Audi’s big push to electrify its line-up focuses on the e-tron line-up. And while it’s currently on the road in a couple of iterations, the German premium brand is continuing to look at what’s next. The newest version being the A6 Avant e-tron concept.
“With the Audi A6 Avant e-tron concept, we are offering a completely tangible look at future production models on our new PPE technology platform,” said Audi Board Member for Technical Development Oliver Hoffmann in a statement.
The concept is the latest example of the company’s PPE platform, or Premium Platform Electric. It revealed the A6 e-tron concept last April. The platform sits on a skateboard-like design with batteries and motors mounted below the load floor.
While it’s a technological marvel, it looks amazing while doing so. It walks the walk — or insert whatever metaphor you want for something that doesn’t disappoint.
Bring me a wagon!
The A6 e-tron debuted at Auto Shanghai last year, and Audi’s rolled out a few more advanced battery-electric concepts since thing — Skysphere and Grandsphere — but the A6 Avant is “production-oriented” and clearly the all-electric evolution of the brand’s famous Sportback line.
The A6 e-tron shown last year is supposed to arrive later this year, which means the A6 Avant e-tron and its label of “production-oriented” means what you see is pretty much what you’re going to get.
“We’re not just electrifying the Avant’s successful 45-year history. What we want most of all is to use technical skill to add an exclamation point,” Hoffmann noted.
In the case of the Avant e-tron, it will be capable of traveling 435 miles — using the global WLTP test process — on a single charge. The PPE will be able to draw power from next-generation chargers delivering up to 270 kilowatts at 800 volts from a Level 3 charger.
It’ll go from a 5% to 80% state-of-charge in just 25 minutes, Audi says, noting in 10 minutes, it would yield another 300 km, or about 186 miles. Perhaps more importantly, it’ll race from zero to 60 mph in just about two seconds.
That’s a lot of groceries, soccer equipment or golf clubs moving quickly to their final destination. Fast, but ugly’s not a great combination. Fortunately the design team at Audi’s ensured the A6 Avant e-tron isn’t afflicted with that problem.
Looks to match the performance
While not everyone associates a wagon with speed, Audi makes that connection. Officials took great care to remind everyone that aerodynamics are an important part of Audi’s legacy — the A6 Avant continues the tradition.
The coefficient of drag for the Avant is just 0.24, which is world class. Low, flat and wide, it slips through the wind. However, with 22-inch wheels and short overhangs its screams “go fast.” That’s accentuated by the lack of straight lines.
“The absence of hard edges results in smooth transitions between convex and concave surfaces throughout the body, as well as in soft shadows. The Audi A6 e-tron concept appears monolithic, as if from a single mold — particularly when viewed from the side,” the company said.
“The showcar’s sporty silhouette is emphasized by its warm shade of gray called Neptune Valley. While the paint has a modern, understated look when it is in the shadows, its full effect opens up in the sun, draping the showcar in shades of softly iridescent gold with its effect pigments.”
The company didn’t say if or when the A6 Avant e-tron concept would become available, but given its long history with the Sportback, sometime in early 2023 seems like a best guess.