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Auto Show:  2012 Beijing Auto Show

Audi A6 e-tron Concept: Beijing Auto Show

author photo by Tom Cassady April 2012
  • Offers full-electric, hybrid or gasoline mode
  • New plug-in technology provides quicker recharges
  • Fifth e-tron concept from Audi, but first truly luxury-class offering

China is quickly becoming the world's largest luxury market, and with the population's heavy concentration in urban areas, there's also growing interest there in green vehicles. For this year's Beijing Auto Show, Audi is leveraging those two strengths by combining them into one car, the A6 L e-tron.

Based off of the A6 L, already Audi's hottest-seller in China, the e-tron is a plug-in hybrid with a parallel hybrid system at the center of everything. While the lithium-ion battery pack and 95-horsepower electric engine are the headliners, there's also a 211-horsepower 2.0-liter turbocharged 4-cylinder engine tasked with helping out should the electric engine get caught out or need more spark. The result is a 50-mile range on pure-electric power, with the traditional engine always at the ready to recharge the batteries for even more. A drive selector even allows the driver to choose whether they want to car to work on all-electric, traditional hybrid, or all-gasoline modes. The electric engine can also help out the gasoline engine, should it need an extra boost for things like overtaking maneuvers.

Inside, all the typical A6 touches remain, but the interior has been updated with some electric car gadgets. The tachometer has been replaced with a power meter, showing how much of the drive system's power is available, from 0-to-100 percent. The MMI system also includes a screen that shows exactly where the power flow is going to, and coming from.

What it means to you: While there's no word on production yet, there's a chance you may be able to get your A6 with some electric assistance in the foreseeable future.

This image is a stock photo and is not an exact representation of any vehicle offered for sale. Advertised vehicles of this model may have styling, trim levels, colors and optional equipment that differ from the stock photo.
Audi A6 e-tron Concept: Beijing Auto Show - Autotrader