The Audi A6 has reigned India’s luxury saloon segment for almost a decade now, and no wonder it has been successful enough to make the competition run for their money. The same fact stands true with the 2016 edition of country’s favourite German car.
The new 2016 Audi A6 boasts some new design clues the make it more similar to the flagship Audi A8. The redesigned front gets new headlamps with Audi’s latest MATRIX LED technology, a larger airdam upfront for better air intake and the brand new Hexagonal grill that the German marque is making as standard for all their new cars.
The sides get an all new skirt treatment that does make the car look wider, low stance. On the rear are the beautiful looking rectangular exhaust pipes. A set of 18-inch alloy wheels (sized up from the earlier 17 inch) spruce up the overall visual appeal of the car from the outside.
Sit inside and you will fall in love with the un-lacquered wood trim on the panels and the plusher seats. Also Audi has updated its MMI system that now comes with a much intuitive to use navigation system which also shows the details and live map on the hi-res information screen which Audi calls virtual cockpit display. The sound system is a delightful thanks to BOSE 5.1 channel Surround system pumping out 600W through 14 speakers.
It is a beautiful day and the Audi A6 is at our disposal. After nit-picking through a lot of getaway destinations we chose Alwar which is a 3-hour drive from New Delhi. Alwar is formerly the princely capital the Naruka Rajputs. The place is famous for its much haunted Bhangarh Fort and the beautiful Silserh lake.
We head out and find the traffic to be at its peak, but thanks to A6’s well-insulated cabin we were relaxed and barely prompted by the unnerving honking of motorcycles and lorries on the highway. As we cross the gridlock we find ourselves cruising on the 4 lane wide National Highway 8. The car was absolutely sublime riding on the adaptive air suspension fitted to the A6 as standard. Barely a pothole or undulation was felt during our kilometres long cruise. Steering felt a little unnatural with limited feedback from the road coming through but the same is a boon in city traffic while we resisted through some seriously narrow gaps to drive through.
The rear seat passengers have been in for a treat as well. The rear seat cushioning is much improved over the older A6, as the under thigh support and side bolstering for the rear seats have improved considerably. The head rests now boast of a soft cushion like addition which are a boon if you are planning to take a nap on those longer trips.
The engine is the same 2.0 litre diesel aka 35TDI as Audi’s new nomenclature, producing more power and torque than before. The power is now at 188 bhp and the torque figure has peaked 400 Nm. But the good news doesn’t end here, Audi has finally ditched the old school CVT gearbox from the older A6 and upgraded to a sporty 7 speed dual clutch S-tronic setup which has sharpened the gearing response to a whole new level. Unlike the older A6, acceleration is much linear and subtle. The 0-100 time has improved with the addition of the new gearbox.
As we proceed towards the Silserh lake we figured a few twisty sections of the road uphill for which we switched to the Dynamic settings which sharpen up the engine, gearbox and steering response and also stiffens up the suspension setup so there is minimal body roll at play while turning harder on corners. The A6, though a front wheel drive setup does hold onto the road unexpectedly well.
Hogging on the sumptuous Mirchi Pakoda and Kullar chai added to that the famous Alwar sweet dish, the Kalakand (milk cake) at the Silserh fort glancing at the magnificent lake and the Aravalli hills in the background had my weekend goals completed.
No wonder the Audi A6 is India’s favourite luxury saloon. The car is supremely packaged, well built, rides beautifully, looks the part and with price starting at INR 52.27 lakh for diesel and INR 53.15 lakh for petrol – it is a brilliant package indeed.