In a decade or so, we’ll look back at the A6 E-tron’s reveal and mark it as the point Audi went mainstream with electric cars.

The E-tron served its purpose as a foray into the brave new world of zero-emission motoring, and the new E-tron GT is a seriously impressive machine with no small potential to rewrite the rule book. But those are halo cars that are almost too futuristic, too expensive and, particularly in the case of the GT, too ludicrously capable for the average motorist to ever imagine having one on their drive.

In the A6 E-tron, however, we’ve been shown a relatively realistic depiction of the future of one of the most recognisable and popular executive cars on the market. Perhaps Audi was angling for some controversy by bestowing such a long-running badge on such a forward-looking car, but even the brand’s biggest fans would struggle to argue that the A6 designation carries the same cachet as Mini, Beetle or even - as was proven recently - Renault 5.

It’s an evolution rather than a reinvention, and the fact that it will be sold alongside the current A6 for several years to come means it will come to be seen, for now at least, as a variant rather than an enforced ‘next step’ for a much-loved model.

We’ve had the radical amuse- bouches; now it’s time for Audi to begin electrifying its legacy models for the main course. If this A6 E-tron concept is any indication, the transition will be swift, painless and easy on the eye.