In April 2021, the four-ringed brand debuted the Audi A6 Sportback with an electric drive system at the Shanghai Auto Show, nearly a year ago. The production-ready Audi A6 Avant e-tron concept vehicle currently exemplifies the marriage of cutting-edge propulsion technology with Audi’s classic design language.
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Not simply a design exercise, but very close to the production model
The A6 Avant, like the Audi A6 e-tron concept shown in 2021, features an all-electric drivetrain based on the forward-thinking PPE platform, which was developed under Audi’s guidance. It also symbolizes a new design idea with proportions similar to the A6 Sportback e-tron.
Its body is 4.96 meters (16.3 feet) long, 1.96 meters (6.4 feet) broad, and 1.44 meters (4.7 feet) high, putting it in the premium category. Its lines are a natural progression in Audi’s current formal language. The closed Singleframe and the continuous strip of lights in the rear underscore the e-affinity tron’s with the other electric Audis in the fleet.
The Audi A6 Avant e-tron concept exterior type, unveiled in March 2022, is no mere design exercise like the Sportback. On the contrary, its lines and beautiful proportions hint at future Audi production models, as well as how dynamic and stylish the four-ringed brand’s electrically driven luxury class would seem.
PPE (Premium Platform Electric) technology, for its part, will guarantee that the car’s lines are transformed into a quality of dynamic driving performance and daily usability suitable for lengthy trips. That indicates that, depending on the drive system and model version, an Audi A6 e-tron might have a range of up to 700 kilometers (435 miles) in the future (under the WLTP standard).
And the series’ fastest variants will sprint from 0 to 100 km/h (62 mph) in under four seconds. The values of the Sportback and the Avant are just somewhat different.
The rear end of the Audi A6 Avant, which is as attractive as it is roomy, is by no means the only feature that makes it the storage champion in two senses. That designation is also justified by the propulsion system and battery technology. With an 800 volt system and a charge capability of up to 270 kW, it can get enough energy to go 300 kilometers in only 10 minutes at a fast-charging station (186 miles).
The Audi A6 Avant e-tron relies on the PPE platform
The PPE is designed exclusively for battery-electric drive systems and can therefore take full advantage of all the benefits of this technology. The key element of the future PPE fleet is a battery module between the axles that holds around 100 kWh of energy in the Avant version of the A6 e-tron concept. Using the entire vehicle base makes it possible to achieve a relatively flat layout for the battery.
This means that it will be possible to use this single platform both for vehicles with high body styles and vehicles with a decidedly dynamic, flat architecture – such as the Audi A6 Avant – without any changes to the basic architecture.
The battery size and wheelbase of PPE vehicles are scalable, making them suitable for use in different market segments. However, the proportions of a fairly long wheelbase and very short overhangs are something they will all have in common and this, together with the large wheels, results in basic proportions that are simply perfect – and not just in terms of design.
This is because the occupants of the future PPE models will also benefit from the long wheelbase, which translates into a longer interior and more legroom in both rows of seats – a key benefit across all segments. In addition, electric vehicles are also generally more spacious thanks to the absence of a transmission tunnel, which is simply not needed due to the technology.
But even without the transmission tunnel, Audi customers will not have to give up the brand’s trademark Quattro drive system. The future range of PPE models will include versions with one electric motor each mounted to the front and rear axles that use electronic coordination to deliver all-wheel drive on demand and achieve a perfect balance between driving dynamics and energy efficiency.
In addition, the e-tron family will also include basic versions optimized for minimum consumption and maximum range – in this case, propulsion will come from a single electric motor mounted to the rear axle.
The Audi A6 Avant e-tron concept’s two electric motors are capable of delivering 350 kW of total output and 800 Newton meters of torque.
Smooth, precise, and dynamic design
The Audi A6 Avant e-tron concept clearly reflects the upmarket categories, with measurements of 4.96 meters (16.3 feet) in length, 1.96 meters (6.4 feet) in width, and 1.44 meters (4.7 feet) in height, which are identical to the existing Audi A6/A7 series vehicles.
It’s evident at first look that this car was designed in a wind tunnel, with its dynamic proportions and exquisite lines, especially the Avant back end that’s a hallmark of the brand.
In Audi’s long history of success in the premium class, aerodynamics has always played a significant part. The drag coefficient value of the Audi 100 / C3 – the aerodynamics world champion of all classes at the time – is legendary: with a value of 0.30, Audi was significantly beating its opponents as early as 1982 and continued to do so for many years after that.
The Avant’s proportions are suggestive of a sports vehicle, with large 22-inch wheels and low overhangs, a flat interior, and a dramatic roof arch.
The lack of harsh edges leads in soft shadows and seamless transitions between convex and concave surfaces throughout the body. When seen from the side, the Audi A6 e-tron concept seems monolithic, as if made from a single mold.
A distinctive aspect of Audi Avant window design is the softly rearward sloping roof arch with the slanted D-pillar; the D-pillar comes up from the sturdy basis of the vehicle’s back end in an extremely streamlined fashion. The striking Quattro wheel arches successfully emphasize the body’s breadth while also blending in naturally with the side surfaces.
The uniquely shaped battery space above the rocker panel, which is accentuated with a black inlay – a design detail that has become a characteristic of the Audi brand’s fleet of electric cars – connects the wheel arches. The slim, camera-based virtual external mirrors at the foot of the A-pillar are also characteristic of Audi e-tron cars.
The Audi A6 e-tron concept is readily clear from the front that it is an electric-powered representation of the four-ringed brand. The huge enclosed Singleframe grille, which is flanked at the bottom by deep air intakes for cooling the powertrain, batteries, and brakes, is a distinguishing feature. The horizontally aligned design of the vehicle body is highlighted by the flat headlamp bezels that reach deep into the sides of the laterally sweeping front end.
The rear diffuser’s two large air vents are incorporated into the bumper region in the lower part. These components, which have colored trim, channel air beneath the car in a way that eliminates turbulence, resulting in a perfect combination of decreased aerodynamic drag and minimal lift.
Top charging and storage technology
The 800-volt charging system will be at the core of the Audi A6 Avant e-tron concept’s driving technology, as well as that of all future PPE vehicles. This, like the Audi e-tron GT Quattro before it, guarantees that the battery can be charged at fast-charging stations with up to 270 kW in a short amount of time.
For the first time, the PPE will bring this innovative technology to the high-volume mid-range and premium categories.
As a result, the A6 Avant will be the storage champion in two senses: not just because of its large trunk, but also because of its wide rear end. The PPE technology permits charging periods that are comparable to a traditional refueling stop for a vehicle with a combustion engine.
It just takes 10 minutes to charge the battery to the point where it can power the automobile for more than 300 kilometers (186 miles). The 100 kWh battery of the Audi A6 Avant e-tron prototype can be charged from 5 to 80 percent in less than 25 minutes.
The models in the Audi A6 e-tron family are uncompromisingly ideal for long travels, with a range of up to 700 kilometers (435 miles) – depending on the specified drive system and power output.
Furthermore, their range and charging speed are comparable to that of combustion engines, making them ideal all-around vehicles for anything from quick excursions to the shop to lengthy road journeys on vacation.
The Audi A6 e-tron concept outperforms its combustion engine competitors in terms of dynamic attributes, as is common with electric cars. Even entry-level vehicles geared for efficiency will accelerate to 100 km/h (62 mph) in less than seven seconds thanks to considerable torque from the first rotation. This sprint can even be decreased far under four seconds in top-of-the-line, high-performance variants.