Volkswagen, and by extension, Audi has been a bit behind in the pure electric and extended-range electric vehicle race. They expect these cars to account only for a small percentage of sales going forward. Being all about choice though, these models are being developed.
Audi’s moniker for its tech is e-tron. Up until now it has mostly been used on roadsters and performance cars that have been said to preview models like the R4 and next-generation R8. In Beijing Audi is showing off the A6 L E-Tron concept, a stunning sedan that Audi says is its first “luxury class e-tron concept car.” Beijing was chosen for launch of the car because the A6, as Audi’s best-selling vehicle, is highly popular in China.
The proportions work really well on the A6 with the extended-wheelbase model. It looks designed this way, not like an afterthought in the least. This is about as close to perfect as you can get with front-wheel drive proportions. Got to love those gigantic wheels too. The technology underneath is more important though. Audi calls it a plug-in hybrid. The Audi A6 L e-tron can be a pure electric, hybrid or gasoline vehicle.
Under the hood is a 211-horsepower 2.0-liter turbocharged four serving as a powerful generator. Audi quotes an electric range of about 50 miles at an average of 37 mph, which is about what you would be at in city driving. City driving is where the biggest benefits with these cars are seen. We’re eager to see these systems trickle there way down across the luxury segment.
Cadillac has its Volt-based ELR in the works, but no plans right now to use Voltec in a standard sedan format. Right now, A6 L e-tron is just a concept but Audi says it is a preview of what could be approved in the near future. If given the greenlight, the car wouldn’t be sold just in China, but around the world.
Update: Audi’s e-tron GT Concept could knock Tesla Motors back a peg or two.