Yesterday, Audi released details of what is set to be it’s biggest launch of the Geneva Motor Show 2018. The Audi A6 debuts off the back of the Audi A8 and Audi A7 launches. Both these models have proved quantum leaps for Audi in terms of technology. The Audi A6, set to compete with the revised Mercedes-Benz E-Class and the BMW 5-Series, looks set to do the same.
Now in its eighth generation, the Audi A6 gets a complete redesign. From the exterior, to the chassis and into the interior, most of the overall package is updated.
Audi is most keen to shout about the MMI functionality of the new A6 so it seems right to talk about this first. As you would expect from a luxury sedan, it is the centrepiece of a rather attractive cockpit. Shared with the A8 and the A7, it is a touch response system (with acoustic and haptic feedback – i.e. you have to press the touch screen hard to get a response) using an app-style interface across two screens (if you opt for the MMI navigation plus).
The driver details are normally available on the 10.1 inch top display while the internal comfort options are accessed through the bottom 8.6 inch display. The MMI navigation plus includes the 12.3 inch Audi virtual cockpit display. Further data is sent through the head-up display. One of the benefits of the MMI navigation plus system is a self-learning function which generates intelligent search suggestions. Two sound systems are available with the top end system provided by Bang & Olufsen.
Audi’s latest driver assistance systems also feature in the A6. Parking pilot and the garage pilot will be rolled out during the year. Both features were available on the A8 and will soon be available on the A7 too. It is self-explanatory what they do! Both form part of the Park assist package. Two other packages are also available. The City assist package includes a the new crossing assist and the Tour assist package comes with the adaptive cruise assist, which supplements the adaptive cruise control with steering intervention to keep the vehicle in lane, and the efficiency assist, to promote an economical driving style.
Audi’s central driver assistance controller (zFAS) provides the advanced capability of these functions. It calculates a detailed model of the environment from a variety of sensors. Up to up to five radar sensors, five cameras, twelve ultrasonic sensors as well as a laser scanner depending on the options the customer chooses.
As you would expect, the same mild-hybrid technology also makes it’s way into the A6. A belt alternator starter (BAS) works together with a lithium-ion battery to fill the traditional turbocharger lag. From launch, the A6 will offer the same two engines as the A7, the V6 turbocharged petrol unit with 340 hp and 500 Nm of torque. The 55 is capable of 0 to 100 km/h in just 5.1 seconds. The diesel 3.0 litre TDI produces 286 hp and 620 Nm of torque. The 3.0 TDI is paired with an eight-speed tiptronic while the 3.0 TFSI is coupled with a seven-speed S tronic gearbox.
Underpinning the A6 is an aluminium suspension system which makes use of Audi’s all-wheel steering system. We’ve driven this extensively now and can confirm that it makes a huge amount of difference to the grip.
The design is pure executive. Two strong design lines follow the front and rear wheel arches of the car giving it a muscular, upright look. Familiar design cues, the radiator grille, the headlights and the bonnet lines for example, clearly identify the A6 as being a modern Audi. It measures 12 milimeters wider, 2 millimetres higher and 7 millimetres longer than its predecessor.
Audi have once again focused on the interior of the A6, adding more space, legroom and headroom. The boot capacity remains the same at 530 litres, the boot lid can now be opened in using a swipe of the foot. The seats are all new, a panoramic glass sunroof is available and the option list has grown. 14 colours are available from launch with plenty of trim options. Three versions of headlights are available including the HD Matrix LED headlights.
The new Audi A6 will be produced at Audi’s Neckarsulm site and will launch on the German market in June 2018. Basic pricing for the Audi A6 Sedan 50 TDI Quattro has been announced starting at 58,050 euros. Bring on the RS6!