This devilishly handsome beast is a conceptual vision of the next-generation Audi A6 Avant. Thought to hew closely to the eventual production car, it’s a welcome new sector for premium EVs.
First up, all credit to Audi for persisting with the estate car format in an era dominated by SUVs and crossovers. Following on from last year’s A6 e-tron concept, a conventional sedan, estate car fans can breathe a sigh of relief that the ‘Avant’ name will survive into the electric era.
There’s currently only one electric estate car to be found, amidst a growing number of hybrids, and that’s the MG5, a good value Chinese-made machine that is garnering something of a cult following. The A6 Avant e-tron will inspire cults of a different stripe. Up until now, the sleekest versions of Audi’s ‘Avant’ series of estate cars have been those fettled by the company’s Audi Sport GmbH division.
The RS6 Avant has been a sector conqueror ever since the C5 variant in 2002. Audi is now up to the C8 RS6 Avant, and there’s an undeniable familial likeness between that car and this concept. The difference, of course, it’s what under the bonnet.
Whereas the ‘RS’ cars have made devasting use of Audi’s arsenal of V8 and V10 engines, this is an e-tron, built on the company’s PPE (Premium Platform Electric). As a result, the A6 e-tron Avant will major in three kinds of performance – range, charging, and acceleration.
The latter is a stock in trade of almost all EV powertrains – the company suggests a sub-4.0 second 0-62mph sprint is on the cards. However, as well as being capable of 270kW charging, there’s the equally impressive ability to add 186 miles of range in 10 minutes. And if that’s not all, that range should extend to around 435 miles on the high-performance models.
The exterior (the interior is still under wraps) shares Audi’s current fascination with faceted and fluted forms, with deeply sculpted sides and a rear wraparound OLED light bar that’s fully animated. The front Digital Matrix LEDs have a resolution akin to a TV projector – park up against a wall and the concept allows you to play games projected from the headlights.
It’s not only a celebration of the Avant name, introduced back in 1977 to signify large capacity and bold design, but an upmarket step for this once quotidian market genre. Audi Avants have been aerodynamic leaders since the 80s, and the A6 e-tron Avant concept has a cW value of 0.22, helped by the long roof and integrated high-level rear spoiler.
Audi’s parent company, the VW Group, is one of the partners in Ionity, the European network of 350kW fast chargers designed to make the most of the ultra-fast charging ability being rolled out in premium EVs. The UK is still falling short, with just 13 Ionity sites last year, compared to Germany’s 100.
The ultimate goal is to have around 7,000 sites in 24 countries across Europe by 2025. As sites increase and ranges extend, the anxiety barrier to EV ownership is starting to shrink.
This article is part of The T3 Edit, a collaboration between T3 and Wallpaper* which explores the very best blends of design, craft, and technology. Wallpaper* magazine is the world’s leading authority on contemporary design and The T3 Edit is your essential guide to what’s new and what’s next.