What first started its journey as the Audi 100 back in 1968, is one of the best selling Audi cars around the globe today. Now in its seventh generation, the new Audi A6 facelift made global debut last year. Though not much different than the older version, there are many subtle changes on board the new A6 facelift. These are in the form of design, engine updates, as well as new features.
We test drive the car in Udaipur, the city of lakes and here is our take on the new Audi A6.
ExteriorsKeeping the silhouette unchanged, there aren’t any major changes between the old and new Audi A6. It does have all the usual changes which one can expect to see on board a facelift. Sportier lines, new bumpers, revised headight and tail light and a new grille. So what sets the new A6 apart from the old A6? Well its the presence of Matrix LED headlights, which come as standard on board the A6 35 TDI.
Compared to the old A6, which got full LED headlights, the facelift gets Matrix LEDs. This is an intelligent headlight system which features some sensors and a camera along with the LEDs. Apart from giving ‘day-like’ lighting, the trio of camera, sensors, and LEDs also makes sure that they are easy on the eyes of drivers on the opposite side. The system detects the path from which the oncoming traffic, and then deactivates those diodes which are sending out light in that direction. This way you can continue driving at full beam without upsetting fellow drivers on the road.
Apart from the Matrix LEDs, the 3D single frame front grille also makes it easier to differentiate between the old and new A6. This is the new grille design which has been seen on all of their new cars. In India, the grille has already been seen on the new Q3, and new TT.
Overall, the car looks more sporty and bigger than before. Thanks to addition of new character lines, bigger 18 inch alloys (earlier had 17 inch alloys), rear LEDs, dynamic turn indicators, and the trapezoidal dual exhaust pipes.
InteriorsLike the outside, interiors too feature subtle changes. The most prominent of them being addition of polished wood on the dashboard inlays, centre console and doors. This gives A6 interiors a classy look and feel. The other parts of the dash are finished in soft leather, giving the car a premium feel.
The four spoke steering wheel is also covered in the same soft leather material while dashboard features silver accents along with wooden inlays, around the air vents. Above centre air vents, is a retractable 8 inch (7 inch in previous one) infotainment screen. This screen is powered by the latest software of Audi MMI, and runs smoothly thanks to new gen Tegra-3 processor. Audi claims that the system now responds much better and faster to voice commands then previous generation systems.
The screen is also the interface between you and the car systems, audio, navigation, internet and much more. To help the driver be more focused on the road, the gear lever and touchpad has been redesigned.
The instrument panel consists of two pods, one displaying tachometer and the other displaying speedometer. Between the two is a full colour LCD screen. To help the driver keep eyes on road, this display can be used for navigation, as well as rear camera display.
Seat upholstery is done in Milano leather, and can be chosen from a handful of colour options. Being a luxury saloon, seat comfort is one of the plus points of new A6. Ergonomically designed seats offer good back and neck support, along with decent thigh support. For rear passengers, there is ample legroom and headroom. Rear passengers can now control the movement of front passenger seat by the touch of a button which is placed within their reach.
To store your favourite music, Audi A6 facelift comes with a 10 GB hard drive and to enjoy music, it offers 600W 5.1 Channel BOSE surround sound system with 14 speakers. With the addition of two airbags at the rear, a total of 8 airbags are on offer with A6 facelift, which Audi claims is the best in class.
Interiors – Photos
Engine, Transmission and Mileage2015 Audi A6 is offered in a choice of two engine options. The first one on offer is the A6 35 TFSI. This one is powered by a 1.8l TFSI petrol engine which offers peak power of 190 PS at 4,200 rpm and peak torque of 320 Nm at 1,400 rpm. The other option is A6 35 TDI. This one is powered by 2.0l diesel engine generating peak power of 190 PS at 2,800 rpm and a peak torque of 400 Nm at 1,750 rpm.
Both these engine variants are mated to a 7 speed S tronic automatic dual clutch gearbox, which deliver power to the front wheels. The new A6 with Quattro (all wheel drive) technology is not yet on offer in the country.
Of the two, A6 35 TFSI is quicker to do 0-100 kmph (in 7.9 seconds while 35 TDI takes 8.4 seconds). Top speed of the two is 233 kmph and 232 kmph respectively.
With a fuel tank of 75 litres, the petrol variant claims to deliver a mileage of 15.26 kmpl, while the diesel variant claims a mileage of 18.53 kmpl.
How is it to driveIt would not be wrong to say that under the hood, the A6 facelift is a whole new generation ahead as compared to the outgoing variant. Powered by a more powerful and efficient engine, which is mated to a S tronic dual clutch automatic gearbox, and not the CVT which was seen in the outgoing variant, the new A6 facelift has to be a more sportier one to drive, right?
Well, that is not really the case. Audi says, they have tuned the new A6 to deliver best in class ride quality, and not best in class 0-100 kmph. So even when you want to accelerate hard, you will find that the car is missing that punch which you look for when you push the pedal hard in a 190 ps car. The same is true when you are in sport mode, the down-shifts just don’t happen as responsively as you would want them to.
But that does not mean the car is not gathering speed. The car does gather speed, in fact it has one of the best 0-100 kmph times in the segment (of 8.4 seconds). But somehow, you don’t feel that the car is speeding. This is because of the improved ride quality, adaptive air suspension setup and improved NVH levels of the A6 facelift. The car actually masks the engine’s punch to deliver a smooth ride.
While the larger alloys keep the car planted on the road, steering feedback could have been better. It feels comfortable even while taking on the curves, in spite of being a front wheel drive.
At the media drive in Udaipur, only one engine variant was on offer, the A6 35 TDI. We will share how the A6 35 TFSI behaves, once we drive the car.
VerdictA6 facelift comes at a starting price of INR 45.90 lakhs for the petrol and INR 49.50 lakh for the diesel. Surprisingly, these are the only two variants on offer. No more trims, or features which you can add or remove. For customers in the segment, on paper this puts the A6 on backfoot.
But, the company has been careful enough to offer all those features which a premium car buyer wants to have. In fact, Audi has used the top down approach and offered many luxury features which are offered with their flagship A8 L sedan – adaptive air suspension, four zone AC, MMI touch, leather interior, etc.
Though not very different from the old A6, there are enough changes on board which differentiate the old and new A6, biggest of them being the Matrix LED technology. Known for their LED technology, the Matrix LEDs not only makes the A6 look more sporty, but also adds a touch of class, making the new A6 more desirable than ever before.