Electrical powertrains are step by step spreading to Audi’s mainstream fashions. The subsequent-generation A6 will likely be electric-only, although the present gasoline-burning mannequin will stick with it, and an idea named A6 E-Tron unveiled on the 2021 version of the Shanghai Auto Present provides us an correct thought of what it would seem like and what will probably be powered by.

Audi constructed the A6 E-Tron on the Premium Platform Electrical (PPE) structure it developed collectively with sister firm Porsche. It is a extremely modular platform, so it may well underpin a comparatively high-riding mannequin, just like the next-generation Macan, and a low-slung sedan, just like the Shanghai-bound A6 idea. It could solely function the premise for electrical vehicles, nonetheless, so there won’t be a gasoline-, diesel-, or hybrid-powered variant of the subsequent A6.

Exterior dimensions are the one widespread hyperlink between the present A6 and the A6 E-Tron. The design examine stretches about 195.2 inches lengthy, 77.1 inches vast, and 56.6 inches tall, measurements that make it roughly an inch longer, three inches wider, and an inch decrease than the sedan at the moment in showrooms. Tellingly, it is virtually precisely the identical measurement as a Tesla Mannequin S, which will likely be one of many manufacturing model’s closest rivals.

Whereas the A6 is a three-box sedan, the A6 E-Tron wears a fastback-like roof line paying homage to the A7. Its entrance finish falls in keeping with different electrical members of the Audi vary because of styling cues like a body-colored insert the place we would usually anticipate finding a radiator grille and sharp headlights with LED accents. Seen from the facet, the idea’s most putting facet is the black trim added to the underside of the doorways to cut back visible mass. The cumbersome battery pack is stuffed below the passenger compartment, so the doorways are taller than on a gasoline-powered automobile. 

Horizontal OLED lights that stretch into the quarter panels dominate the rear finish, although designers additionally added an air diffuser to assist the A6 cheat the wind. It has a 0.22 drag coefficent, which is on par with the Porsche Taycan.

Audi calls the paint Helio Silver, and it did not select this colour randomly. It is a shade that displays the thermal radiation present in daylight to assist hold the cabin cool. Customers not often want to make use of the air con system, in accordance the corporate, which helps maximize the A6’s driving vary by lowering draw on the battery pack.

Lighting has performed a big position in defining Audi’s design language for years, and the A6 E-Tron takes this characteristic to the subsequent stage. Its exterior lights are customizable, just like the This fall E-Tron’s daytime working lights, and the idea provides new that means to the time period “projector headlights.” Along with illuminating the street, the digital matrix LED lights can mission media (like a online game or a film) onto a wall, which permits occupants to move the time whereas they look ahead to the automobile to cost. Audi designers even developed a online game particularly for the idea.

Whether or not drivers could have time to beat the sport depends upon how and the place they cost. Constructed on a 100-kilowatt-hour lithium-ion battery pack, the A6 E-Tron makes use of an 800-volt electrical structure that is appropriate with 270-kilowatt fast-charging. Audi says it takes about 10 minutes to zap the battery with round 186 miles of vary, and roughly 25 minutes to cost the pack from 5 to 80%. Most driving vary checks in at 434 miles, although take into accout the A6 E-Tron is an idea, and the aforementioned figures stay hypothetical in the meanwhile.

A number of powertrain configurations are potential, starting from a rear-wheel-drive variant with one electrical motor and a seven-second dash from 0 to 60 mph to an all-wheel-drive, dual-motor model that places 469 horsepower and 590 pound-feet of torque below the driving force’s proper foot. Audi quotes a sub-four-second dash to 60 mph for the quickest model, a time that locations the A6 E-Tron in the identical ballpark because the lately unveiled E-Tron GT.

Autoblog discovered the A6 E-Tron will not change a lot because it morphs right into a manufacturing mannequin. 

“[This concept is] very near manufacturing; we’ll hold about 95%. After all, there are at all times parts that we’ll want to alter, it is a present automobile and it is fairly accentuated, however we’re very near what you will note in serial manufacturing. The 5% that we’ll change are the door handles, for instance,” Audi designer Wolf Seebers instructed us.

Audi and Porsche will start constructing PPE-based vehicles in 2022, each in Germany and in a brand new manufacturing facility positioned in China, and the manufacturing model of the A6 E-Tron idea will attain American showrooms earlier than the tip of 2023, seemingly as a 2024 mannequin. When it lands, it would be a part of an electrical crossover known as Q6 E-Tron, which is able to make its debut in 2022 and go on sale in 2023, earlier than the A6. It hasn’t been unveiled but, nonetheless.

Wanting forward, Audi hinted it plans to bookend the A6 E-Tron with smaller and greater fashions constructed on the PPE platform. It didn’t present particular particulars, however the present A6 is positioned between the A4 and the A8 within the firm’s sedan vary. Studying between the strains suggests each fashions will get EV replacements within the 2020s.

What occurs to the present A6?

Motorists who don’t desire an EV aren’t out of luck — not less than not but. The present A6 will stick round for a number of years even after its electrical successor arrives. Porsche is following the identical path with the Macan.

“Within the mid-term future, we’ll proceed to supply C-segment vehicles with a combustion engine,” Audi instructed Autoblog.

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