We've seen all kinds of camouflaged Audi prototype vehicles this year, but this one is a first. As such, it comes with plenty of questions but there are some things we can suss out right away. First of all, it's an Audi. And second, it's an estate. Groundbreaking stuff, this.
Kidding aside, we're fairly certain this is part of the A6 family. It's bigger than the A4/A5 Avant prototypes we've seen zipping about, and the front looks very much like an A6 E-Tron test vehicle we saw back in May at the Nurburgring. We called it a "high-performance" A6 because we still aren't entirely sure what Audi's plans are regarding vehicle names in its near-term electric future. We do know E-Tron branding will stick around as mainstream models go electric. Will this be an A6 Avant S E-Tron? An S6 Avant E-Tron? Stick around, because we're just as curious as you are.
Gallery: Audi A6 Avant EV Spy Photos
That said, we feel confident this estate sighting isn't a simple entry-level A6 Avant E-Tron. Note the red brake calipers behind the wheels, which by the way are shod with some aggressive Pirelli P Zero tyres. There's also a modest diffuser at the back, and there's no denying this estate has a very low, sleek stance. We don't think it's aggressive enough to land in RS territory, but calling this an Audi S6 Avant E-Tron wouldn't be a stretch.
Speaking of that sleek stance, these spy shots give us a nice view of the front clip. Camouflage wrap conceals design details with one notable exception. A strip of camo is missing next to the passenger-side headlight, offering some perspective on both the thin headlamps, and secondary lights mounted beneath.
That lower light section is actually the top of larger side vents reaching down to the bottom of the fascia. With camouflage in place, it looks like a split-light arrangement similar to what we see with the BMW i7. Once the camo is removed, however, we suspect it will look more conventional and much like the A6 Avant E-Tron Concept from March 2022 (below right).
What's hiding under the wrap as far as the powertrain is concerned? The new A6 should share the same PPE platform found under the Q6 E-Tron, rocking dual electric motors for all-wheel-drive grip. Details on the Q6 powertrain are still forthcoming, but the Q6 E-Tron prototype we drove earlier this year delivered 395 bhp. The aforementioned concept featured 469 bhp, and that wasn't billed as a performance variant.
Stay tuned for more on the A6 E-Tron. A debut is expected sometime in 2024.