Teased just days earlier, Audi’s Shanghai concept plans have been foiled ahead of schedule thanks to an online leak.
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You’re looking at a thinly-veiled preview of what the next-generation Audi A6 is set to look like.

As part of Audi’s Shanghai motor show schedule the A6 E-Tron Concept, as it is officially known, will take the stand alongside the production versions of the Q4 E-Tron and Q4 E-Tron Sportback SUV twins.

Overnight a number of international motoring sites published the first low-resolution images of the concept, ahead of its official reveal on Monday.

Official details surrounding the A6 E-Tron Concept are still unknown for now, though it looks likely the production version will be built atop a new electric platform, dubbed PPE (for Premium Platform Electric), which will form the basis of a range of electric models from Audi and Porsche.

Within Audi’s current EV range the just-announced Q4 E-Tron uses the dedicated, mainstream-oriented electric MEB architecture, while the E-Tron GT shares its J1 chassis with the Porsche Taycan. The first Audi electric car, the E-Tron SUV uses an adaptation of the internal-combustion MLB Evo chassis.

The main benefit of the PPE structure is its greater adaptability compared to J1, giving designers more freedom to stretch or shrink vehicle wheelbase and height to suit a wider range of models.

For the time being smaller vehicles across all Volkswagen Group brands will stick to their MEB underpinnings, while J1 will hold a sportier position within the range. PPE looks likely to be reserved for premium mid-size and large sedans and SUVs.

With the A6 E-Tron concept, Audi has merged the more traditional sedan proportions of the current A6 with a longer, lower, more tapered roofline like that of the A7 range.

Along with the more dynamic profile, Audi has given the A6 E-Tron Concept a face that blends the closed-off single-frame grille of the E-Tron GT with the new slimmer headlights and continuous gloss black borders of the Q4 E-Tron.

The rear features a full-width tail-light panel and black masking across the boot lid, and curiously, a small extension into each quarter-panel calls to mind similar detailing from the current Kia Stinger.

At the sides, Audi has used a rising sill line and black contrast details to thin down the bulk of the largely unadorned profile. Eyes are drawn to the rear wheels to impart a sense of dynamism, while the boxed front and rear guards carry over themes from the current A6, but with a much softer form factor.

Interior details and confirmed powertrain and platform information won’t be known until the A6 E-Tron Concept is officially revealed at the Shanghai motor show on Monday, April 19.

Similarly, timing for the move from concept to production is also unknown, but with the current A6 having only entered production in 2018, it looks like a replacement could be pushed into a shorter timeframe than Audi’s usual seven-year cycle.

Given the very production-ready forms of the A6 E-Tron Concept, the new car could appear in the next couple of years as Audi accelerates its electrification plans.

Keep an eye on CarAdvice for more details from the A6 E-Tron Concept's official unveiling in the coming days, along with other debuts and reveals from the halls of the Shanghai motor show.


Below: The current Audi A6 sedan