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    Audi is presenting its first luxury-class e-tron concept car a technology study known as the Audi A6 L e-tron concept at Auto China 2012 in Beijing. The plug-in hybrid has a powerful drive system that enables a driving range of 80 km on pure electric power, and it was specifically designed to fulfill Chinese needs. The Audi A6 L e-tron concept is an important step towards future electric mobility in China for Audi. With its first e-tron technology study in the luxury class, the company is showing what a locally produced New Energy Vehicle from Audi might look like.

    The basis for this study is the new A6 L, the most successful premium automobile and Audi’s bestselling model in China. Audi produces this business sedan at the Changchun plant in a joint venture with FAW. The Audi A6 L e-tron concept is precisely tailored to the requirements of Chinese customers. Plug-in hybrids that can travel long distances electrically thereby enabling zero emissions driving in local areas are ideal for use in rapidly growing megacities. Beyond its drive system, the Audi A6 L e-tron concept has all of the qualities that customers value in Audi cars prestige, comfort and sporty performance.

    The car’s exterior styling shows its differences from the production car. At the front, the single-frame grille with its slender cross-bars and the nearly covered air intakes attract the eye – both features are typical of all e-tron models. Powerful 21-inch wheels in e-tron design and the special rear diffuser highlight the car’s progressive character. On the body, signatures identify the prototype’s technology, while under the engine hood a styling capsule covers engine components. A ribbed contour at its center symbolizes the hybrid drive.

    The body of the Audi A6 L e-tron concept is identical to that of the Audi A6 L. It is lightweight, rigid and safe to a maximum degree, due to application of the ultra lightweight principle. Consisting of approximately ten percent aluminum, it weighs about 15 percent less than a comparable all-steel design. Aluminum components in the load-bearing structure and exterior skin, as well as the high-tech steels used in the occupant cell, make the body significantly lighter. Each new future Audi model will be lighter in weight than the previous model. This makes the brand a frontrunner in reversing the upward weight spiral. In designing car bodies, developers will intelligently use new combinations of materials, including carbon fiber-reinforced polymer (CFRP). For Audi, ultra lightweight construction does not solely focus on one material, rather it seeks a flexible approach that utilizes a wide variety of materials but with one goal: to attain the best performance with the least material usage at the best places.

    As in the Audi A6 L before it, the interior of the technology platform continues the elegant styling of its exterior design. Its defining element is an arc under the windshield the wrap around that surrounds the driver and front passenger. The front of the instrument panel is designed in the form of a flowing wave. All of the interior details illustrate the aesthetic standard with which Audi builds its vehicles. All materials have been carefully selected and meticulously worked into the design. The controls are intuitive. The powermeter replaces the tachometer; its pointer indicates total drive system power on a scale of zero to 100 percent. Colored segments indicate the current operating state of the Audi A6 L e-tron concept an auxiliary instrument visualizes the charge state of the lithium-ion battery.

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