INGOLSTADT: Audi has unveiled a concept for an executive class Avant with electric drive system.
The A6 Avant is the second electric model to be unveiled last week after the A6 Sportback in April 2021, boasting fast charging and a long range of up to 700km.
Audi said the fast charging and long range of its upcoming electric cars meant that they would be as good as its combustion engine counterparts, making them practical as daily cars for short or longer trips.
The A6 Avant has the same dimensions as the A6 Sportback e-tron. At 4.96 metres long, 1.96 metres wide, and 1.44 metres high, its body puts it in the luxury class. Its lines are a consistent development in Audi’s contemporary formal language.
Significant elements like the closed Singleframe and the continuous strip of lights in the rear emphasise its kinship with the other electrically powered Audis in the e-tron fleet.
“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. In particular, this includes powerful 800 volt technology, 270 kW of charging capacity, and a WLTP range of up to 700km,” said Audi Board Member for Technical Development Oliver Hoffmann.
The range-topping A6 e-tron would be able to sprint from 0 to 100kph in less than four seconds.
Premium Platform Electric
The Audi A6 e-tron Sportback and Avant concept cars are now the first members of a family of vehicles – initially in the C-segment and later also in the B- and D-segments – to be based on the Premium Platform Electric, or PPE for short. This modular system is being developed under Audi’s leadership together with Porsche AG.
The first Audi production vehicles built on the PPE platform will be successively unveiled starting in 2023.
The PPE is the first platform designed to accommodate an unprecedented range of high-volume automobiles – including SUVs and CUVs with high ground clearance as well as cars with low ride height that are part of Audi’s core product range, such as the A6 series.
The A6 Avant’s back end, designed to be as beautiful as it is spacious, is one of the key attributes that qualifies it as the storage champ in a double sense.
The drive system and battery technology also justify that title. With its 800 volt system and a charging capacity of up to 270 kW, it can generate enough energy in just 10 minutes at a fast-charging station to drive about 300km. And in less than 25 minutes, the A6 Avant e-tron concept’s 100 kWh battery can be topped up from 5 to 80 percent.
Slippery as can be
Aerodynamics has always played a key role in Audi’s long history.
The Sportback’s cD value of just 0.22 is unprecedented in the electrified C-segment. With its expansive roofline, the Avant’s cD value is just 0.02 units above that. This translates to a car that has minimal aerodynamic drag – which initially translates into lower energy consumption and therefore extended range.
Large 22-inch wheels and short overhangs, the flat cabin, and a dynamic roof arch give the Avant proportions that are distinctly reminiscent of a sports car.
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 gently backward sloping roof arch with the slanted D-pillar is a typical feature of Audi Avant window design; the D-pillar rises up from the stable base of the vehicle’s back end in an especially streamlined manner. The eye-catching quattro wheel arches effectively accentuate the width of the body and are simultaneously integrated organically into the side surfaces.
The wheel arches are connected by the specially sculpted battery area above the rocker panel, which is highlighted with a black inlay – a design element that is now a hallmark of the Audi brand’s fleet of electric vehicles. Also typical of Audi e-tron models are the sleek, camera-based virtual exterior mirrors at the base of the A-pillar.
A characteristic feature of an electric Audi is the large enclosed Singleframe grille, which is bordered at the bottom by deep air intakes for cooling the drivetrain, battery, and brakes.
Lights with wow factor
The flat headlight bezels extend far into the sides of the laterally sweeping front end, underscoring the horizontally aligned architecture of the vehicle body.
The flat headlights and taillights are slim and flush with the overall composition of the lines.
Digital Matrix LED and digital OLED technology makes it possible to achieve maximum brightness and a wide range of features even with a minimal surface area, while at the same time offering customizable light signatures.
Three small, high-resolution LED projectors are built into each side of the body, transforming the ground beneath them into a stage when the doors are opened – small, extended, dynamic lighting effects greet the occupants with messages in their own language.
The combination of safety features and aesthetic design is particularly important to Audi. That’s why the small, high-resolution projectors also display warning symbols on the ground – to warn a bike rider that the car door is about to open, for example.
The Digital Matrix LED front headlights achieve almost cinematic quality. If, for example, the A6 Avant e-tron concept is parked in front of a wall during a break to recharge the battery, 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 current game’s virtual landscapes projected onto the wall in XXL format – and all this via the Digital Matrix LED headlights.
The rear end of the concept car features a new generation of digital OLED elements that, as a continuous strip of lights, act like a display. They can also be used to create almost unlimited customizable variations of digital light signatures and dynamic lighting displays that can be adapted to the customer’s personal taste.
One new feature in the taillights is the three-dimensional architecture of the digital OLED elements, that – adapted to the shape of the body – makes it possible to perfectly integrate the night design into the overall look. This makes it possible to experience the dynamic light show not only in two dimensions – as was previously the case – but with an impressive, 3D spatial effect.
In addition, the projections around the vehicle allow its communication range to be extended beyond the vehicle for the first time.
With the help of intelligent connectivity in the vehicle, the A6 e-tron concept provides information to other road users with visual signals.