Concept Cars

Audi A6 E-Tron concept shows what we can expect from company's future electric sedans

The Audi A6 E-Tron concept shows off what future Audi electric cars will look like.

Photo courtesy of Audi AG

Audi is going all-in on electric vehicles and the latest concept car, the Audi A6 E-Tron concept, showcases much of what we can expect from the forthcoming electric Audi car lineup.

That all starts with the Premium Platform Electric (PPE), the architecture that the future vehicles will ride on. The battery size and wheelbase of PPE vehicles are scalable. B- and C-segment SUVs that are underpinned by the components will begin arriving in late 2022. These first vehicles will be re-launches of the original E-Tron lineup models. Smaller subcompact SUVs will come later.

According to the automaker, the only thing that the Audi A6 E-Tron has in common with the current gasoline version of the model (and its many variants) is its dimensions. Designated a Sportback, the hatchback version of the A6 is a combination of looks between the Audi A6 and A7, with a fresh grille design.

Audi A6 e-tron concept

Photo courtesy of Audi AG

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Audi has confirmed that future models will deliver dynamic driving performance that is suitable for daily use. This means that a variety of drive systems will be available. The automaker says that the A6 E-Tron is expected to have a range of more than 700 kilometers (434 miles) using WLTP standards when it debuts. Audi brags that the most powerful members o the A6 E-Tron family will go from zero to 62 mph in under four seconds.

The A6 E-Tron concept rides on 22-inch wheels, has short overhands and a flat cabin, and a ride coupe-like roof arch that play together to give the car a sporty appearance. Side mirrors on the concept are replaced by cameras, a tech that U.S. regulators have yet to embrace.

There is a battery area above the rocker panel that is accepted with a black inlay, a feature that is common in E-Tron models. There's a fresh Singleframe grille with deep air intakes below that cool the drivetrain, battery, and brakes. Headlight bezels, surrounding the slim Digital Matrix LED and digital OLED lights, are design to wrap around the car and underscore the shape of the car's body.

At the rear of the car, the influence of Audi's aero tunnel is evident with a diffuser making a strong statement.

Audi's design team has given the car a Heliosilver paint job that is designed to show off the shapes of the vehicles with three-dimensional depth.

Safety warnings can be displayed on the ground via high-resolution projectors. These new safety features can do things like warn a cyclist that a car door is about to open.

A battery module between the axles of the car holds around 100 kilowatt-hours of energy. Tesla and Chinese carmaker Niro already offer vehicles with that size battery pack. The Audi A6 e-tron concept's two electric motors are capable of delivering a total output of 350 kW (469 horsepower) and a torque of 800 Newton meter (590 pound-feet). All-wheel drive is avialable on demand.

The Audi A6 e-tron concept's battery can be charged with up to 270 kW in a very short time at fast-charging stations. At these stations, just 10 minutes of charge time is enough to charge the battery to a level that will power the car for 300 kilometers (186 miles). In less than 25 minutes, Audi says that the car can charge from five to 80 percent.

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OTA software updates

Tesla rolls back FSD beta before issuing fix

Tesla issued a beta update but quickly pulled it back.


Tesla's Full Self-Driving tech is currently in public beta testing, which means that the automaker allows a subset of its owners to download the software to their cars. Over the weekend, Tesla released FSD beta 10.3 and users started reporting issues almost immediately. Since Tesla's PR department is essentially CEO Elon Musk's Twitter account, he took to social media to outline the process to fix problems with the beta.

Tesla FSD Drivers reported issues with vehicle safety systems after updating.Tesla

Musk tweeted that public beta version 10.3 was rolled back to 10.2. "Please note, this is to be expected with beta software," he said. Issues began popping up with Tesla owners on various forums and on social media. Drivers reported that cars shut off active safety features without their input and some noted that their forward collision warnings and automatic emergency braking systems malfunctioned, causing the cars to apply the brakes without any apparent danger in the road ahead.

Tesla FSD A new beta was released this morning with fixes for the problems.Tesla

Early this morning, Musk tweeted again to note that beta version 10.3.1 is rolling out now, which would re-update users to the latest version with fixes. All of this illustrates how FSD is not final and has a way to go before it's ready for showtime. Developing software of any type is difficult work, made even harder by the fact that public roads are so unpredictable at times. So, while Tesla's public beta approach, which puts unproven functions into the hands of everyday drivers, may not be the most palatable for many of us on the roads at the same time, it's certainly netting the company plenty of data to work with.

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The AWD ID.4 model is on its way.


There was a lot of buzz when VW introduced its 2021 ID.4 all-electric crossover with rear-wheel drive earlier this year, but there's plenty more now that the Wolfsburg automaker has added an all-wheel-drive version. The 2021 VW ID.4 AWD gets another motor onboard this compact SUV that brings all-wheel-drive traction. The SUV appeals to buyers in the snow belt states but will also tickle the fancy of performance enthusiasts. Now with motors on both the front and rear axle, there is nearly fifty percent more power, with impressive gains to horsepower and torque as well as the added battery-electric boost to that scoots the 5-seater from 0-60 mph in 5.7 seconds (the RWD model took 7.5 seconds to achieve the same).

2021 VW ID.4 AWD An extra motor brings AWD to the ID.4.Volkswagen

On sale now, the 2021 VW ID.4 AWD Pro starts at $44,870, before federal or other incentives; this is a $3,680 premium over the rear-drive model. The AWD Pro S starts at $49,370; both models are eligible for $7,500 income-tax credits. It's worth noting that current delivery estimates for the AWD Pro are running into 2022. The AWD Pro trim has been rated by the EPA at 249 miles (only 11 miles less than the Pro RWD) while the AWD Pro S has been validated at 240 miles (as compared to 250 miles). The AWD Pro has been rated at 102 MPGe for city driving/90 highway/97 combined; the Pro S gets 93/98/88. Both are rated at 2,700 towing. Competitors include the Ford Mustang Mach-E and Tesla Model Y.

While the AWD and RWD look the same outside, one exterior badge designates the newest variant with an "AWD" badge, plus it gets 0.6 inches of added ground clearance, slightly bigger brakes and sway bars. From the front, the electric SUV has smoothed jelly-bean styling that is highlighted by standard LED headlights and standard black roof rails that sit atop the body-colored roof. From the rear, it wears hatchback-like looks.

2021 VW ID.4 AWD The ID.4's cabin is tidy and upscale, no matter the model.Volkswagen

We drove both the Pro and Pro S versions, with different premium interior trims and found the Gradient Package ($1500) visually upscale and appealing. It brings a black roof with silver rails, along with 20-inch wheels and the availability of King's Red Metallic paint, as a $395 option. The Pro is well-equipped with attractive trim elements and an impressive collection of communication and infotainment technologies. Pro S comes with a glass roof with an electrically-retractable shade and front seats with leatherette upholstery and 12-way power adjustments (including four-way lumbar support and a massage system).

We drove the new ID.4 AWD over a course of 160 miles along a variety of roads to sample its handling and ergonomics. The interior has a clean and open feel with good visibility. Controls and gauges are well-placed and the seatbelts are height-adjustable, while a configurable console holds different drink sizes and has removable cupholders. A futuristic LED "Light" strip with 10 different ambient lighting selections extends across the dashboard and pulses with directional signals, incoming phone calls, navigation prompts and other in-cabin inputs (optional is 30-color lighting selection on the Pro S). Driving is also a bit futuristic with no stop/start button; the vehicle senses the approaching key and can start climate control, unfold side mirrors, unlock doors and illuminate door handles at night, among a number of other high-tech features. There is 30.3 cubic feet of stowage behind the rear seats and up to 64.2 cubic feet with the second row folded. Under the floor storage holds the charging cable and small items. Pro S has an adjustable trunk floor that can be raised and lowered and a ski passthrough.

Pushing the brake pedal triggers the ID.4 to begin motoring, with the option of a "D" mode for typical driving or "B" for a more regenerative driving experience. Travel Assist brings semi-autonomous driving. Notable is the fun and responsive torque-on-tap, well-balanced direct steering and a suspension system that allows the small compact to maneuver well through traffic and along twisty roadways, as well as an impressive turning radius. The vehicle dynamics control system is integrated with the stability control system and an electronic differential to seamlessly engage the front axle, when needed. Volkswagen has added a different asynchronous motor to the front with a permanent-magnetic synchronous motor at the back for a combined 295 hp. and 339 lb.-ft. of torque.

2021 VW ID.4 AWD The ID.4 AWD will start shipping in early 2022.Volkswagen

Carried over are 82-kWh battery packs and the 5 to 80 percent fast-charging time of 38 minutes, when using 125kW fast-charging. VW says it can add 62 miles of range in 10 minutes; home charging on a Level 2 charger is projected to take approximately 7.5 hours for a full charge.

Of note: VW includes three years of complimentary charging up to 125 kW, with any ID.4 purchase or lease; VW Group's Electrify America charging network has over 650 stations and more than 2,700 fast chargers.

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