The latest Audi model to move into the vanguard of Vorsprung durch Technik is the Audi A6 Saloon, which has been redesigned from the ground up with the benefit of the brand's most advanced lightweight construction techniques, engine efficiency measures, chassis developments and in-car technological innovations. With weight kept in check through aluminium and steel composite construction, despite enhanced equipment levels, the new Audi A6 will not only deliver dynamically, but also in terms of efficiency, with 57mpg-plus economy potential and low CO2 outputs of as little as 129g/km. UK Audi A6 orders will be possible from January 2011, and first deliveries will begin in the spring.
The range of four responsive and highly efficient engines available at launch in the UK will certainly not shatter this calm. The 2.0-litre TDI 177PS, 3.0-litre TDI 204PS, 3.0-litre TDI 245PS and 3.0-litre TFSI 300PS units all make use of advanced direct injection technology for the leanest possible fuel burn rate, and work in conjunction with important technologies from the brand's modular efficiency platform - the start-stop system, the energy recovery system and the innovative thermal management concept. As a result, fuel economy has improved by up to 19 per cent compared to the previous model, pushing the Audi A6 to the front of the class in this discipline.
The real headline maker in the range will be the 2.0-litre TDI allied to six-speed manual transmission, which despite its impressive output returns an impressive 57.7mpg according to the combined cycle test and emits just 129 g CO2 per km. The headlines of the not-too-distant future are likely to be claimed by the Audi A6 hybrid, which by combining a 2.0-litre TFSI petrol engine with an electric motor will be capable of zero emission urban driving and up to 45.6mpg, yet will also have 245PS on tap for strong performance.
As was the case with the previous model, the new Audi A6 will also be available with a wide range of drivetrains. The choice, based on the engine version, will include a manual six-speed transmission or continuously variable multitronic CVT for front-wheel-drive models, and the new seven-speed S tronic twin-clutch transmission for quattros. Each unit features a wide gear-ratio spread which makes a significant contribution to overall efficiency.
The quattro permanent all-wheel drive system fitted to the new Audi A6 Saloon is of course the latest incarnation, with a crown gear centre differential and a torque-vectoring function for the ultimate in traction, stability and dynamic response. For the top-of-the-line engines, the quattro sport differential that has already won acclaim in performance cars such as the Audi S4 will also be offered as an option.
The roomy interior with its cocooning 'wraparound' dash panel combines the latest Audi design language with the most salient technological advances and the finest materials constructed to the very highest of standards in time-honoured Audi fashion. Supportive seats upholstered as standard in Milano leather position occupants perfectly in relation to the cabin's focal point, the Multi Media Interface with its 6.5-inch retractable monitor and large central control knob. MMI provides easy and intuitive access to the high quality audio system, the Bluetooth phone interface and the SD card-based navigation system - a much prized asset which, uniquely in the premium sector at this level, is standard in the Audi A6.
The list of optional driver aids will also include a night vision assistant employing a thermal imaging camera to highlight 'warm-blooded' road users in front of the car, a head-up display projecting key information onto the windscreen so that it appears to float about 2.5 metres ahead and a park assist system which automatically takes care of the steering function for the driver when manoeuvring into parallel or perpendicular parking spaces. More familiar options such as the Audi side assist blind spot warning system and the Audi lane assist lane departure detection system will also be available.
Two specification levels - SE and S line - will be offered in the UK, each including alloy wheels, leather upholstery, cruise and front and rear parking controls, SD-based satellite navigation, Bluetooth phone preparation, split/folding rear seats and light and rain sensors. Audi A6 S line models will add larger 18-inch alloy wheels, xenon headlamps with LED daytime running lamps, sports suspension, upgraded Valcona leather upholstery and an exclusive S line exterior and interior styling treatment.
The New Audi A6 Saloon Prices
|A6 2.0 TDI SE||Manual six-speed, 177PS||£30,145 OTR|
|A6 3.0 TDI quattro SE||S tronic seven-speed, 245PS||£38,300 OTR|
|A6 3.0 TFSI quattro SE||S tronic seven-speed, 300PS||£38,200 OTR|
|A6 2.0 TDI S line||Manual six-speed, 177PS||£31,850 OTR|
|A6 3.0 TDI quattro S line||S tronic seven-speed, 245PS||£40,650 OTR|
|A6 3.0 TFSI quattro S line||S tronic seven-speed, 300PS||£40,550 OTR|