Audi has launched a concept version of a fully electric A6 sedan, which is arriving in all major global markets and will be built on a new EV platform that the company is co-developing with Porsche. A production version won’t be revealed until at least the second half of 2022, but the German automaker is aiming for a range of around 700 kilometers (over 400 miles) for the new car, which will be called the A6 E-Tron.
The A6 E-Tron concept that Audi showcased at Auto Shanghai 2021 on Monday is fairly straightforward in terms of concepts, which is in line with how the automaker has handled these disclosures in recent times. Namely, the Q4 E-Tron electric SUV that Audi launched last week is a dead ringtone for the ‘concept’ version it first presented at the 2019 Geneva Motor Show. there are a lot more details and specifics to learn about the production A6 E-Tron – including the price – what we are seeing now will likely translate closely into what ultimately goes on sale.
This not only includes a really healthy range goal (thanks to a battery capacity of around 100 kWh, according to Audi), but a new take on the A6’s sporty sedan look, as well as a bunch of high-tech improvements, especially to Audi lighting systems.
First, however, a note on this underlying EV platform. Audi and Porsche call it the Premium Platform Electric, or PPE. The two Volkswagen Group companies started talking about it about a year ago, and there are plans to power the larger vehicles of the upcoming electric stables of Audi and Porsche. It is at least the Fourth different EV platform on which Audi builds its electric cars. Audi has adapted one of its internal combustion platforms to include batteries and electric motors for the original E-Tron and E-Tron Sportback. Audi uses the Porsche Taycan’s J1 platform to power the E-Tron GT. And it builds the Q4 E-Tron and the Q4 Sportback E-Tron on Volkswagen’s modular MEB platform.
Much of this ultimately won’t matter much to consumers, as it’s not like these Audi EVs say “powered by Porsche” on the steering wheel or on the exterior badges. But the Volkswagen Group has vast resources at its disposal – especially as it tries to break Tesla’s early grip on the electric vehicle market – and Audi is clearly trying to take advantage of the best of what’s being developed in the bigger one. conglomerate to make a big mark with its electric vehicles. .
That’s not to say Audi isn’t doing its own job. The company has spent years developing electric motor technology for its motorsport division (including fielding a team in the all-electric Formula E racing series). And in the A6 E-Tron concept, Audi says it will even go a few extra miles out of the PPE battery thanks to a special paint that can reflect “a significant percentage of heat radiation in sunlight”, which means that drivers will have to rely less on the air conditioning system, which can consume a significant amount of energy.
And anyway, Audi cars and SUVs are as much about the high-end in-car experience as what drives them. With that in mind, Audi is touting some notable improvements to its already advanced lighting technology with the A6 E-Tron concept.
On the one hand, the company claims that its so-called “Digital Matrix LED” headlights (which are only available outside the US) have gained new capabilities. These lights, which use an intricate shutter system to sculpt LED light into specific shapes and animations, can now project an Audi-developed video game onto a nearby wall or garage door.
Four LED headlamps in the corners of the vehicle can create turn signal animations on the road. And three of them integrated on either side of the body can do it all from presenting ground greetings for the driver and passengers, to warning riders that a door is about to open.
Sales of sedans have practically skyrocketed in the United States, as buyers continue to be influenced by the high seating position and storage space of SUVs and trucks. Automakers – including Audi – also have an incentive to push consumers towards these vehicles, which are typically profit centers.
As high-end automakers push further into electric vehicles, they’re apparently willing to bet that they can still defend those low-slung luxury vehicles, as Mercedes-Benz revealed last week what is essentially an S all. electric -A class sedan. The A6 E-Tron won’t be a pound-for-pound competitor to this offering, just as the gasoline-powered A6 doesn’t directly compete with the internal combustion S-Class. But the concept version announced on Monday is a tease in both directions. First, it gives people a rough idea of what to expect from the ultimate production version of the A6 E-Tron. And secondly, this is a first look at what Audi will do with the electric cars it builds on this EPI platform – the same platform that will almost certainly power the electric versions of other premium sedans from the A series.