Already notable as the first conventionally powered premium executive class car to combine groundbreaking efficiency with a full, unfettered sports specification, the Audi A6 is about to shift up another gear as a new model waits in the wings. Polished by styling revisions, upgraded lighting options, a new infotainment system and new transmissions, the latest A6 Saloon and Avant ranges, which each retain ultra versions offering up to 64mpg, will open for UK ordering during September ahead of first deliveries in late 2014. Their many gains will also be shared by new A6 allroad, S6, S6 Avant and RS 6 Avant models.
Extensively updated EU6 engines
In the UK the engine line-up for the new A6 and A6 Avant will comprise four TDI engines with either four or six cylinders and either single or twin turbo charging. All engines comply with the limits of the Euro 6 emission standard, and their CO2 emissions have been reduced by as much as 22 percent. As before, the most efficient engine – the 2.0-litre TDI four-cylinder with 190PS – is reserved for ultra versions of the Saloon and Avant which combine strong performance, hushed refinement and the potential to return up to 64mpg with CO2 output from as little as 114g/km. Despite its sports styling, 18-inch alloy wheels and extensive specification, even the A6 2.0 TDI ultra S line Saloon with S tronic transmission achieves these exceptional economy and emissions figures.
The trio of 3.0-litre six-cylinder TDI ‘clean diesel’ units kicks off with a single-turbo V6 with 218PS which replaces the existing 204PS version, and is followed by a 272PS variant, also with a single charger, which takes over from the outgoing 245PS unit. At the top of the range, the 3.0 TDI clean diesel biturbo produces 320PS, an increase of 7PS over its existing equivalent.
The high‑performance diesel is paired with an eight‑speed tiptronic automatic transmission. All other engine variants are linked to either a newly designed six‑speed manual gearbox that is particularly lightweight and low-friction, or a seven‑speed S tronic twin-clutch transmission. In the versions with front-wheel drive, a fully redeveloped dual-clutch transmission replaces the familiar eight-speed multitronic continuously variable transmission.
The reassurance of quattro all-wheel-drive is available in conjunction with all engines bar the 2.0-litre TDI, and in versions with 272PS and above, the quattro permanent all‑wheel drive system can be supplemented with the sport differential, which actively distributes power between the rear wheels.
The chassis with its sophisticated, fully independent five-link front and trapezoidal link rear suspension also combines supreme comfort with crisp handling. In the A6 Avant 2.0 TDI ultra, the springs are made of glass fibre-reinforced polymer (GFRP) – an Audi innovation that shaves off approximately 4.4 kilograms in weight, boosts fuel economy and improves both driving precision and comfort.
Sports suspension lowered by 20mm is standard for the A6 S line and optional for the SE model, and the former can be rooted to the tarmac even more firmly by S line sports suspension which lowers the body by a further 10mm. Alternatively, the cushioned comfort of electronically controlled adaptive air suspension is available in conjunction with both specification options. The Audi drive select dynamic handling system is standard.