Don’t run down to your local Audi dealership quite yet, the A6 L e-tron was developed exclusively for the Chinese market. Starting with a locally-built long-wheelbase A6, engineers have shoehorned an advanced gasoline-electric plug-in hybrid drivetrain made up of a 2.0-liter TFSI four-cylinder engine that provides 211 horsepower and 258 foot-pounds of torque and a disc-shaped electric motor that adds 122 ponies and, more importantly, 258 foot-pounds of instant twist. The motor is built into a hybrid-specific eight-speed tiptronic gearbox
When all is said and done, the hybrid drivetrain generates a total of 245 horsepower and 368 foot-pounds of torque, enough to send the roughly 4,400-pound A6 from zero to 62 mph in 8.4 seconds and on to a top speed of 130 mph. The A6 L can drive on electricity alone for a little over 30 miles at speeds of up to 84 mph. Alternatively, it returns a jaw-dropping 106.9 mpg in a mixed Chinese cycle, a figure that makes it one of the most efficient regular-production sedans that Audi has ever offered by a long shot.
The visual differences between the e-tron and the standard A6 L are largely limited to new multi-spoke alloy wheels, a redesigned lower bumper up front and model-specific emblems on both ends. Similarly, the cockpit is largely standard A6 L fare save for a revised instrument cluster that provides vital information about the hybrid drivetrain.
Built in China, the 2016 Audi A6 L will go on sale early next year. At the time of writing Audi is not planning on offering the sedan in the United States or in Europe.
Interestingly, Audi is not the only European manufacturer that is preparing to introduce a long-wheelbase plug-in hybrid sedan designed only for China. Volvo recently unveiled the S60L Twin Engine, a highly efficient version of the stretched S60 that can drive on electricity alone for up to 32 miles.
- Audi’s Q4 E-Tron concept previews an electrifying, city-wise SUV
- Audi’s second electric car, the E-Tron Sportback, quietly shows its face
- Jeep’s smallest SUVs go the plug-in hybrid route for more efficient off-roading
- If you go electric, Porsche will pay for your electricity for three years
- Sony’s 360 Reality Audio is the epic sound revolution you didn’t know you needed