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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The Ferrari 812 Competizione comes in two varieties.

Photo courtesy of Ferrari

A new variant of the Ferrari 812 Superfast has been revealed. The Ferrari 812 Competizione models are a limited edition series of vehicles in two variants, coupe and targa, known as the Ferrari 812 Competizione and the Ferrari 812 Competizione A.

Both models sport a naturally-aspirated 6.5-liter V12 engine that achieves 818 horsepower. The power plant is, on the surface, the same that is in the Ferrari 812 Superfast but engineers have tinkered with the fresh version to optimize fluid dynamics of the intake system and combustion, reducing internal friction.

Ferrari has paired the engine with a seven-speed dual-clutch gearbox that the automaker says delivers a new type of shifting feeling. The setup retains the same gear ratios as the 812 Superfast but has more rpm range. The engine can rev to 9,500 rpm and a progressive growling comes spewing out of the car's exhaust system, which comes complete with a gasoline particulate filter that ensures the car meets modern emissions standards.

Ferrari 812 Competizione & Ferrari 812 Competizione A

Photo courtesy of Ferrari

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A single front air intake works to keep things cool up front marking the first time such an adaptation has occurred on a V12-powered Ferrari. The cooling circuit has also been improved making it 10 percent more efficient and the oil tank has been redesigned to allow for extra flow.

Engineers have given the new Ferraris added braking power. That includes a redesigned version of the caliper that was first used on the SF90 Stradale and other modifications. These changes allowed Ferrari to redesign the car's front underbody freeing up space around the lower front wishbone suspension and extending the area that could be used to generate downforce. The car has a passive mobile aero system.

The backside of the new variants has a unique design with a fresh exhaust layout, diffuser geometry, spoiler volume, patented rear screen, and bumper design. The rear diffuser now extends across the full width of the car and redesigned silencers and tailpipes that are integrated into a single pipe.

Four-wheel steering and independent rear-wheel steering features a new electronic management system. Refinements have been made to the car's response system to deliver a more connected drive experience. It features a new iteration of Ferrari's Side Slip Control system and rides on new Michelin Cup2R tires.

Weight savings abounds throughout the car and though much of it isn't apparent to the untrained eye, it helps the performance of the car. This includes the dashboard and door panels. The door panel pocket juts out from the main structure almost as if it were a floating element.

The 812 Competizione A features a number of modifications that differentiate it from the 812 Competizione including the implementation of a flying buttress design that helps the car's center of gravity to appear lower that the coupe's. When the targa top is stowed, the roll bars jut out becoming a secondary visual element.

Each of the cars comes standard with Ferrari's extended seven-year maintenance program.

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BMW's newest works are equal parts art and car.

Photo courtesy of BMW

BMW has revealed "The Ultimate AI Masterpiece", an exploration of automobiles at the intersection of art in conjunction with Frieze New York 2021, as well as the 50th anniversary of BMW Group Cultural Engagement. The virtual art installation is supported by videos of the exhibit's creation process on YouTube and Instagram.

The installment is the brain child of creative technologist Nathan Shipley of Goodby, Silverstein & Partners, and Gary Yeh, art connoisseur/founder of artDrunk. The duo used the NVIDIA StyleGAN artificial intelligence model to "cross-reference over 50,000 images of artwork spanning 900 years of history and a curated set of 50 works from renowned and emerging contemporary artists BMW has worked with over the past 50 years", according to a release.

Frieze New York 2021: "The Ultimate AI Masterpiece"

Photo courtesy of BMW

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The artificial intelligence then used those pieces to create entirely new art, merging classical art with the work of contemporary artists. These new works have been projection-mapped onto a virtual rendition of BMW's flagship 8 Series Gran Coupe.

"For 50 years, BMW has supported the arts and culture through numerous initiatives as a way engage and interact with consumers around the world in an authentic way," said Uwe Dreher, vice president of marketing, BMW of North America. "As we continue these efforts into 2021, and look for new and creative ways to engage audiences, we shift to a virtual setting where we are combining centuries-old art and the latest AI technology to create something completely new and exciting."

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Shipley and Yeh collaborated digitally from their homes in San Francisco and Seoul for the project.

"During an unusually isolated time in history, we took the opportunity to curate and work with artists from around the world as a means to give viewers a true art experience digitally," said Gary Yeh, art collector and founder of ArtDrunk. It was particularly exciting to push the boundaries of art, see how technology may influence the art world in the years to come, and build on 50 years of cultural engagement at BMW."

Frieze New York is currently in its 10th edition and taking place at The Shed in Manhattan through May 9. The venue is new and features an event reimagined for its new location, bringing together over 60 major galleries. A dedicated edition of Frieze Viewing Room will run parallel to the fair, through May 14, and will feature an expanded list of over 160 exhibitors.

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