Audi A6 Avant e-tron previews fast-charging AWD e-wagon of the future
Following up on last year's A6 e-tron sportback concept, Audi has tacked on D-pillars, stretched the rear-end and created the A6 Avant e-tron concept. The handsome electric estate teases a future in which Audi fills out its EV portfolio with a capable business-class electric wagon able to carry the family on trips up to 435 miles per charge. Thanks to a next-gen 800-V architecture being co-developed with Porsche, trips longer than 435 miles are still convenient and drivers can suck in 300 kilometers worth of electricity in the time it takes for a bathroom-and-snack break.
The A6 Avant e-tron isn't a lightly disguised near-production preview, but it isn't a future-fantasy concept, either. Audi explains that the car's "lines and elegant proportions preview future Audi production models and offer clues about how dynamic and elegant the electrically-powered luxury class will look."
So expect to see some of the design cues at dealerships in the future. As with last year's A6 e-tron sportback sedan concept, the Avant concept's profile is heavily sculpted by the wind tunnel, resulting in a 0.24 coefficient of drag. From the front 3/4 angles, the Avant appears to taper in three-dimensionally, its roofline dropping slowly but noticeably into the spoiler-topped D pillar, while side recesses draw the flanks inward as they flow toward the rear haunches. The spoiler is joined by a dramatic rear diffuser in handling airflow around the rear-end.
OLED and LED technology feature heavily in the A6 Avant e-tron, and the car houses more projectors than a small movie theater. Three small high-resolution LED projectors on each side create a warm welcome, greeting driver and passengers with personalized messages when the doors are opened. During the ride, those projectors cast warnings to other road users onto the street, and a separate set of four high-res projectors at the corners does the same for turn signals. Back in the parking lot, Audi's Digital Matrix LED headlights also double as projectors, casting images onto a wall in a way that would allow users to play games in XXL format, for example. Out back, Audi incorporates 3D OLED taillight effects for further visual flair.
Porsche has already shown what it can do with an 800-V electrical architecture, and it is currently working on the Premium Platform Electric (PPE) with Audi for the next generation of EVs. The platform will underpin future electric vehicles from both badges, including the upcoming electric Porsche Macan crossover.
Audi previews its own use of the PPE, filling the Avant e-tron's underfloor out with a 100-kWh battery pack that spans the wheelbase. That battery powers the concept's 470-hp (350-kW) front- and rear-motor combo for the road trip-worthy range of 435 miles (700 km). Beyond that, the 800-V PPE architecture supports charging speeds up to 270 kW, which Audi estimates would add 186 miles (300 km) of power to the Avant's battery in about 10 minutes, going on to push total charge from 5 to 80 percent in less than 25 minutes.
The motor duo puts out up to 590 lb-ft (800 Nm) of immediate torque, and Audi estimates 0-62 mph (100 km/h) acceleration times between 7 seconds for the most efficient Avant spec down to below 4 seconds for high-performance variants. The concept smooths out the ride with adaptively damped air suspension.
The A6 Avant e-tron and A6 e-tron sportback are the first Audi concept series to showcase PPE tech, which will underpin production Audis to debut in 2023. The scalable platform will enable Audi to develop EVs in a variety of body styles and sizes.