Audi is getting serious about electric cars.
The German luxury brand has shown off its new A6 e-tron concept car at the 2021 Shanghai motor show.
Beneath the handsomely styled show car is the most important detail.
The A6 e-tron debuts the brand’s new electric car platform dubbed PPE (Premium Platform Electric), which will underpin future small, mid-size and large electric vehicles. The first production car built on this new platform will roll off the assembly line next year.
Audi’s current electric vehicles such as the e-tron and e-tron Sportback are built on the same platform as internal combustion engined cars and have effectively had an electric set-up bolted onto an existing vehicle.
Developing a dedicated modular electric car platform has several big benefits.
One of the biggest advantages of this new platform is its ability to maximise battery space. The A6 e-tron concept has a huge 100kWh battery, which it claims gives the vehicle a range of more than 700km on a single charge.
This shows just how quickly electric cars are closing the gap with conventional internal combustion engine-powered cars as a range of more than 700km is better than most petrol cars and up there with diesel-powered vehicles.
It is fitted with the most up-to-date 800V charging technology, which can accept up to 270kW of energy via high-performance chargers.
This means it can add more than 300km of range in 10 minutes, and can go from five to 80 per cent of battery charge in 25 minutes.
Electric cars automatically slow the last 20 per cent of battery charge to limit overheating.
Audi has fitted the A6 e-tron with two powerful electric motors — one on each axle — giving it all-wheel drive. The motors produce 350kW and 800Nm. It can go from 0-100km/h in less than four seconds.
There will also be cheaper front-wheel drive versions powered by a single motor.
The A6 e-tron is also packed with tech, starting with the side mirrors replaced with cameras that help make the vehicle more aerodynamic, which in turn makes it more energy efficient and boosts its range.
Audi has added several new lighting features, including the ability for users to customise their own light signatures and turn signals.
Small LED light projectors can display warning symbols on the ground to help warn bike riders that a car door is about to open.
LED headlights can double as a projector during charging and can display video games via smartphone onto a wall.
Audi expects to sell the new range of EVs globally and will they will form part of the brand’s ambitious plan to have 20 fully electric vehicles by 2025.