The Audi A6 E-Tron prototype previews a new family of EVs that will be based on the Premium Platform Electric (PPE) architecture that the company is co-developing with Porsche and will go into development alongside the current combustion-engined A6 in 2023. The A6 E-tron concept, which was unveiled alongside the Q4 E-tron at the Shanghai motor show, will be Audi's second production vehicle to use PPE underpinnings. It will be followed by the Q6 E-tron SUV, which has yet to be publicly unveiled but will be revealed in the second half of next year.
The PPE architecture is intended for high-end SUVs as well as lower-slung versions in the B, C, and D segments. Porsche would first employ the PPE in the all-electric variant of the next-generation Macan.
The platform of the A6 E-tron concept houses a 100kWh battery with a range of more than 435 miles. The PPE arrangement allows the battery pack to be distributed evenly around the chassis, allowing for limited intrusion into the cabin.
According to Audi, this versatility allows the platform to be used by both high-riding and low-slung vehicles "without any modifications to the basic architecture." The wheelbase and battery capacity are all adjustable, and the wheels are squeezed into the corners to maximize front and rear leg space.
The A6 E-tron was unveiled with a motor on each axle and combined outputs of 469bhp and 590lb ft, but Audi claims some PPE-based versions would have a single motor on the rear axle for increased range and a lower price.
Both PPE vehicles, including the E-tron GT and Porsche Taycan, will have 800V charging capabilities, allowing for charging at speeds of up to 270kW – a first for the “high-volume mid-range and premium segment,” according to Audi. According to the company, 186 miles of charge can be applied in just 10 minutes.
The front axle is equipped with an air suspension system with adjustable dampers and a five-link setup, while the rear axle is equipped with a multi-link setup. The more powerful versions will accelerate from 0 to 62 mph in "just under" four seconds, while the more efficient ones will do so in less than seven seconds.
Despite bearing the A6 nameplate, the A6 E-tron is not meant to replace its combustion-engined counterpart. The latest model is approximately similar in size and form to the A7 Sportback, measuring 4961mm long by 1960mm wide and 1440mm thick.
The concept's architecture would most likely be tweaked moderately for development, but it hints at the progression of Audi's design language as the company begins its shift to being a manufacturer of purely electric cars.