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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Discontinued sedan

Volkswagen nixing Passat after 2022 model year

Racing Green Metallic is one of four exclusive colors for the car.

Volkswagen

After five decades on sale in the U.S., Volkswagen is pulling the plug on the midsize Passat. The explosion of SUVs' popularity and the need to shift production power to electric vehicles are behind the decision, which will take place after the 2022 model year. The cars have been built at the automaker's Chattanooga, TN plant since 2011, but the facility is being repurposed as VW's North American hub for electric vehicle assembly.

Volkswagen is giving the car one last hurrah, however, in the form of the Passat Limited Edition. The car features 18-inch wheels, LED headlights with an Advanced Front Lighting System, and an easy-open trunk. Inside, the cars come with sport seats wrapped in Vienna leather, memory seating, a Fender Premium Audio System, parking assistance, and parking sensors.


2022 Volkswagen Passat Limited Edition Each car gets a special model tag with its limited production number.Volkswagen


Only 1,973 of the cars will be built, and it will only be sold in four colors, each with its own limited production numbers that have special meaning for the Passat:

  • Aurora Red Metallic with Titan Black interior: 411 units to represent the original vehicle production code
  • Racing Green Metallic with Mauro Brown interior: 423 units to commemorate the Chattanooga 423 area code
  • Pure white with Mauro Brown interior: 524 units to signify the Chattanooga plant's May 24 opening date
  • Platinum Great Metallic with Titan Black interior: 615 units to signify six generations of imported Passats, one generation assembled in Chattanooga, and five decades of U.S. sales

Pricing for the 2022 Passat starts at $31,290, which includes a $995 destination fee. Adding Aurora Red Metallic drives the price up by an additional $395. Each car will receive a special number plate to designate its place in the limited production run.


2022 Volkswagen Passat Limited Edition The Passat Limited Edition gets several upscale features. Volkswagen

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Electric vehicle features

The VW ID.4 sounds futuristic

The ID.4 is VW's first electric crossover in the U.S.

VW

The Volkswagen ID.4 is finally here. The electric crossover offers compelling features, decent all-electric range, and a reasonable price. On top of all that, Volkswagen focused heavily on the electric experience with the ID.4, down to the sounds it makes in everyday operation.

Where many automakers seek to humanize electric vehicles with familiar gas engine sounds, Volkswagen hasn't bothered with any of that. Instead, the automaker's ID.4 electric crossover features several sounds that embrace the EV's place in the future of transportation.

On startup, drivers are greeted with a sound that Volkswagen says will alert them that the vehicle is ready to go. It's not at all unlike the flying saucer sounds heard in sci-fi movies decades ago, but it's a nice reminder of the ID.4's future-forward drivetrain.



In motion, VW gave the ID.4 what is known as an Acoustic Vehicle Alerting System, which helps alert people to the presence of a moving electric vehicle. Since the drivetrain doesn't make the same noises that a gas engine does, EVs can move almost silently at low speeds, so it's important to have some kind of warning sound.

Even the turn signal sounds received scrutiny in the ID.4's design, and while they're still fairly traditional, the sounds are subtle and pleasing overall. Beyond that, VW says it developed a library of sounds for typical vehicle control buttons and other functions that are exclusive to its electric vehicles. The goal, according to the automaker, is that the sound aligns with the vehicles' character, visual design, and features, and that people will be able to recognize a VW EV by its unique sound.

The ID.4 is just the first of several EVs that Volkswagen plans to release here in the United States. Larger family vehicles are on the horizon, and we may even see an electric revival of the legendary VW bus.

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