Car News

All-New Audi A6: High-Tech Business Class

Audi has just introduced an all-new A6 sedan. The mid-size executive express takes its styling from the larger A8 and adds a mild hybrid system to add efficiency to the car's performance.

The new A6 is a major styling departure from the last car. Gone are the flat sides and swept headlights of that model, in favour of a bold, wide grille, bulging fenders, and deeply scalloped doors. The new look borrows heavily from the A7 and A8, but the fenders and doors set it apart from the bigger brothers more than previous models. It's seven mm longer than before, 12 mm wider, and two mm taller, now 4,939 mm, 1,886 mm, and 1,457 mm respectively. That means more legroom and room for two golf bags in the trunk.

Audi has two engines available from launch, although we aren't likely to see the 3.0L diesel. The gas choice is a 3.0L turbocharged V6 that makes 340 hp and 369 lb-ft of torque. It propels the new A6 through a seven-speed S Tronic dual clutch gearbox and quattro all-wheel drive.

The engines will be fitted with Audi's mild hybrid technology that uses a belt operated starter-alternator. It can allow the car to coast gas-free between 55 and 160 km/h, and offers start-stop at speeds under 22 km/h. Audi says the technology reduces real-world fuel economy by 0.7 L/100 km.

A new suspension makes the A6 sportier than before. It's made up largely of aluminum components. The lighter weight suspension bits mean that the car has improved ride comfort. Steel springs and air suspension systems will be available, with adaptive dampers also on the list.

The new A6 has progressive rate steering that becomes more direct as the driver winds on more lock. Rear-wheel steering is also available, turning the rear wheels up to five degrees. That increases high-speed stability and decreases the turning radius in town.

New driver assistance systems on the A6 include parking pilot and garage pilot. They are able to autonomously manoeuvre the car into and out of parking spaces as well as through a parking garage. Tour assist offers lane guidance, and city assist has additional high-traffic active safety features.

Infotainment comes from a new version of Audi's MMI system. It uses a top screen of up to 10.1-inches which displays map and audio information. Below that is an 8.6-inch display that handles climate control and text input. The instrument cluster uses Audi's 12.3-inch virtual cockpit display and a head-up display on the windshield. If you like to share your A6, the car allows up to seven stored drivers. It saves seating position and up to 400 individual parameters.

These specifications are for the European model, but expect the Canadian car to follow very closely. The new A6 will start arriving at dealerships in June, beginning with the German market. We'll have more information, including pricing, as that date approaches.