Electric Audi A6 e-tron concept beams out video games while charging
Audi is pushing forward with its electric design, adding e-tron power to the A6 lineage. Debuted at Auto Shanghai 2021, the all-new A6 e-tron concept previews a sporty fastback sedan planned for future launch. The new concept uses a combination of LEDs and OLEDs to light up the road ahead, send out warnings and messages to other road users, and even host a little outdoor gaming.
An A6 by name, the A6 e-tron wears a smooth Sportback shape that's usually labeled "A7." Audi leaned heavily on the wind tunnel in shaping the 195-in (496-cm) concept, which has a drag coefficient of 0.22. Much like Mercedes did with the all-new EQS, Audi worked to minimize sharp lines and angles, sculpting rounder, three-dimensional surfaces that show an interplay between convex and concave. Quattro-style wheel arches hint at the dual-motor electric drive powering all four 22-in wheels.
The A6 e-tron concept's smooth Singleframe grille sits front and center, leaving the dark, cavernous intakes surrounding it to cool the battery, brakes and driveline. The pencil-thin headlamp design obscures the complexity inside the lenses, where Audi's Digital Matrix LED technology blasts bright light from the minimal surface area. More than mere lamps, the headlights are also projectors, capable of casting an image several meters wide onto a surface ahead. Audi even designed its own game for the purpose, which it imagines driver and passenger playing with smartphone-based game controllers while the A6 e-tron powers up at a charging station.
The rear lighting is equally dramatic, defined by a full-width OLED array capable of creating customizable three-dimensional signatures and dynamic displays. Meanwhile, lighting projectors at the corners and sides communicate with both A6 e-tron occupants and surrounding road users. For instance, one projector shines a greeting on the ground as the driver approaches, while others flash turn signals and warnings on the ground during the ride.
The A6 e-tron concept previews the new Premium Platform Electric (PPE) that Audi is working on jointly with Porsche. The platform carries a flat-mounted battery pack between the axles and can be scaled in battery size and wheelbase to serve as the basis for many vehicles. Beyond C-segment cars like the A6, Audi will use the platform for B- and D-segment vehicles, and both low-riding cars and higher-riding SUVs.
For the A6 e-tron concept, Audi wired up a 100-kWh battery to a dual-motor quattro all-wheel electric drive that puts out up to 469 hp (350 kW) and 590 lb-ft (800 Nm) of torque. It estimates that the A6 e-tron can travel up to 435 miles (700 km, WLTP) per charge and sprint from 0 to 62 mph (100 km/h) in under four seconds, though hitting both those benchmarks would take two separate A6 e-trons, as there will be both efficiency-optimized and performance variants. Thanks to the PPE's 800-V electricals, the A6 e-tron can DC fast-charge with up to 270 kW, adding 186 miles (300 km) in as little as 10 minutes and bringing the 100-kWh battery from five to 80 percent in under 25 minutes.
One last feature worth noting, the A6 e-tron's light shade of "Heliosilver" paint is designed to assist in efficiency. It's not quite air conditioning-grade pure white, but Audi says it does reflect much of the Sun's thermal energy, thus cutting down on the battery draw needed for air conditioning.
We'd love to get a look at what the interior of a video game-beaming electric sedan looks like, but Audi provides only the rough sketch above. The company plans to debut the first PPE vehicles in the second half of 2022, manufacturing them in both Europe and China. Moving forward, it will leverage the new electric platform toward rapidly expanding its global electric offerings and sales.