Today, Audi unveiled a fully electric Audi A6 eTron concept at the Auto Shanghai 2021 show. The car itself looks great, with a bold, modern front end, sweeping lines, and big wheels. This design is bound to get people excited, but I am concerned.
Far too often when concept vehicles are released, they get us excited about future vehicles that we could buy. Unfortunately by the time the production version of that vehicle rolls out, it has been toned down in an attempt to avoid offending anyone and ends up appealing to nobody.
If Audi can avoid this common mistake and just ship the thing as it is now, they’ll invoke the hearts and minds of their performance and luxury loyalists that love to look back at their cars as they walk away with a rye smile on their face that they bought the right badge.
Audi has confirmed this is slated to head to production in 2023 and there could be an RS version on the way.
We all know BMW has faced a lot of criticism over their growing, almost laughable front kidney-shaped grill, but Audi looks to have done a great job of designing a front end on the A6 Etron to respond to the fact we don’t need to feed air into the engine with an EV, while also maintaining an aggressive, bold look.
The car is based on Audi’s future PPE platform and expected to achieve a range of more than 700 kilometers (WLTP) with a 0 to 100 km/h time of less than 4 seconds. The Audi A6 e-tron concept’s two electric motors are capable of delivering a total output of 350 kW and 800 Nm of torque.
Audi says that key to their fleet of future PPE-based vehicles, is a 100 kWh battery module between the axles. The battery size and wheelbase of PPE vehicles are scalable, making them suitable for use in different market segments. Fast charging can be done at up to 270 kW using an 800-volt architecture, making the recharge time as little as 10 minutes to gain more than 300kms.
The concept car also features massive 22-inch wheels which are more commonly found on SUV’s, so I suspect the final production version will more likely come with a more practical 20 or 21″ rims, providing more sidewall and ride comfort.
Audi’s lighting designers are almost famous in themselves and they’ve gone to town on this concept, including 3 small, high-resolution LED projectors, built-in into each side of the body, transforming the ground beneath them into a stage when the doors are opened. These offer small extended dynamic lighting effects that greet the occupants with messages in their own language. At the premiere in Shanghai, this means in Chinese characters.
In what could only be described as a concept feature, Audi are imagining their Digital Matrix LED front headlights could be used to project a video game onto the wall ahead, enabling passengers to pass the time while recharging.
The first Audi production vehicles built on the PPE platform will be successively unveiled starting in the second half of 2022. PPE vehicles are specifically designed to be offered globally, and will be rolled out in all of the brand’s key markets. Audi plans to manufacture the vehicles both at its European sites and in China,