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(Pocket-lint) - Audi has used Auto Shanghai 2021 to unveil a new concept. Stepping away from the SUVs that have dominated Audi's e-tron efforts so far, we move to a core offering from Audi: the A6.

The concept is for a full battery electric model, which Audi says showcases future design for the company. It's easy to see how Audi could scale this design for the A4 through to the A8 to hit all those premium executive models.

It's a great looking car too, appropriately futuristic, the enclosed grille emphasizing that it doesn't need all that airflow and wonderful sculpting that means sit still looks like an Audi.

We can't help feeling that this is Audi gearing up to launch a rival to the Tesla Model S, the talk of a 100kWh battery, 270kW charging and 0-62 time of under 4 seconds on top models seeming to address this market.

But much of what Audi is showcasing visually is immaterial, because it's the platform it's sitting on that's important. This platform is amusingly called PPE (premium platform electric) which Audi will share with Porsche.

It's designed to accommodate larger or longer models and there's some speculation that it will also be used for a future electric Porsche Macan, rather than the MEB platform that's underpinned many of the VW Group models so far.

Audi outlines not only those performance figures above, but that there will be options for rear or front and rear motors to provide all-wheel drive options, while also saying that the flat floor housing the battery is equally suited to low slung sportscars as it is to high-riding SUVs.

The result of PPE will be an increase in luxury electric models coming to market, with Audi saying that there will be dedicated factory in Changchun China, as well as in Europe.

The first models on PPE will arrive in the second half of 2022 and we suspect it will be the Audi A6 e-tron, looking a lot like the production model shown above.

Of course, the question that everyone is asking will be: is there going to be an A6 Avant e-tron?  

Future electric cars: Upcoming battery-powered cars that will be on the roads within the next 5 years

Writing by Chris Hall. Originally published on 19 April 2021.