Audi will expand EV lineup with electric A6 wagon

Europe

BERLIN — Audi will expand its EV lineup with a spacious battery-electric station wagon based on the PPE platform it is developing with Porsche.

Audi previewed the wagon by unveiling the near-production A6 Avant e-tron concept at its annual media conference on Thursday.

The production version of the 5000-mm long (197 inches) concept will offer up to 700 km (435 miles) of range under the WLTP standard, depending on the drive system and model variant.

It shares its Premium Platform Electric (PPE) with the A6 Sportback e-tron sedan unveiled by Audi last year and the upcoming Audi Q6 and Porsche Macan electric crossovers.

The drive system and battery technology are based on an 800-volt system with a charging capacity of up to 270 kilowatts.

Audi said the A6 Avant e-tron can take in enough energy in just 10 minutes at a fast-charging station to drive about 300 km (186 miles).

The key element of the future Audi and Porsche PPE-based cars is a battery module between the axles, which in the case of the A6 Avant concept holds around 100 kilowatt-hours of energy.

Using the entire vehicle base makes it possible to achieve a relatively flat layout for the battery.

The concept’s design helps reduce aerodynamic drag, and the exterior is further defined by 22-inch wheels, short overhangs and an absence of hard edges.

The wheel arches are connected by a sculpted battery area above the rocker panel highlighted with a black inlay, a design element shared among Audi’s e-tron models.

Camera-based virtual exterior mirrors at the base of the A-pillar add an additional futuristic touch.

The vehicle has advanced LED lighting elements, including four high-resolution LED projectors integrated into the corners of the vehicle and Digital Matrix LED front headlights.

If the vehicle is parked in front of a wall during a break to recharge the battery, the driver and passengers could in theory pass time by playing a video game projected onto it.

In addition, projections around the car allow the communication range to be extended beyond the vehicle for the first time. Intelligent connectivity allows vehicle to share information to other road users through visual signals.

In an online interview published by Audi, the company’s head of exterior design Philipp Roemers explained the central role that refined proportions played in the design of the A6 Avant e-tron, citing the need for a long wheelbase due to the huge battery.

“Of course, we did some tricks, for example an aluminum application that runs along the top of the body and goes into the rear spoiler, which makes the car visually lower than it physically is,” he said.

Particular attention was paid to the design of the front end, including an inverted, Singleframe grille, which is bordered at the bottom by deep air intakes for cooling the drivetrain, battery, and brakes.

The grille’s surround also includes integrated lighting and sensors. Owners will also be able to design their own custom daytime running lights signature, Roemers said.

“From 100 meters away you can clearly see it’s an Audi, while at the same time you can see it’s electric,” he said.

The production A6 Avant e-tron is expected to go on sale in 2024, Audi has launched the Sportback sedan, and following the launch of the Audi Q6 and Porsche Macan electric crossovers.

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