially as it tries to break Tesla’s early hold on the EV industry — and Audi is clearly attempting to make a significant imprint with its electric vehicles by leveraging the best of what’s available throughout the wider conglomerate.
The A6 Avant E-designation tron’s as “production-ready” is no exaggeration; Audi characterizes the concept as “production-oriented,” implying that it will likely hit the assembly line soon.
If this is accurate, the A6 Avant E-tron will be Audi’s longest-range EV to date, with a projected range of 700 kilometers (435 miles) based on the European WLTP standard, depending on the drive system and model version. The sportback will be speedy as well, going from 0 to 100 km/h (62 mph) in under four seconds. With an 800-volt system and a charge capability of up to 270 kW, it can take in enough electrons to go 300 kilometers in just 10 minutes at a fast-charging station (186 miles).
THE A6 AVANT E-TRON WILL BE SIMILAR IN SIZE TO THE AUDI A6 AND A7
At almost 16 feet long, 6.4 feet wide, and 4.7 feet height, the A6 Avant E-tron will be comparable in dimensions to the Audi A6 and A7. Audi hopes to squeeze some extra range out of the wagon’s aerodynamic design, which has a clean profile. The form is designed to reduce aerodynamic drag, with Audi claiming a value of 0.22 — just a few notches more than Mercedes-claimed Benz’s 0.20 drag coefficient for the EQS sedan.
The A6 Avant E-tron, like the A6 E-tron concept, will have “Digital Matrix LED” headlights (which are only available outside the US, though we recently just updated our regulations allowing for more smart headlights). These lights can now project an Audi-developed video game onto a nearby wall or garage door, thanks to a clever shutter system that sculpts the LED light into certain shapes and motions.
On the road, four LED projectors in the vehicle’s corners can create turn signal animations. And three of them, one on each side of the bodywork, may perform everything from display welcome messages on the ground for the driver and passengers to alert cyclists to the impending opening of a door.
The A6 Avant E-tron isn’t a vision of the far future, like Audi’s Grandsphere and Skysphere ideas, where autonomous vehicles double as rolling luxury lounges. It’s a more grounded look at what’s on the way, particularly sleek, well-crafted, beautifully outfitted luxury electric vehicles that are stylish and spacious enough to function as chauffeured vehicles for the 1%.