Edition 1487
11 August 2018
Edition: 1487

Read this week's issue online exactly as it appears in print.

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The all-new Audi A6

in Motoring · 07-06-2018 14:22:00 · 0 Comments

Audi has been on something of a crusade in refreshing its top-end luxury machines of late. Last year saw a new A8 and A7 grace the market, and now there’s the new A6, the latest fresh face joining the German firm’s line-up.

The all-new Audi A6

Much like its larger siblings, it’s more an evolution of the luxury saloon concept than a revolution, but there’s a lot to shout about. With the recent release of an updated BMW 5 Series and a now two-year-old Mercedes E-Class, Audi could be playing something of a game of catch up here. Is the A6 up to that task?
As to be expected, there’s a lot of new stuff going on here - most noticeably in the looks department. The A6 takes on the bolder design language introduced on the A8, bringing a sleeker appearance along with a much wider grille and fresh headlights. Under the bonnet, the A6 is the first-in-class to offer mild-hybrid technology across all of its engine choices as standard, while new suspension options have been introduced in an effort to create a more agile car. As for technology, self-learning navigation aims to create an optimal route based on your driving history, while centre console-based physical controls for functions such as air conditioning and audio controls have been replaced with touchscreen, utilising haptic feedback.
At its launch, the A6 will be available with a choice of four engines - one petrol and three diesels, all of which utilise mild-hybrid technology. Our test car was fitted with the sole petrol option on offer.
It’s a 3.0-litre V6 engine producing 335hp and 500Nm of torque, here paired up with a seven-speed automatic gearbox that sends power through all four wheels. It’s capable of taking the A6 from 0-100kmh in just over 5 seconds and can power the car on to an electronically-limited top speed of 250km/H. Official figures for MPG and CO2 emissions have yet to be confirmed, however. It’s an extremely potent unit, delivering impressive and usable performance for a car weighing in at 1,825kg. Don’t expect supercar-levelling speed, but it’s more than enough for most needs while the gearbox pairs perfectly for a smooth experience under heavy acceleration or at a gentle cruise.
Audi’s brought a lot of new technology in for the A6 in an effort to create a better driving experience, but the results vary. At its most comfortable when cruising for long distances, its plentiful power combines well with the introduction of air suspension to create a relaxing ride when eating up the miles - aided by little in the way of wind noise. As for more spirited driving, the A6 is capable of doing it with ease - just don’t expect it to put a smile on your face. It handles well and doesn’t kick up a fuss when pushed hard, but the overall experience feels pretty uninvolving. It will undertake town driving with little fuss for a car of this size thanks to the addition of four-wheel steering, which results in a more agile machine at lower speeds.
Audi are the experts, if not the pioneers in Russian doll car design, each model taking after the last. The A6 is no exception, with the firm’s updated design language making a strong impact. That means a hugely wide grille upfront with bold headlights sitting at either side, while a sleeker overall look is seldom interrupted by creases in the bodywork. It’s a handsome thing to look at and has a presence of a car far bigger than it actually is. You’re likely to turn heads in a big Audi anyway, but the striking design could do that without the four rings up front.
As you should expect, it’s an incredibly plush place to be sat in. Premium materials feature right through the cabin, without a scratchy plastic surface in sight, and it all feels good to the touch. We also suspect it’ll be pretty durable long-term. It’s not all good news inside though. Although the leather seats up front feel comfortable, they offer little in the way of support, meaning those of a smaller stature might be likely to slide about under harder cornering. The 8.6-inch touchscreen, that replaces physical controls in the centre console for functions such as air-conditioning and seat heating/ventilation, works well and responsively at a standstill, but can be difficult to use when travelling at speed.
The Audi A6 has all the hallmarks of a new class leader in the executive saloon segment. It offers a solid and potent range of engines, bags of technology and a comfortable experience wrapped in a handsome body. We’d like to have a more engaging experience in harder driving, along with some more physical buttons inside the car - but these are minor annoyances in an otherwise exceptional car. It’s hard to judge just how successful it will be without having exact pricing, but if marketed right, it could well leave competitors in its trail.

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Edition 1487
11 August 2018
Edition: 1487

Read this week's issue online exactly as it appears in print.

Twitter

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