Audi A6 e-tron Concept previews new electric saloon

A6 e-tron Concept also debuts new PPE chassis co-developed by Audi and Porsche

Audi has revealed the A6 e-tron Concept in Shanghai, previewing a production A6 e-tron due to be shown in late 2022. The Concept is a big one for Audi for numerous reasons – it doesn’t just introduce a new model, it’s also the first application of Audi’s new PPE platform, a new all-electric modular hardware set co-developed with Porsche.

Yet beyond its sleek body and new tech, the A6 e-tron also gives us a look ahead at how Audi plans to integrate its new electric models into the range and how, like Mercedes-Benz, it looks to be on an ambitious path ahead.

The A6 e-tron Concept 

According to Audi the A6 e-tron Concept is about 90 per cent production accurate, with the body, its proportions and underlying aesthetic to largely be carried across wholesale. Only details such as the door mirrors, wheels and lighting will be changed for production.

The body itself is a touch longer than that of the current A6 at 4.96m, but is a substantial 74mm wider overall. The biggest variance, dimensionally, between new-age electric cars and their petrol-powered counterparts is a long wheelbase in relation to their overall length – something clearly visible. As a result, the A6 e-tron’s proportions are obviously derived from an electric platform, overlaid with short overhangs and a cab-forward stance.

The Concept is powered by two electric motors – one on each axle – and generates equivalent peaks of 450bhp and 590lb ft of torque. Audi has confirmed the Concept’s battery capacity at 100kWh, and is targeting a 430-mile or more range for production.

Given this is not an Audi Sport model, outright Tesla-beating range is expected to come at the expense of performance, but the most potent of A6 e-tron variants will still hit 62mph in under four seconds.

Charging capability is based on that found in the e-tron GT, with an 800V system and up to 270kW fast charging. Audi claims that at full charging speed the A6 e-tron will be able to add up to 186 miles of range in just ten minutes, or do a full five to 80 per cent charge in less than 25.

The suspension layout comprises a bespoke five-link front end designed specifically for the PPE platform, with a multi-link rear axle and air springs with adaptive dampers at all four corners.

The production A6 e-tron will join the range in early 2023, a few months after Audi’s first PPE model, the Q6 e-tron SUV. It will sit alongside the current A6, running parallel to its model cycles. This is a similar structure to the one Mercedes is employing with its EQ range, with distinctive bespoke EV models due to sit alongside its legacy model lines. BMW, by contrast, plans to largely amalgamate its EV models into their existing lines, as seen in models like the i4 and iX3.

What else PPE will underpin

PPE is planned to underpin everything in the B (small), C (medium) and D (large) segments, including saloons, SUVs, crossovers and even future sports models. Audi Sport, which was involved with the e-tron GT built on the J1 platform, has not been included in the pre-development of this platform, but will likely get involved once the development of future PPE-based RS models begins.

Just like J1 and MEB, PPE will be strictly EV, and is not able to integrate any form of combustion engine – even a small range extender. The key difference between PPE and Porsche’s J1 platform is, put simply, size. The J1 is inherently lower and smaller, with close ties to the 911 around the scuttle and front subframe that limits its ultimate modularity.

By contrast, PPE will have almost no limits to its modularity, according to Audi’s engineers, with the ability to move key hard points such as the scuttle height, dash-to-axle ratio, wheelbases, and track widths to accommodate models of all shapes and sizes.

Recommended

Dodge Charger Daytona SRT Concept EV debuts – the first electric muscle car
Dodge Charger Daytona SRT Concept EV
News

Dodge Charger Daytona SRT Concept EV debuts – the first electric muscle car

American car brands have been mulling what an electric muscle car might look like – Dodge is the first to show its hand
18 Aug 2022
BMW M reveals quad-motor i4 prototype
BMW i4 quad motor
News

BMW M reveals quad-motor i4 prototype

This all-electric frankenstein mule based on the existing i4 M50 offers a first look at what’s to come from BMW M
18 Aug 2022
Polestar 6 roadster confirmed for 2026 launch – production version of the O2 concept
Polestar O2
News

Polestar 6 roadster confirmed for 2026 launch – production version of the O2 concept

Polestar is putting its stunning O2 concept into production, transforming into the Polestar 6
16 Aug 2022
How to design a car (part six): electric vehicle design
How to design an electric vehicle
Features

How to design a car (part six): electric vehicle design

The necessary size of electric vehicles is bringing new challenges for car designers, and some are doing better than others, reckons Stevens
15 Aug 2022

Most Popular

2022 Porsche 911 GT3 RS revealed with motorsport-inspired aero and 517bhp
New 992 911 GT3 RS
News

2022 Porsche 911 GT3 RS revealed with motorsport-inspired aero and 517bhp

Porsche launches the most extreme 911 GT3 RS to date, with a focus on track days that’s been inspired through its motorsport success
17 Aug 2022
Aston Martin DBR22 revealed – an open-top V12 rival to the Ferrari Monza SP2
Aston Martin DBR22 - front quarter
News

Aston Martin DBR22 revealed – an open-top V12 rival to the Ferrari Monza SP2

It’s another screen-less low-volume supercar, but the new DBR22 could pinpoint the future of Aston Martin design
15 Aug 2022
Polestar 6 roadster confirmed for 2026 launch – production version of the O2 concept
Polestar O2
News

Polestar 6 roadster confirmed for 2026 launch – production version of the O2 concept

Polestar is putting its stunning O2 concept into production, transforming into the Polestar 6
16 Aug 2022