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New 2023 Audi A6 e-tron concept teased: price, release date and specs

Russell Campbell

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Russell Campbell

Audi A6 e-tron profile

The new 2023 Audi A6 e-tron concept has been revealed at the Shanghai motor show. It previews a new family of electric cars from Audi. 

The A6 e-tron concept uses new PPE (Premium Platform Electric) underpinnings that'll eventually be used for a whole new family of electric cars covering small cars, family cars, large family cars and SUVs – with the new Porsche Macan pencilled in to get the PPE treatment. This concept, then, gives us a flavour of what's to come while also giving us clear idea what to expect from the new A6 e-tron, an electric saloon that will be sold in parallel with the ICE (internal combustion engine) A6.

It will complement Audi's existing e-tron range which includes cars like the Audi e-tron GT and e-tron SUV. 

Audi A6 e-tron front-three quarter

New 2023 Audi A6 e-tron concept price and release date

The Audi A6 e-tron concept isn't much more than a twinkle in its maker's eye, however, the fact that a concept has been built at all shows that a production car is due by 2023. How much will it cost? Well, a starting price of around £55,000 seems likely – which would keep it broadly in line with high-end versions of the current A6 lineup, while allowing it to nick sales from the smaller Tesla Model 3 and larger Tesla Model S. The A6 e-tron is just the start, expect a series of new electric models using the PPE platform to go on sale around its launch date. 

Audi A6 e-tron rear-three quarter

New 2023 Audi A6 e-tron concept styling and design

While the Audi A6 e-tron shares nothing mechanically with the ICE A6, at 4.96m long, 1.96m wide and 1.44m tall, the cars share similar dimensions (although the e-tron is a more practical sportback to the standard car's saloon body). 

The dimensions are about where the similarities end, however. So while the A6 is almost as imposing as the larger Audi A8, the A6 e-tron concept is a much sleeker affair not unlike a Tesla Model S in many respects. Okay so the grille is standard Audi bold, but it's also sealed, a hint that the e-tron's electric powertrain doesn't have the same cooling requirements as a petrol alternative. The only functioning vents are found underneath the headlights to cool ancillaries like the drivetrain and brakes. 

The headlights are a feature deserving of their own paragraph. They have Matrix LEDs and OLEDs so as well as having bright, pure and powerful light, they can also project video onto surfaces like walls so you can play a racing game from the driver's seat of the car if you're so inclined, using the A6's wheel a pedals – something you can already do in your Tesla.

Even the sides of the car have LED projectors that can welcome as well as projecting warnings onto the ground to warn other road users you're turning, say. 

The sides of the A6 e-tron are pebble-smooth like the front, with handles that retract into the doors when they're not in use and rear facing cameras that are more aerodynamic than wing mirrors. 

Short overhangs at the front and back mean more of the car's length can be devoted to interior space, while the large 22-inch alloy wheels hide the body's bulk and the bulging wheel arches are supposed to hint at the car's four-wheel drive, although two-wheel drive cars will also be available. 

Looks towards the back of the car and the sloping roofline is classic Audi sportback and the OLED taillights can be neatly shaped to the bodywork. Meanwhile, the way the floor sweeps upwards into the rear bumper aids aerodynamics by speeding up the airflow under the car. 

Audi hopes features like this will secure the A6 e-tron concept a Cd rating of 0.22, a tiny bit off the 0.20 rating of the new Mercedes EQS. 

Even the Audi's paint is designed to reduce energy consumption. Called Heliosilver it reflects the sun, reducing your need for the car's air conditioning. 

Audi A6 e-tron front

New 2023 Audi A6 e-tron concept interior and infotainment

Inside, you can expect to find an infotainment masterclass courtesy of the latest version of Audi's Virtual Cockpit digital instrument binnacle and a pair of stacked central infotainment touchscreens, the lower of which will feature haptic feedback to replicate the feel of pressing an actual button. 

The head-up display is likely to be where the coolest tech is to be found and you can expect it to interact with the car's environment, overlaying navigation directions onto the road and highlighting places of interest.

Interior quality will be up to Audi's usual high standards and you can expect the word 'vegan' to feature a lot as Audi emphasises this EV's eco credentials by featuring planet-saving materials throughout the cabin. 

New 2023 Audi A6 e-tron concept practicality 

The small size of the Audi A6 e-tron concept's electric motors means that more of the car's length can be devoted to the passenger compartment so you can expect it to have plenty of interior space up front and in the back and the flat floor means you get loads of foot room. 

Putting the batteries under the carpet will give the car a slightly raised height on the road – although it won't be as high as the new electric Porsche Macan which will share this platform – making it easier to get in and out of. Boot space should also be a healthy 500 litres or so, thanks to the compact electric motor sitting below. 

New 2023 Audi A6 e-tron concept PPE platform

As well as preview the Audi A6 e-tron, the concept car has also given Audi a chance to talk about its new EV-only PPE platform, which will be shared with other VW Group members including Porsche. 

The exciting part of the PPE platform is that reaps the benefits of an electric car's tidy packaging. It uses the base of the entire car as a battery module so it can be used for both low-slung cars like the A6 as well as a high riding machine like the new Porsche Macan that it is set to underpin. 

The PPE platform is also scalable so it can be used fo anything from a Audi A3-sized EV to one as long as the A6. The common, long-wheel base and short-overhangs look will remain meaning more of the car's length is devoted to the passenger compartment freeing up interior space, helped by the fact there's no transmission tunnel to rob room in the centre of the car. 

Audi A6 e-tron rear

New 2023 Audi A6 e-tron concept motor and powertrain

The 2023 Audi A6 e-tron concept gets an 800V electrical system that'll allow you to top up the car's 100 kWh battery to the tune of more than 185 miles in just 10 minutes or from 5-80% charge in 25 minutes. 

The Audi e-tron concept has four-wheel drive – courtesy of an electric motor on the front and the rear axle – producing 476PS and 800Nm of torque for 0-62mph in well under four seconds. A range-biased rear-wheel drive model, meanwhile, will get even further on a charge and hit the same benchmark in under seven seconds. 

The A6 e-tron comes with five-link front suspension, a multi-link rear axle, air suspension and adaptive dampers, so you'll be able to choose from a comfy or sporty ride. However, you can expect rear steer and torque vectoring to also feature.

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