At the Shanghai show Audi unveiled the A6 e-tron concept, a car that previews a new EV family built on the company’s Premium Platform Electric (PPE) architecture, designed for midsize-ish sedans and SUVs, and co-developed with Porsche. Production cars riding on the PPE platform are expected to go into production late in 2022. This A6 e-tron sportback will be the second car built on PPE, following the Q6 e-tron, expected to be shown sometime next year. Porsche’s upcoming Macan EV will also use PPE. Audi officials told Autoweek the production version goes on sale in 2022 in Europe and 2023 in the U.S., and that it is considering a station wagon version.
The A6 e-tron concept is about the same size as the A7 sportback, and Audi says aerodynamic efficiency was a priority. The company says the low front end, sloping roofline, and smooth sides help the concept achieve a drag coefficient of just 0.22, “unprecedented in the electrified C-segment,” Audi says.
Big exterior features include the digital matrix LED headlights, Audi’s slimmest yet. They feature OLED technology for “maximum brightness and a wide range of features even with a minimal surface area,” the company says.
Wide range of features? Audi explains: “If, for example, the Audi A6 e-tron concept is parked in front of a wall during a break to recharge the battery,” Audi says, “the driver and passengers can pass the time playing a video game projected onto it. Instead of on a small screen in the cockpit, they’ll see their respective game’s virtual landscapes projected onto the wall in XXL format.”
What will they think of next?!?
Audi didn’t give interior details, but based on other Audi EVs, we expect high-quality materials and excellent build quality, along with high-res digital displays and infotainment touchscreens. Audi officials told Autoweek we should see the interior details “later this year.”
The concept has a 100-kWh battery for a roughly 435-mile range, Audi says. There’s a motor on each axle and combined output of 469 hp and 590 lb-ft. Audi says PPE can accommodate a single motor on the rear axle for potentially better range and lower price. The automaker also says PPE will have 800-volt charging capability, allowing for charging at speeds up to 270 kW. Audi says this is a first for the “high-volume mid-range and luxury segment,” and that around 186 miles of charge can be added in just 10 minutes. “And in less than 25 minutes,” the company says, “you can charge the Audi A6 e-tron concept’s 100-kWh battery from 5 to 80 percent.”
The structure allows the battery pack to be spread across the chassis for “minimal intrusion into the cabin,” allowing the platform to be used for both SUVs and sedans “without any changes to the basic architecture,” Audi says. The company says the wheelbase and battery size are scalable, while the wheels are pushed into the corners for max legroom.
“PPE is the first platform designed to accommodate an unprecedented range of high-volume automobiles—including SUVs and CUVs with a high ground clearance, as well as cars with a low ride height that are part of Audi’s core product range, such as the Audi A6 series,” the company says. “But there are also plans to expand the PPE range into the B-segment, which has been the highest-volume market segment for Audi for decades. And even when it comes to the top-of-the-line D-segment, the PPE is an excellent technological platform to build on.”
The front suspension is an air system with adaptive dampers and a five-link setup that Audi says is “specially optimized for electric vehicles,” with a multilink axle out back. Audi says the fastest version of the production electric A6 will be able to hit 62 mph in less than four seconds.
The A6 e-tron will be built in Ingolstadt, Germany, and Audi told Autoweek a factory for PPE-based EVs to be sold in China is planned for Changchun, China, by 2024.
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