Officially revealed towards the end of last month, the all-new Audi A6 made its global debut at the 2018 Geneva motor show. A key model in Audi's line-up, there's plenty that has changed on the new A6. Here are the five most important things you need to know about it:
Don't be deceived by the new A6's appearance. While it may not be much of a departure from its predecessor design-wise, this really is an all-new car. The face is dominated by the Matrix LED headlamps, Audi's trademark Singleframe grille and enlarged air intakes. Now in its eighth-generation, the A6 has also grown in size. It's 7mm longer at 4,939mm, 12mm wider at 1,886mm, and 2mm taller at 1,457mm than the outgoing A6, and to that effect, also has more interior space. Audi claims there is more headroom, shoulder room and rear leg room than before. And though boot space stays the same at 530 litres, the carmaker says the boot has a wider aperture and can accommodate two golf bags horizontally.
It's loaded with tech
You'd expect an Audi to be loaded with the latest in the world of in-car technology and the A6 promises to not disappoint on that front. The interior borrows heavily from the new A8's, and Audi is positioning its infotainment system as a key selling point for the A6, describing it as a “futuristic operating concept.” There are two central touchscreens, both 8.6-inches as standard, with a 10.1-inch upper screen available as an option. The system, known as MMI, allows vehicle functions, shortcuts and favourite buttons to be dragged and dropped, akin to a smartphone. The new navigation includes a self-learning function based on driven routes, which generates intelligent search suggestions. For example, the system knows your daily route to work and will suggest another way if it knows there has been an accident. The navigation system also uses vehicle-to-vehicle technology with other Audis for traffic and hazard information.
It has autonomous driving capabilities, but…
With self-driving cars becoming all the rage globally, Audi has equipped the new A6 with autonomous driving functionality. Among the 37 driving assistance systems, there is the Level 3 autonomous driving system introduced on last year’s A8, but there's a catch. Although the technology is available, the A6 faces the same issue as the A8: the legislation is not yet in place to allow the use of Level 3 autonomous systems on a public road unless it is for manufacturer testing. The likelihood of this feature making it to India isn't high.
It'll have a set of mild-hybrid powertrains
Globally, Audi will offer the new A6 with mild-hybrid engines only – much like the recently launched A7 – and is likely to later offer a plug-in hybrid as ‘bridge technology’ to pure electric. For now, the new A6 will be offered with four engine options that include a 3.0-litre V6 TFSI petrol and three diesels – a 2.0-litre TDI and a 3.0-litre TDI in two states of tune. The 3.0 TFSI and 2.0-litre TDI use a 48V electrical system, which has a lithium ion battery positioned in the rear axle and a starter/generator at the front of the car. This mild-hybrid system switches off the engine and cruises between speeds of 55kph and 160kph. When decelerating, it switches off the engine between 6kph and 22kph. The two 3.0-litre TDI powertrains use a 12V electrical system that does not offer these features.
It's coming to India
The outgoing A6 has been left far behind by its rivals-in-chief, the Mercedes-Benz E-class and BMW 5-series, and so, Audi will bring in the new one early in 2019. While a diesel engine will be on offer, we expect the focus to be on the petrol-powered variants, in keeping with Audi's new powertrain strategy.