Photo credit: Audi
Audi is decisively advancing its e-volution for electromobility: the four-door Audi A2021 will debut at the Auto Shanghai 6 trade fair e-tron concept as the forerunner of an innovative family of mass-produced automobiles with a purely electric drive. A completely new technology architecture will serve as the basis in future: the Premium Platform Electric, or PPE for short. From the end of 2022, the first series cars will debut in the C and later also B segments with PPE technology. These include - a novelty in the electric vehicle market - both SUVs with a high vehicle floor and dynamically designed models with a flat floor such as the future Audi A6 e-tron.
Audi A6 e-tron concept
With the Audi A6 signet, the concept car emphasizes its affiliation to the brand's luxury model series. Known as the Audi 1968 since 1994 and until 100, this model represents the brand in one of the world's highest-volume segments. Sedan, Avant and allroad, and later the Sportback, named the A7, completed the model family. The electric drive is already a tradition on the Audi A6: after a full hybrid version as early as 2011, the current Audi A2019 TFSI e made its debut in 6 with a plug-in hybrid drive and a purely electric range of up to 91 kilometers (WLTP).
In contrast to the current Audi A6 TFSI e, the Audi A2021 shown at the Shanghai Auto Show 6 e-tron concept exclusively on an electric drive based on the future PPE platform developed under Audi management. At the same time, the concept car presents itself as a new design draft that only shares the dimensions with the A6 of today. The 4,96 meter long, 1,96 meter wide and 1,44 meter high body defines itself as a Sportback; The lines prove to be a consistent further development of the current Audi design language.
The Audi A6 exterior model debuting in Shanghai e-tron concept is much more than just a finger exercise for the designer: its body rather indicates upcoming Audi series models and sends clear signals of how dynamic and elegant the electrically powered luxury class of the brand with the four rings will look at the same time.
The PPE technology, in turn, will ensure that the promise of the lines can be translated into appropriate dynamics and first-vehicle suitability for everyday use. That means: Depending on the drive and model variant, an Audi A6 e-tron convince with a range of more than 700 kilometers (according to WLTP standard) in the future. The strongest representatives of the series then sprint from 0 to 100 km / h in less than four seconds.
E like e-tron, e how elegant - the design
Its dimensions arrange the Audi A6 e-tron concept clearly as a representative of the luxury class - 4,96 meters in length, 1,96 meters in width and 1,44 meters in height correspond to the current representatives of the Audi A6 / A7 series. And the first glance reveals: sporty proportions and elegant lines with the coupé rear that is typical of the brand indicate that it was created in the wind tunnel.
Aerodynamics is a key element in Audi's long success story in the luxury class of automobiles. The legend is the drag coefficient of the Audi 100 / C3, the aerodynamics world champion of all classes at the time: Audi outclassed its competitors with drag coefficient = 0,30 as early as 1982 - and did so for many years. The third generation of the Audi 100 with its flowing lines also revolutionized the previously traditionalist luxury class automobile design.
Now the Audi A6 writes e-tron concept opens a new chapter in this success story and proves once again that the brand always combines form and function in a perfect synthesis. A drag coefficient of only 0,22 is exemplary in the electrically driven C-segment. First of all, lower air resistance means lower energy consumption and greater range. At the same time, the fine-tuning in the wind tunnel once again results in an organic design down to the smallest detail with a maximum of elegance and harmony.
Large 22-inch wheels and short overhangs, the flat cabin and the wide coupé roof arch determine the significantly sporty proportions. The absence of hard edges ensures smooth transitions between convex and concave surfaces as well as soft shadows in the body. The Audi A6 is particularly effective when viewed from the side e-tron concept monolithic, as if from one piece.
Typically Audi Sportback is the rise of the rear side window in the window graphics; The D-pillar thus grows out of the stable base of the rear of the vehicle in a particularly slimline manner. The distinctive quattro wheel arches emphasize the width of the body and are at the same time organically integrated into the side surfaces.
The wheel arches are connected by the specially modeled battery area above the side sill, emphasized by a black insert - a design element that is now typical of the Audi brand in the e-vehicle fleet. Also typically Audi e-tron: the delicate, camera-based virtual exterior mirrors at the root of the A-pillar.
With a view of the front, the Audi A6 appears e-tron concept immediately recognized as an electrically powered representative of the brand. The large, closed single frame is typical, flanked by deep air inlets for cooling the drive, battery and brakes in the lower area. The flat headlamp strips are drawn far into the side sweep of the front, underlining the horizontally aligned architecture of the vehicle body.
The influence of the wind tunnel on the rear end is obvious. The upper end is shaped as an aerodynamically functional tear-off edge. In the lower area there is the large-format air outlet of the rear diffuser integrated into the spoiler area.
With this element, Audi channels the air flowing under the vehicle in favor of turbulence-free airflow - a perfect combination of reduced air resistance and minimized lift.
Heliosilver is the name of the technoid-like color of the paintwork, the aesthetic presence and function of the appearance of the Audi A6 e-tron concept contributes. The paint emphasizes the shape of the body with a three-dimensional effect, which is particularly noticeable in the area of the quattro wheel arches. In the front, the single frame, also in Heliosilver, contrasts effectively with the deep matt black of the frame. In the sill sections of the vehicle sides, too, the contrast of colors becomes an accent, underlining the horizontally oriented proportions.
But the paint also makes a technical contribution to reducing energy consumption. Heliosilver can reflect a significant proportion of the thermal radiation in sunlight and thus reduce the energy input into the body and interior. A welcome effect: In many situations, the use of the air conditioning system can be dispensed with in order to maintain the well-being of the occupants at all times - one of the most important adjusting screws for energy consumption alongside the drive. Reach and CO benefit from this2-Balance - on every kilometer, even with a traffic light stop.
See and be seen - the lighting technology
The flat headlights and rear lights are slim and flush with the overall composition of the lines. Digital matrix LED and digital OLED technology make it possible to achieve a maximum of brightness and variety of functions even with a minimal area and at the same time to offer customizable light signatures. The team of Audi lighting designers and developers has once again done a great job, because the concept car bundles a large number of new functions and offers for customization in its lighting units.
On each side of the body three small high-resolution LED projectors are integrated, which turn the floor underneath into a stage when the doors are opened: Small, extended dynamic light displays greet the occupants - with characters in their respective language. At the premiere in Shanghai, the concept car greets visitors in Chinese script.
The combination of safety functions and aesthetic design is particularly important for Audi. This is why the small, high-resolution projectors also generate warning symbols on the floor - for example to warn a cyclist before opening the vehicle door.
Another four high-resolution LED projectors - integrated inconspicuously in the corners of the vehicle - generate turn signal projections. The design of these projections can be changed in order to be able to cater to the different markets and approval areas if necessary.
The digital matrix LED headlights in the front develop almost cinema quality. For example, there is the Audi A6 e-tron concept during the charging break in front of a wall, drivers and passengers can pass the time with a video game projected onto it. Instead of a small screen in the cockpit, they see the virtual landscapes of their respective game projected onto the wall in large format - made possible by the digital matrix LED headlights.
The players can stand next to or directly in front of the vehicle to see the game, which is several meters wide, particularly well. The game itself is operated via the smartphone. Even the game itself is an Audi product: Audi designers have it especially for the Audi A6 e-tron concept conceived and developed.
A new generation of digital OLED elements are at work in the rear of the concept car, which act like a display in the continuous strip of lights. They can also be used to create almost unlimited customizable variations of digital light signatures and dynamic lighting scenarios that can be adapted to the customer's personal taste.
New in the rear lights is the three-dimensional architecture of the digital OLED elements, which - adapted to the body shape - can be used to integrate the night design into the overall appearance. This makes it possible to experience the dynamic light show not only as two-dimensional, as before, but with an impressive spatial effect.
It goes without saying that rear lights and headlights meet the requirements of their developers for the classic functions of vehicle light: see and be seen. At the front, the clear and bright illumination of the road with intelligent adaptation to the traffic situation, weather and surroundings is convincing - as is the communication with other road users. Bright, homogeneous and rich in contrast, the digital OLED rear lights in particular significantly increase the level of safety for the traffic of the future.
For the first time, the projections around the vehicle expand the communication area beyond the vehicle. With the help of intelligent networking in the vehicle, the A6 e-tron concept forwards information to other road users by means of optical signals.
Raised floor and flat floor
The PPE is designed exclusively for battery-electric drives and thus makes full use of all the advantages of this technology. The central element of the future PPE fleet is a battery module between the axles, which is installed in the A6 e-tron concept provides around 100 kWh of energy. Because Audi uses the entire vehicle base, a flat layout is possible for the battery. For the first time, not only raised-floor automobiles can be built on it, but - without having to intervene in the basic architecture - vehicles with a decidedly dynamic, flat architecture such as the Audi A6 e-tron concept.
The battery size and wheelbase of PPE vehicles are scalable - this makes it possible to use them in different market segments. The relationship between the long wheelbase and very short overhangs has a connecting effect. Together with large wheels, this creates a basic proportion that is perfect not only for the shape. In the future, the vehicle occupants of the upcoming PPE models will particularly benefit from the long wheelbase. A high degree of interior length and thus legroom in both rows of seats is one of the main advantages across all segments. In addition, the elimination of the cardan tunnel increases the space comfort in electric cars.
Nevertheless, Audi customers do not have to do without the brand's quattro drive. The future range of PPE models will include versions with an electric motor each on the front and rear axles, which use electronic coordination to implement the all-wheel drive as required and in a perfect balance between driving dynamics and economy. Basic variants that are optimized for minimum consumption and maximum range are also planned. Here an electric motor on the rear axle provides propulsion.
The two electric motors of the Audi A6 e-tron concept mobilize a total output of 350 kW and a torque of 800 Newton meters.
The front wheels of the Audi A6 e-tron concept are connected via a five-link axle specially optimized for e-vehicles. A multi-link axle works at the rear. The Audi air suspension is used in the concept vehicle - air suspension with adaptive dampers.
Fast charging, long range
The heart of the drive technology of the Audi A6 e-tron concept and all future PPE models will be the 800-volt charging technology. As with the Audi e-tron GT, the technology ensures that the battery with an output of up to 270 kW can be charged at fast charging stations in the shortest possible time. For the first time, this revolutionary technology is moving into the mid-range and upper-class volume segments with the PPE.
This technology allows charging times that approximate a classic refueling stop in combustion-powered automobiles. Just ten minutes are enough to take the drive energy on board for a distance of more than 300 kilometers. In less than 25 minutes, the 100 kWh battery in the Audi A6 e-tron Increase concept from 5 to 80 percent.
Together with a range of - depending on the drive variant and output - more than 700 kilometers, the Audi A6 shows itself e-tron concept uncompromisingly suitable for first cars. And in terms of range and charging speed, it keeps pace with combustion automobiles, making it the perfect all-rounder for everyday automotive use - for short-distance use as well as for travel.
The Audi A6 shows in terms of dynamic qualities e-tron concept - typical of an electric car - even the taillights of the combustion engine competition. Thanks to the high torque available from the first rotation, even economically designed entry-level versions will accelerate to 100 km / h in less than seven seconds. With sporty top models, this sprint can even be reduced to well under four seconds.
PPE - versatile, variable, electric
2018 debuted with the e-tron the first series Audi with electric drive. Since then, in less than three years, the brand has consistently and rapidly advanced e-mobility across the entire product portfolio. After the SUV Audi e-tron and e-tron Sportback celebrated the highly dynamic in February 2021 e-tron GT Premiere, based on a new technology platform developed jointly with Porsche AG.
Two months later, the Audi Q4 made its debut e-tron and Q4 Sportback e-tron - two very independent SUVs in the A segment with a common technical basis: the so-called modular electric drive kit (MEB) from the Volkswagen Group. The also all-electric Audi Q2019 L has been available exclusively in China since 2 e-tron.
The Audi A6 e-tron concept initially represents a vehicle family in the C and later also in the B and D segments that is based on another innovative technology platform: the Premium Platform Electric (PPE) - a modular system that Audi is developing together with Porsche AG. The first Audi production vehicles based on PPE will introduce the four rings from the second half of 2022.
Automobiles based on PPE are specifically designed as a global offering. Production is planned both in European locations and in Audi's largest single market in China. Audi is building its own new plant in Changchun, where Audi e-automobiles based on PPE will roll off the production line from the middle of the decade. The plant is operated jointly by Audi and the joint venture partner VAW-Volkswagen.
The PPE is designed for the first time to enable a previously unattainable range of high-volume automobiles: The range includes SUVs and CUVs with raised floors as well as flat-floor automobiles, which are part of the core segment of the Audi range - such as the Audi A6 series. There are also plans to expand the PPE offering in the B segment, the market area with the highest volume for Audi for decades. And even for the D segment, the automotive upper house, the PPE offers the best technical prerequisites.
With the PPE, e-mobility is now also becoming attractive for customers who prefer automotive concepts beyond the SUV sector - such as a brand-typical Sportback, the Audi A6 e-tron concept interpreted as a forward-looking offer.
The range of e-automobiles in the brand portfolio can be expanded particularly effectively via the high-volume B and C segments. With scaling effects, upper-class technology and diverse model variants can also be incorporated into a wide-ranging model range that is unprecedented in the premium competition.
And fleet consumption and CO also benefit2Emissions. In one sentence: The PPE will massively accelerate the transformation towards e-mobility through volume and diversity - and make it another Audi success story.
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Audi A6 e-tron concept - the next e-volution
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