It's hard to believe more than two years have passed since Audi unveiled the A6 E-Tron Concept. Yes, the debut occurred in April 2021 at the Auto Shanghai in China and was followed by the A6 Avant E-Tron Concept in March 2022. Fast forward to May 2023, the company carrying the fabled Four Rings has yet to reveal the production versions. Logic tells us the saloon will lead the way, followed shortly by its long-roof sibling.

In the meantime, a fresh batch of spy shots shows a high-performance derivative of the sedan. Regarding the body style, it's technically a liftback since the namesake concept had a tailgate, which appears to be the same case for this prototype. Judging by the lowered ride height, chunky brakes with red calipers, and large wheels with low-profile tires, we're dealing with an S6 E-Tron. We're not ruling out the full-fat RS6, but knowing Audi's modus operandi, the lesser of the two spicy variants should be out first.

High-performance Audi A6 E-Tron prototype spy photos

Much like the Q6 E-Tron due in 2024, the A6 E-Tron will ride on the Premium Platform Electric co-developed with Porsche. It'll utilize more sophisticated hardware compared to the VW Group's MEB-based electric vehicles by supporting air suspension, rear-wheel steering, and torque vectoring. As for size, we'll remind you the concept was 4.96 meters (195.2 inches) long, 1.96 meters (77.1 in) wide, and 1.44 meters (56.7 in) tall.

As for output, even the A6-badged concept had a pair of motors good for 470 horsepower (350 kilowatts) and an instant torque of 590 pound-feet (800 Newton meters). That tells us there's room for a lot more for the S and RS versions. In the case of the mechanically related Macan EV, Porsche has already confirmed it will offer as much as 603 hp (450 kW) and 738 lb-ft (1,000 Nm) of torque in the flagship version.

The A6 E-Tron concept had a 100-kWh battery and Porsche said the Macan EV's pack will be just about as large. Thanks to 800-volt tech, it should take about 25 minutes to replenish the battery from 5 to 80 percent while 10 minutes spent at a charging station provided the concept with a driving range of over 186 miles (300 kilometers). Audi said the car would do in excess of 435 miles (700 kilometers) with a fully charged battery and also partially due to the low drag coefficient of 0.22.

To get an idea of what the Ingolstadt-based luxury marque is hiding beneath the prototype's camouflage, look no further than the adjacent photo gallery of the concept car. Audi has already confirmed it'll use even numbers for EVs, so this car will definitely be called the A6 while the current combustion-engined vehicle will transition to the A7 moniker.

The debut is likely scheduled to take place later in 2024, after the Q6 E-Tron. The A6 Avant E-Tron should land in 2025, with the high-performance models likely not far behind.

Gallery: Audi A6 E-Tron concept

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