Audi has presented the A6 e-tron concept at Auto China in Shanghai. Although it adopts the familiar model designation of the combustion engine, the A6 e-tron is based on an all-electric platform. The electric car also stands a good chance of going into series production: it is to be presented at the end of 2022, according to Audi, and the market launch is planned for 2023.
The name E6, which had become the subject of some speculation in the media, was apparently only the internal working title. Now the German carmaker has officially said the electric car is to be launched on the market as the A6 e-tron.
Although the vehicle still bears the epithet “concept”, 95 per cent of it is already the later series design, according to Philipp Römers, Head of Audi Exterior Design. However, this only really applies to the exterior for which Römers is responsible: the show car from Shanghai is an exterior model on wheels. The interior design will be presented in the run-up to the 2022 premiere.
The electric A6 is more of a Sportback than a classic saloon. The front bonnet is still very long, the front is emblazoned with a closed grille in the “inverted face” design, already seen on other electric Audis. The extremely narrow LED headlights are new, however. There is a simple reason for this: the visible light strips are effectively only the daytime running lights and turn signals. Like the Audi Q8, the LED main headlights are hidden in the black panel below the daytime running lights and only become visible when they are switched on.
The focus for the A6 was not only on design, but also on aerodynamics. Audi gives a drag coefficient of 0.22, which is higher than the Mercedes EQS’s series value of 0.20. In contrast to the Mercedes, Audi has used a different approach with camera exterior mirrors.
The Audi e-tron A6 concept is more than just a design study. It’s also worth taking a look at the technical data. So far, only a few figures are known about the PPE on which the vehicle is based.
Market launch of the A6 e-tron is planned for 2023.
The large battery will have “around 100 kWh” and there will also be a smaller battery, PPE developer Johannes Arneth explained at the premiere. The range will be more than 430 miles in the top model, the 800-volt system will enable a charging power of up to 270 kW. And, according to Audi, this would allow more than 180 miles of electricity to be recharged in ten minutes. Charging from 5 to 80 per cent should take less than 25 minutes.
The battery is the same as that of the Q6. In close collaboration with the design team, they have managed to create entirely different vehicles based on the same battery.
“The flat floor allows us to implement different body shapes that are in demand with our customers – such as electric sportbacks,” said Arneth.
In contrast to the combustion engine A6, rear-wheel drive is standard, but there will also be all-wheel-drive models, then called A6 e-tron quattro. The engine on the rear axle is a PSM, while an ASM is fitted to the front axle in the quattro models. The concept car is an all-wheel-drive vehicle with a system output of 350 kW and a torque of 800 Nm.