Audi reveals new A6 with mild-hybrid 07 | 03 | 2018

    AUDI LAUNCHED ITS all-new A6 at the Geneva Motor Show. The Ingolstadt car maker’s executive saloon — which lines up against the likes of the Mercedes E-Class and BMW 5 Series — gets more technology and mild-hybrid engines across the range as standard. Order books at Scottish dealerships will open in June; prices have yet to be announced. (Related: Audi launches rear-wheel drive V10 R8)

    Audi’s new A6 is the first executive car to offer mild-hybrid technology across its entire engine range. Four cylinder engines will use a simple 12v system with a belt starter-generator, allowing the start/stop function to kick in while the car is still moving up to 14mph. It will also have the ability to  ‘coast’ between 35 and 100mph. In this mode the technology switches off the engine when the driver lifts off the accelerator and instantly restarting it when needed. (Related: Gordon Shedden switches to WTCR with Audi)

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    According to Audi, this saves around 4g/km of CO2 in normal driving. But there are greater savings to be made in V6-powered models, which utilise a more clever 48v system. This is mated to a lithium ion battery, which can store energy during deceleration, helping to reduce fuel consumption. Audi says the engine will emit around 10g/km less CO2.

    At launch the engine range will include a 201bhp 2.0-litre four-cylinder diesel, plus two 3.0-litre V6 diesels producing 228bhp and 286bhp respectively. There will also be a 335bhp 3.0-litre V6 petrol. All are mated to automatic gearboxes. It’s likely a 2.0-litre petrol will join the range later.

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    Externally, the new A6 has clearly been inspired by the latest A8, though its “athletic” stance is emphasis by its shorter overhangs, different body details and a lower stance.

    At the front, the trademark hexagonal grille is nearly as wide as the A8’s. And despite the fact the new A6 has a drooping shoulderline and more coupe-like roofline, passengers benefit from the fact the roofline is actually higher than the previous model.

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    Many of the exterior panels are made from aluminium, to save weight, while the newcomer is also more streamlined with drag coefficient of  0.24cd compared to  0.26cd. Worth highlighting though the new A6 is actually between 5 and 30kg than the outgoing model, simply because of the addition of the hybrid system.

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    LED lights front and rear are standard across the range, with  matrix beam and laser headlights available further up the range. As you’d expect with any Audi,  wheel sizes range from 17 to 21-inches depending on model (and option list), while S-Line models stand out from the rest of the range with their unique bumper designs and 10mm lower ride height.

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    The new model is also a smidge larger than the outgoing model — it’s just 7mm longer — though it does have a 12mm longer wheelbase. According to Audi the interior is 21mm longer, with the bulk of that adding to increased knee room in the rear. All occupants benefit from more head, elbow and shoulder room, though the luggage space in the boot remains at 530-litres.

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    The new A6 also benefits from Audi’s  latest MMI Touch control system, which made its debut in the A8. Standard model uses a more basic 8in display, while those specced with MMI Navigation plus get a 10.1-inch upper screen for infotainment features. In addition, the system also includes an 8.6-inch lower display for climate control.

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    Both also feature haptic and acoustic feedback, so users reassuringly feel and hear a physical ‘click’ when they select a function. The A6 also gets Audi’s 12.3-inch Virtual Cockpit instrument display.

    As technology continues to become a greater factor in our use of cars, the latest A6 includes self-learning navigation, using data from service provider HERE to assess your most driven routes and work out the optimum journey.

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    And as the world of Big Brother continues to seep into our driving,  ‘Car-to-X’ services use data from Audi’s fleet to provide real-time hazard and traffic data. Eventually it will be able to find parking spaces, too. Though quite how it will manage dealing with five or six Audi drivers looking for the same parking space in the same area will be interesting to observe.

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    In addition to the usual smartphone app, buyers can spec an Audi Connect Key. This allows up to five smartphones to securely lock, unlock and start the car without a conventional key.

    Not surprisingly, as the levels of technology increases, so too does safety. The new A6 has up to 38 different safety assist systems split into three packages; and for the first time these include a side impact pre-crash assist function. And like the A8, the new A6 is capable of Level 3 autonomous driving.

    Related: Roadtest — Audi Q5 2.0TFSI S Line S tronic

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    Jim McGill

     

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