Audi’s Tesla Model S rival takes shape



Audi’s A6 family is about to be expanded with an electric member, and a prototype has just been spotted.

The electric variant is the A6 E-Tron which Audi first previewed in 2021 with a thinly veiled concept version. The automaker followed up the original concept with an A6 Avant E-Tron concept earlier this year, hinting strongly that the A6 E-Tron will be offered in both sedan and wagon body styles (Avant is Audi’s name for wagons).

The production A6 E-Tron is confirmed for launch in 2023, meaning we’ll likely see it arrive at dealerships as a 2024 model. It will compete against the Mercedes-Benz EQE sedan arriving for the 2023 model year, as well as high-end versions of the Tesla Model S hatchback.

As our spy shots indicate, the production A6 E-Tron will closely resemble the stunning concept. The concept measured 195.3 inches in length, which is about the size of the internal-combustion powered A6, and we suspect the production version will also be this size.

There of course will be some differences, like slightly more ground clearance, as well as actual side mirrors instead of the show car’s camera stalks. The LED light bar that formed the taillights of the concept is also missing here, though we expect this to feature on the production model.

You’ll notice that the headlights here are also formed from twin elements, where the concept only featured the thin slits at the top that form the daytime running lights. A similar design will feature on the related Q6 E-Tron SUV due out later this year.

Audi A6 E-Tron Concept - 2021 Shanghai auto show

Audi A6 E-Tron Concept – 2021 Shanghai auto show

Both the Q6 E-Tron and A6 E-Tron will be among the first vehicles based on Volkswagen Group’s PPE (Premium Platform Electric) modular EV platform that was primarily developed by Audi and Porsche. The first Porsche to ride on the platform will be an electric Macan due in 2023.

Audi has confirmed that the A6 E-Tron will offer single-motor rear-wheel drive and dual-motor all-wheel-drive. Audi used a dual-motor setup in the concept, rated at 469 hp and 590 lb-ft of torque. The concept was also said to be fitted with a 100-kilowatt-hour battery good for more than 300 miles of range and capable of charging from 5-80% in less than 25 minutes due to 800-volt technology. We may also see a high-performance RS 6 E-Tron with over 600 hp from the folks at Audi Sport.

Even though Audi is about to launch the A6 E-Tron, the current internal-combustion model will stick around for a few years still. Audi is planning a mild update to keep the car fresh alongside its new electric sibling. However, starting from 2026 Audi will only launch EVs.


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