The all-electric Audi A6 Avant e-tron will rival the BMW i5 Touring and has already been previewed by the A6 e-tron Avant concept
The all-new and all-electric Audi A6 Avant e-tron has been spied undergoing its final stages of testing before its full reveal next year. Audi’s ambition to produce a large electric estate is no secret, the firm debuting a concept version a couple of years ago (details below), but that plan will soon yield results in the shape of this production model. The new Audi A6 Avant e-tron will do battle with the forthcoming BMW i5 Touring, and later an all-electric Volvo estate, in this entirely new class of car.
The A6 Avant e-tron will join a five-door Sportback version, but this doesn’t spell the end for Audi’s existing ICE-powered A6 models. They are likely to be bumped up to take-on the A7 moniker in the same fashion as seen with the smaller ICE-powered A5 Sportback and Avant, which will also make their debuts in 2024.
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Alongside the standard A6 will be a higher powered S6 Avant e-tron, potentially the model spied here, with a bespoke-bodied, range-topping RS6 e-tron to follow in the next few years. For now, though, the prototypes in these images are the A6 or S6, both of which will share the same styling and bodywork.
The new A6 e-tron models sit on the same Premium Platform Electric (PPE) underpinnings as the forthcoming Q6 e-tron SUV, which has been co-developed with Porsche and will share much with the new Porsche Macan EV. The platform utilises an 800V electronic architecture that enables rapid charging at up to 270kW, meaning a 5 to 80 per cent charge takes less than 25 minutes, while plugging in for 10 minutes can provide an extra 186 miles of range.
Based on the information already revealed about the closely related Q6 e-tron, the Avant will be powered by twin-motor powertrains drawing power from a 100kWh battery pack. The 100kWh unit will stand as the largest battery offered on both the A6 e-tron and A6 Avant e-tron, but lower-specification models with a single motor option are also on the cards. Fitted with the most efficient combination of powertrain elements, we could expect up to 400 miles should be possible on a charge, judging by the Q6 e-tron’s claimed 370-mile range.
For the closely related Q6 e-tron, Audi will launch both a base model and high performance SQ6 model with 395bhp and 510bhp, respectively. These are figures that we expect to be mirrored by the A6 Avant e-tron and its S6 version.
The A6 Avant e-tron’s styling closely follows that of the forthcoming Sportback, featuring a new design language based closely on the A6 e-tron concepts. At the front, there’s a large ‘Singleframe’ grille that incorporates contrasting black graphics and side cooling vents for the motors, battery and brakes.
The two-piece headlights are similar to those already seen on the Q6 e-tron. The top-mounted elements are incredibly slim and contain both the configurable daytime lighting signatures and the indicators. Underneath these, larger digital matrix LED units will be integrated into the front bumper featuring Audi’s latest lighting technology.
In 2022, Audi revealed the A6 Avant e-tron Concept that will bear a close resemblance to the production car that will land in 2024. The A6 Avant e-tron concept is a more practical iteration of the A6 e-tron concept executive saloon revealed the previous year.
The car sits on the same Premium Platform Electric (PPE) platform as the forthcoming Q6 e-tron SUV (and the A6 e-tron production car) which has been co-developed with Porsche. It utilises an 800V electronic architecture that enables rapid charging at up to 270kW, meaning a 5 to 80 per cent charge takes less than 25 minutes, while plugging in for 10 minutes can provide an extra 186 miles of range.
As per the A6 e-tron concept, the Avant revealed here is powered by a battery that holds “around 100kWh of energy”, and this will be true of the production version too. The c. 100kWh unit will stand as the largest battery offered on both the A6 e-tron and Avant e-tron, and despite a slightly higher drag coefficient than the saloon Audi claims up to 435 miles should be possible on a charge from the Avant e-tron concept. Expect this figure to remain for the production model.
This concept features a dual-motor set-up for quattro all-wheel drive and a total of 469bhp and 800Nm. This powertrain will also be offered when the car goes on sale in a few years time and delivers a 0-62mph time of “less than four seconds.”
However, Audi has confirmed that a less powerful and more affordable single-motor model will also be offered; this will serve up the most driving range in the line-up and should still deliver a 0-62mph time of less than seven seconds.
The A6 Avant e-tron concept’s styling closely follows that of the saloon version revealed last year, with a design language that previews forthcoming electric Audis. At the front, there’s a large ‘Singleframe’ grille that incorporates contrasting black graphics and side cooling vents for the motors, battery and brakes, with an illuminated Audi badge.
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The headlights are incredibly slim, digital matrix LED items that use projection technology. Similar to the A6 e-tron concept, when parked this prototype Avant can display videos onto a wall to allow passengers to play games, for example. Numerous LED projectors around the car also allow signals, messages and lighting effects to be shone onto the ground – including information on direction changes related to indicator inputs to improve safety for cyclists and pedestrians. The door mirrors are slender, digital units.
The A6 Avant e-tron concept is fitted with a set of 22-inch diamond-cut alloy wheels, and the clean, uncluttered body surfacing is a departure from current Audis, with a rising waistline and muscular haunches along the side of the car. There’s more black accents for the sills and A-pillars, which are highlighted by a silver trim strip that extends along the roofline to the rear spoiler.
The rear window is heavily tapered, and there’s a full width OLED tail-light bar that can display a variety of 3D light signatures and graphics. A deep rear diffuser funnels air from underneath the car and is painted gloss black, with contrasting silver accent trim.
This concept car features air suspension and adaptive dampers, which are expected to make their way to the eventual production model, and the new PPE underpinnings should help maximise space inside.
Audi did not reveal images of the concept’s interior, but the A6 Avant e-tron concept is nearly five metres long and 1.96 metres wide, with a relatively long wheelbase and short overhangs that provide more legroom for passengers, the brand says. As with other electric cars, the lack of a transmission tunnel should add to the spacious feel.
Audi hasn’t detailed the A6 Avant e-tron’s boot capacity – key to any estate car – but it is set to be a more versatile machine than the saloon, and the floor-mounted battery pack should allow for a flat load area. The production car will also have a front boot for extra carrying space.
Now read our in-depth review of the Audi Q4 e-tron…
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