Audi A6 e-Tron Avant: electric estate spotted with barely any disguise | CAR Magazine

Audi A6 e-Tron Avant: electric estate spotted with barely any disguise

Published: 16 January 2024 Updated: 16 January 2024

► New spy photos of 2024 Audi A6 e-Tron
► Sportback and Avant versions spotted
► Based on new PPE 800-volt platform

It seems electric estate cars are like buses; you wait ages for one, and then a few turn up at once. Our spy photographers have taken fresh pictures of the upcoming Audi A6 e-Tron Avant out and about – shorn of nearly all its disguise.

We can now see the production bodywork, spilling the beans on Audi’s first all-electric wagon, which is due to be shown in the next few months.

Read on for details of the new Audi A6 Sportback e-Tron and the Avant estate – a rival to the forthcoming BMW i5 Touring.

It’s an important new launch for Audi, making use of the upgraded 800-volt PPE architecture which brings better battery performance and faster 270kW charging, among other benefits.

Audi A6 Avant e-Tron electric estate spyshots

Although swathed in a little black cladding, we can now see that the A6 Avant e-Tron stays faithful to the concept car, albeit somewhat watered-down in this matt black prototype shorn of its brightwork.

While the coupe-like five-door A6 Sportback e-Tron was influenced by the 2021 Shanghai show car, the Avant is closely related to the design exercise unveiled in 2022.

Note how Audi’s ‘single-frame’ grille is changing to a so-called ‘tech-frame’ grille. The new signature design element accommodates advanced driver-assistance componentry (ultrasound and electromagnetic sensors, lidar, radar, cameras) as well as lighting motifs – including, we hear, even illumination so the four Audi rings glow in the dark.

The 2024 Audi A6 e-Tron: tech specs

This new electric Audi is based around the group’s latest PPE electric car platform, due to be shared with inhouse cousins the imminent Porsche Macan EV and Audi Q6 e-tron. That’s PPE standing for Premium Platform Electric, or the next generation of hardware for more upmarket EVs from the Volkswagen stable.

Not quite as glitzy as the concept: the new 2024 Audi A6 e-Tron

It will offer the very latest quick charging and longer range thanks to battery sizes around the 100kWh capacity. Helping it achieve this is a new 800-volt electronic foundation and our sources point to a theoretical battery range approaching 400 miles.

Digital door mirrors are fitted to the matt black prototype we’ve spied, but earlier test hacks have used conventional mirrors. It seems that Audi is persisting with the cameras in a bid to eke out longer range.

We expect the A6 e-Tron range to launch with 402bhp e-Tron 55 and 510bhp SQ6 models, followed quickly by a 268bhp rear-wheel-drive version and the 617bhp A6 RS with 826lb ft. Smaller batteries will follow, eventually.

What about the Audi A6 Sportback e-Tron?

We have already spotted the A6 hatchback. The A6 Sportback is less of a traditional notchback saloon and more of a fastback shape (below). Expect a high-lifting hatchback opening to make it easier to load the boot.

Expect fastback and Avant Audi A6 e-Tron models

It’s not dissimilar to the profile of the A7 Sportback – or even the rear end of the original Audi 100 Avant, our paparazzo commented.

Electric cars are easily tuned and insiders have already confirmed to CAR that a go-faster RS6 e-Tron is in the works, boasting a muscular 600bhp+ although higher-selling volume models will be offered in a more modest configuration aimed at extending daily range, rather than dusting off a troublesome GTI at the lights.

2024 Audi A6 e-Tron

The loftier models will likely ape more closely the glitzy Audi A6 e-Tron Avant concept car (above). Electric estate cars have been few and far between, but it seems that the product planners are finally broadening their oeuvre.

Interior secrets: new cabin tech

The interiors of the new Audi A6 electric cars are classy and cool but also complicated, we hear. Perhaps the most controversial detail is the new offbeat control panel deep down in the driver’s door, which operates lights, mirrors and seats.

There are three separate screens vying for your attention: the high-res curved panoramic centre instrument and touch panel, the large augmented-reality head-up display and a new, optional passenger-side monitor.

While the restyled multi-functional quartic steering wheel keeps the driver’s thumbs busy, the intuitive MMI controller which used to sit in the console between the seats is no more. At least the on/off volume control knob has resurfaced, and the gear selection slider is easy to use, too.

Although Cariad, the VW Group’s troubled software division, has teamed up with Android Auto to bring the new models to market fast, the bespoke sat-nav maps are provided by Here, not Google.

By Tim Pollard

Group digital editorial director, car news magnet, crafter of words