Audi A6 e-tron concept, the second: as part of its 2022 Annual Media Conference, Audi is presenting the next model in its future electrically-powered A6 Luxury Class: the Avant. The company with the four rings introduced the Audi A6 Sportback with an electric drive system almost a year ago at the Shanghai Auto Show in April 2021. The production-oriented A6 Avant e-tron concept car now illustrates the synthesis of pioneering drive technology and Audi’s traditional design world: the Avant.
Like the Audi A6 e-tron concept that was exhibited in 2021, the A6 Avant also has an exclusively electric drive system based on the forward-looking PPE platform, developed under Audi’s leadership. At the same time, it represents a new design concept with the same dimensions as the A6 Sportback e-tron. At 4,960mm (16.3 ft.) long, 1,960mm (6.4 ft.) wide, and 1,440mm (4.7 ft.) tall, its proportions put 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 emphasize its kinship with the other electrically powered Audis in the e-tron fleet.
The Audi A6 Avant e-tron concept exterior model that is making its debut in March 2022 is not just a simple design exercise. Its lines and elegant proportions preview future Audi production models and offer clues about how dynamic and elegant the electrically-powered luxury class will look.
“With the Audi A6 Avant e-tron concept, we are offering a completely tangible look at future production models on our new PPE technology platform,” says Audi Board Member for Technical Development Oliver Hoffmann. “We’re not just electrifying the Avant’s successful 45-year history. What we want most of all is to use technical skills 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 700 kilometres (435 miles).”
Sporting the A6 emblem, the concept car underscores its place in the brand’s business class. This family has represented the brand in one of the world’s highest-volume segments since 1968 (until 1994, as the Audi 100). There have been Avant models in the series since 1977 – a revolutionary, very emotionally designed reinterpretation of the station wagon class.
With the Avant, whose dynamic lines combine with a high degree of variability, the company created a new kind of car that has often been copied by the competition. Avant, a term derived from avant-garde and a 1995 Audi ad slogan, is a word that has taken off: beautiful station wagons are called Avant.
For its part, the PPE technology will ensure that what the car’s lines imply is translated into a standard of dynamic driving performance and everyday suitability befitting use for long drives. That means that, in the future, an Audi A6 e-tron will deliver up to 700 kilometres (435 miles) of range (under the WLTP standard), depending on the drive system and model variant. And the strongest representatives of the series will sprint from 0-62mph in less than four seconds. The values of the Sportback and the Avant only deviate slightly from one another.
The Audi A6 Avant’s back end, which is as beautiful as it is spacious, is by no means the only thing that qualifies it as the storage champ – 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 take in enough energy in just 10 minutes at a fast-charging station to drive about 300 kilometres (186 miles).
Based on its dimensions, the Audi A6 Avant e-tron concept represents the upscale segments – 4,960mm (16.3 feet) in length, 1,960mm (6.4 feet) in width, and 1,440mm (4.7 feet) tall, the same as the current models in the Audi A6/A7 series. With its dynamic proportions and elegant lines, including the Avant back end typical of the brand, it’s obvious at first glance that this vehicle was conceived in a wind tunnel.
Aerodynamics has always played a key role in Audi’s long history of success in the luxury class. The cW value of the Audi 100 / C3 – the aerodynamics world champion of all classes in its day – is legendary: with its cW value of 0.30, Audi was already far outperforming its competitors as early as 1982 and continued to do so for many years thereafter.
Now the electrically-powered family of the Audi A6 e-tron concept is writing a new chapter in this success story, proving once again that the brand always combines form and function in perfect symbiosis. The Sportback’s cW value of just 0.22 is unprecedented in the electrified C-segment. With its expansive roofline, the Avant’s cW value is just 0.02 units above that. In layman’s terms, this means the car exhibits minimal aerodynamic drag – which initially translates into lower energy consumption and therefore extended range. At the same time, the fine-tuning in the wind tunnel has once again resulted in an organic design with exceptional elegance and harmony down to the last detail.
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 mould – 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 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.
Looking at the front, it is immediately apparent that the Audi A6 e-tron concept is an electric-powered representative of the brand with the four rings. A characteristic feature is the large enclosed Singleframe grille, which is bordered at the bottom by deep air intakes for cooling the drivetrain, battery, and brakes. 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 influence of the wind tunnel on the rear end is unmistakable. The upper rear end is shaped to create an aerodynamically functional and circumferential breakaway edge. The rear spoiler with coloured trim visually emphasizes the elongated, horizontally oriented silhouette of the A6 Avant e-tron concept. It also does important work with airflow to improve aerodynamics.
And in the lower section, the rear diffuser’s two generously sized air outlets are integrated into the bumper area. These components, which also have coloured trim, channel the air that flows under the vehicle in a manner that reduces turbulence – a perfect combination of reduced aerodynamic drag and minimized lift.
The showcar’s sporty silhouette is emphasized by its warm shade of grey called Neptune Valley. While the paint has a modern, understated look when it is in the shadows, its full effect opens up in the sun, draping the showcar in shades of softly iridescent gold with its effect pigments.
charging technology. Like the Audi e-tron GT quattro* before it, this ensures that the battery can be charged with up to 270kW in a very short time at fast-charging stations. This revolutionary technology will enter the high-volume mid-range and luxury segments with the PPE for the very first time.
Thus, the A6 Avant will become the storage champ in a double sense – not only because of its spacious back end. The PPE technology enables charging times that come close to a conventional stop to refuel a car powered by a combustion engine. Just 10 minutes is enough time to charge the battery to a level sufficient to power the car for more than 300 kilometres (186 miles). And in less than 25 minutes, you can charge the Audi A6 Avant e-tron concept’s 100kWh battery from 5 to 80 percent.
Together with a range of up to 700 kilometres (435 miles) – depending on the selected drive system and power output – the models in the Audi A6 e-tron family are uncompromisingly suitable for long trips. Furthermore, their range and charging speed keep pace with those of combustion engines, making them perfect universal cars for everyday needs, from short trips to the store to longer road trips when going on vacation.
In terms of dynamic qualities, the Audi A6 e-tron concept – as is typical for an electric car – truly outshines its rivals with combustion engines. Thanks to its high torque right from the first revolution, even entry-level models designed for efficiency will accelerate from 0-62mph in less than seven seconds. And in the top-of-the-line, high-performance models, this sprint can even be reduced to well under four seconds.