Audi A6 2018 review

Audi A6 2018 review hero front

This is the new Audi A6

The 55 TFSI petrol engine is least likely to be bought, but it’s a commensurately effective powerplant for a cultured car

Versatility is at the heart of the all-new Audi A6 executive saloon. As an A6, the company says, this car simultaneously needs to purvey outstanding comfort for an old-school core of white-collared Europeans and be a ‘sporty sedan’ for the Americans.The colossal Chinese market also sees it as a technological status symbol, and so its fight is on three fronts, two of which are already heavily fortified by the BMW 5 Series and Mercedes-Benz E-Class.The new A6 follows in the tyre tracks of the recently overhauled A8 luxury saloon and swooping A7 Sportback, and as with those model ranges, every variant now features mild hybridisation.At its core sits a more rigid hybrid aluminium chassis with suspension of five-link design attached to a rigid front and hydraulically mounted rear subframes. Traditional springs are available with either passive or adaptive dampers, but there’s also a pneumatic set-up that lowers the body by 20mm, then drops it by a further 10mm above 75mph in order to improve the car’s aero characteristics.Substantial changes have also been made to way this car steers, more on which in a moment.Until Audi Sport serves up the inevitable S6 and RS6 firecrackers, the engine line-up is headed by the 3.0 V6 TFSI driven here. As is de rigueur, it houses its turbochargers within the 90deg vee, and the exhaust manifold melds into the cylinder head for a quicker warm-up sequence. It’s mated to a seven-speed dual-clutch automatic gearbox that’s also found in the predicted best seller: a 2.0-litre 40 TDI model with 204bhp.At launch, there will also be a 3.0 V6 TDI with 280bhp and a new entry-level diesel V6 in the form of the 45 TDI. Both models use a regular eight-speed automatic gearbox and also feature a self-locking centre differential.Those S tronic cars with twin clutches, meanwhile, are fitted with quattro ‘Ultra’ four-wheel-drive technology, which uses a clutch to distribute torque to the rear, front-wheel drive being the more economical option in everyday driving. If that doesn’t sound particularly sporty, it’s because it isn’t.The mild hybridisation comes in the form of a 48-volt system for six-cylinder engines and a 12-volter for anything else. The idea is that a belt alternator/starter connected to the crank recovers energy under deceleration and stores it in a lithium ion battery under the boot. That same starter reawakens the engine after up to 40 seconds of dormant coasting at speeds between 34 and 99mph, and it allows start-stop to function at marginally higher speeds. For the more powerful system, the upshot is a fuel saving worth about 4mpg, claims Audi.

Source: Autocar Online

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