While the 2012 Audi A6 won't have any fancy battery motive technology when it first becomes available early next year, the German automaker is promising to deliver a hybrid A6 once the obvious gas and diesel versions have been on the market for a while. The car will be on display at the Detroit Auto Show in a month or so, but we've got the full details on the German versions straight from the horse's mouth, and we like what we hear.
As expected, Audi starts with a bunch of lightweighting and has managed to improve overall fuel economy for the five initial engine options by around 19 percent compared to the current-gen A6 versions. The purely liquid-fueled A6 models include a 2.0-liter TDI – the most economical of which is expected to get around 48 miles per gallon (U.S.) – a 2.8-liter naturally aspirated gas burner, a supercharged 3.0-liter TFSI (27 mpg) and two other diesel powerplants. The hybrid will feature a 2.0 TFSI engine mated to an electric motor and an eight-speed transmission that, when all is said and done, will likely get around 38 mpg. Makes us think that frugal diesel option looks pretty darn good, even if the A6 hybrid will be able to hit 62 mph on battery power alone. As we said, these numbers are for the German cars, but we expect similar numbers for the U.S. versions when they become available.
You can read more about the car here and find Audi's full details in the huge press release (over 6,000 words!) after the jump. For the pic-curious, you can see the new A6 from all angles in the gallery below. Like it?
The new Audi A6: high tech in the executive class
The new Audi A6 Sedan: setting the standard in innovation
Audi has redesigned its flagship executive class model. The new A6 is set to make its market debut in early 2011. With its light body, sporty chassis and a wide array of new assistance and multimedia systems, the full-sized sedan is packed with innovative solutions in every area of technology. The range of available engines and drivetrains is equally extensive.
Combining the power of a V6 with the fuel efficiency of a four-cylinder engine, the soon-to-be-available A6 hybrid will be one highlight of the lineup.
Much of the body of the new Audi A6 consists of aluminum and high-tech steels, rendering it exceedingly light, stiff and safe. State-of-the art design methods and materials ensure extremely low interior noise levels. Precision tuning of all components and systematic hydraulic damping in the axle and drivetrain bearings provide excellent vibrational comfort.
The design of the new Audi A6 embodies athleticism and elegance. The sedan is 4.92 meters (16.14 ft) long and 1.87 meters (6.14 ft) wide, but just 1.46 meters (4.79 ft) high – sporty proportions that are unrivaled by the competition. The long engine hood, the low, sweeping roofline and the prominent lines on the flanks create a dynamic overall appearance. Optional LED headlights emphasize the striking expression at the front.
The roomy interior of the new Audi A6 echoes the sinewy style of the exterior. The salient element is the "wrap-around" – an inlay encircling the driver and the front-seat passenger. The elegantly curved dash panel places the driver at the center of the interior.
Every detail of the interior is a testament to the care that Audi invests in carmaking. All materials, including an innovative layered-wood veneer, have been selected and crafted with the utmost care. As an option, the front seats can be equipped with ventilation and massage functions. Classy ambient lighting in the lighting package provides small points of light throughout the interior.
The new Audi A6 features the logical ergonomics concept that distinguishes all of the brand's models. A highly efficient automatic air conditioning system and the latest-generation MMI radio operating system are standard; Audi also offers an optional head-up display, which projects important information onto the windshield. The MMI touch operating system is also available as an option. This enables much of the hard-drive MMI navigation plus system to be controlled by means of a touchpad.
The online services, developed though a partnership between Audi and service provider Google, connect the full-sized sedan to the Internet via the Bluetooth car phone online. A UMTS module pulls images and information from Google Earth up on the monitor and integrates them with the navigation route. A WLAN hotspot provides contact to mobile terminals on board. The top of the hi-fi line is the Bang & Olufsen Advanced Sound System.
MMI navigation plus works closely together with the optional assistance and safety systems in the new A6. It forwards the route data to the control units for the headlights, the automatic transmission and the adaptive cruise control with stop & go function. This enables these systems to recognize complex scenarios and assist the driver. In many situations, the Audi pre sense safety system is able to reduce accidents and their consequences, or even prevent them altogether. The Audi active lane assist helps the driver keep the A6 on course, and the park assist system relieves the driver of the chore of steering when parallel parking.
Audi offers the A6 with a choice of five powerful, highly efficient engines: two gasoline engines and three TDI units. These powerplants develop between 130 kW (177 hp) and 220 kW (300 hp). All of these engines make use of important technologies from the brand's modular efficiency platform – the start-stop system, the energy recovery system, and the innovative thermal management concept.
Throughout the entire model line, fuel consumption in the A6 has decreased by up to 19 percent compared to the previous model. In terms of consumption figures, the A6 outperforms the competition
The most powerful unit in the range is the 2.0 TDI. In conjunction with a manual transmission, it requires on average just 4.9 liters of fuel per 100 km (48.00 US mpg) and emits just 129 g CO2 per km (207.61 g/mile). The A6 hybrid will be available from Audi at a later date. Serving up 180 kW (245 hp) of system performance, its 2.0 TFSI plus electric motor will achieve efficient and sporty acceleration with an average fuel consumption of only 6.2 liters per 100 km (37.94 US mpg) (provisional figure).
As was the case with the previous model, the new Audi A6 is also available with a wide range of drivetrains. The choice, based on the engine version, will include a manual six-speed transmission, the continuously variable multitronic, and the brand-new, sporty S tronic. Each unit is precisely tuned and features a wide gear-ratio spread, thereby making a significant contribution to the sedan's efficiency.
Depending on the engine version, power is funneled via the gears to the front wheels or to the quattro permanent all-wheel drive, whose crown-gear center differential and torque-vectoring function achieve the ultimate traction, stability and dynamic response. For the top-of-the-line engines, Audi will offer an optional sport differential.
The chassis of the new A6 combines sporty precision with supreme comfort. Its links are made of aluminum; the redesigned power steering features a highly efficient electromechanical drive. The executive sedan has wheels ranging from 16 to 20 inches in diameter.
The Audi drive select dynamic handling system is standard, and the front-wheel-drive models have the sporty ESP with electronic limited-slip differential on board. For enhanced comfort, adaptive air suspension with controlled damping is available as an option. Dynamic steering will be available soon, also as an option.
At a glance
The new Audi A6
- Light, extremely stiff body, with a significant proportion of aluminum and high-strength steel
- 4.92 meters (16.14 ft) long, 2.91-meter (9.55 ft) wheelbase, 530-liter (18.72 cubic ft) trunk capacity
- Optional xenon plus and LED headlights with LED tail lights, as well as adaptive light with headlight range control
- Spacious interior offering an ambiance of luxury - Standard MMI radio operating system, engine start-stop button, multifunction steering wheel, two screens, and high-efficiency two-zone automatic air conditioning system
- Head-up display and ambient lighting available as options
- Optional front seats with ventilation and massage function
- Wide selection of engines, two gasoline engines and three TDI units at launch - Redeveloped 130 kW (177 hp) 2.0 TDI, emitting 129 g CO2 per km
(207.61 g/mile) - A6 hybrid with system performance of 180 kW (245 hp)
- Manual transmission, multitronic, or S tronic for the drivetrain
- Four-cylinder with front-wheel drive, V6 with quattro drive standard or optional - quattro drive with new crown-gear center differential, optional sport differential
- Sophisticated chassis design, wheels ranging from 16 to 20 inches in diameter
- High-efficiency electromechanical power steering - ESP with electronic limited-slip differential on front-wheel-drive models
- Selective torque vectoring with quattro drive
- Audi drive select dynamic handling system standard
- Optional adaptive air suspension with controlled damping
Assistance and infotainment systems
- Optional MMI navigation plus with MMI touch and 8-inch display, Internet services by Google, and Bang & Olufsen Advanced Sound System
- Advanced safety and assistance systems such as Audi pre sense, adaptive cruise control with stop & go function, Audi active lane assist, Audi side assist, night vision assistant with highlighting of detected pedestrians, speed limit display, and park assist
The new Audi A6: High tech in the executive class
Once again, Audi sets the standard: The new A6 will arrive at dealerships in early 2011. The successor to the world's most successful executive sedan features groundbreaking solutions in every area of technology. An intelligent combination of materials renders the body unusually light; operation is easy, despite a wealth of functionality; and the range of assistance and multimedia systems is extensive.
The new A6 series starts with five powerplants generating between 130 kW (177 hp) and 220 kW (300 hp) of output: two gasoline engines and three TDI units. The Audi A6 hybrid will follow at a later date; it combines the power of a large V6 with the fuel efficiency of a four-cylinder unit. A number of drivetrain options are also available. The Audi drive select dynamic handling system for all TFSI and TDI versions has been expanded to include an additional mode – the "efficiency" program.
Audi has created an intelligent combination of various materials, rendering the body of the new Audi A6 extremely light, safe, and stiff. Thanks to its composite steel-aluminum construction, the body weighs approximately 15 percent less than a conventional steel construction, earning the sedan with the four rings a top ranking among the competition. Providing 130 kW (177 hp) of power, the A6 2.0 TDI tips the scales at just 1,575 kilograms (3,472.28 lb), not including the driver.
Aluminum components make up more than 20 percent of the body. The strut mounts at the front of the car are castings; the struts in the engine compartment and the crossmembers behind the bumpers are sections made of this lightweight material. All add-on parts, such as the front fenders, the engine hood, the rear hatch and the doors, but also the bulkhead and the crossmember in the luggage compartment, are made of aluminum panels.
High-end steels also play a key role in the new Audi A6. The best of these are the hot-shaped steels, which get their extreme tensile strength from a temperature increase during the shaping process. These steels are found in some areas of the passenger cell and at its transition to the front end of the car. In many areas, tailored blanks are used. These are panels of various thicknesses that are thicker and stronger in areas subjected to higher loads.
The new Audi A6 sedan is extraordinarily quiet. Thanks to a sophisticated aeroacoustics system and extensive insulation, the noise level in the interior remains very low even at high speeds on the highway. The excellent vibrational comfort is the result of painstaking tuning of all components, systematic hydraulic damping in the axle and drivetrain bearings, and the extremely stiff body.
The precision aerodynamic tuning, which also includes the paneled underfloor and the airflow through the engine compartment, translates to a drag coefficient (Cd) of 0.26 in the base version, an improvement compared with the predecessor. The frontal area of the new Audi A6 measures 2.3 m2 (24.76 ft2).
The headlights give the A6 a distinctive look. Featuring a shallow design that becomes wider toward the fenders, they shift the visual focus outward. A curved panel, or wing, gives structure to their interior, and the bottom edge forms an undulatory contour.
High-intensity halogen headlights are a standard feature on the new A6. Xenon plus units that include new all-weather lights and an LED daytime running light strip are optionally available from Audi. Also available is the adaptive light function, which ensures just the right illumination in all driving conditions. Among its features is the floating headlight range control system, which detects other vehicles and localities with a camera and adapts its own light by swiveling the modules with soft transitions.
The headlight control unit works together with the optional MMI navigation plus system, from which it obtains route data in advance. Using navigation-based vehicle assistance, the system can activate the highway lights while the car is still on the on-ramp, for example, or turn on the cornering light even before the car reaches an intersection.
The new A6 can also be outfitted with all-LED headlights – a major technological innovation from Audi. The white light they emit is similar to daylight; at night, it is gentler on the eyes. The LED headlights are long-lasting, maintenance-free, and highly efficient; at low beam, each unit requires just 40 watts of power.
The high-performance LEDs for the low-beam and high-beam headlights produce striking graphics. The daytime running lights and turn signal, comprising a multitude of LEDs, appear as a homogeneous strip at the bottom edge of the headlight. The high-beam assistant switches automatically between the low and high beams. The cornering light, the all-weather lights and the highway lights round out the system.
The latest Audi A6 is 4.92 meters (16.14 ft) long and has a wheelbase of 2.91 meters (9.55 ft). Measuring 1.87 meters (6.14 ft) in width, it is only 1.46 meters (4.79 ft) tall. Compared to the previous model, it comes in a few millimeters shorter and lower; it width and, most notably, its wheelbase, however, have grown significantly. The harmonious proportions – the long engine hood, the short overhangs, and the sweeping roofline – embody a character of athletic elegance.
Painted a high-gloss black, the large, low single-frame grill featuring beveled upper corners merges neatly with the sculptured front end. The horizontal orientation of the louvers underscores the width of the latest A6, as do the wide, low air intakes.
The interplay between soft surfaces and precise, hard lines dominates the side view of the new Audi A6. Typical for the brand, the sheet-metal body is roughly twice as tall as the greenhouse. The tornado line beneath the window edge runs across the entire flank; it forms a prominent shaded edge, lending strength to the body's shoulders. Above the side sills lies the dynamic line, taking a slight upward turn. A high-gloss package accentuates the area around the windows.
The elegant line ends in a prominent tail end with a subtle spoiler edge. The matt black diffuser insert envelopes the two large, round tailpipes for the exhaust system. As is always the case on an Audi, the surfaces at the tail end are three-dimensional in shape. The styling of the two-part tail lights also echoes the trapezoidal shape of the headlights at the rear of the car.
In combination with the xenon plus and LED headlights, Audi also offers tail lights with LED technology, giving a three-dimensional effect to their light pattern. The rear lighting system forms a visually continuous band in the form of a wide,
U-shaped curve; the turn signal lights form a strip that runs across the upper edge of the unit. Incandescent lamps illuminate the back-up lights and the rear fog lights.
The optional S line exterior package gives the car an even sportier look, with more prominently featured bumpers, grills on the air intakes, and diffuser insert. The diffuser and the center edge of the front spoiler are painted gray; the fenders and the door sills sport S line badges. The sill panels stay the same color as the body.
Audi offers the new A6 in 12 paint finishes. The two solid colors are called Ibis White and Brilliant Black. The eight metallic hues bear the names Aviator Blue, Dakota Gray, Ice Silver, Havana Black, Moonlight Blue, Oolong Gray, Quartz Gray and – coming soon – Glacier White. The pearl-effect colors Phantom Black and Garnet Red round out the selection.
The new Audi A6 welcomes passengers in its interior with an ambiance of airiness and roominess; the sinewy, dynamic quality of the exterior is echoed in the interior lines. The wrap-around inlay defines the cockpit area, beginning at the driver's door and running in one large arc beneath the root of the windshield, then all the way to the front passenger's door. Curved elegantly around the driver's seat, the dash panel with its high-precision trim strip rounds out the taut-line concept.
Every detail in the interior has been executed with the utmost attention and care, on par with the finest handcrafted quality. Take, for example, the brilliant aluminum-look control knobs, which click and engage perfectly. Merely a few tenths of a millimeter wide, the gaps run exactly parallel. The shift gate and the start-stop button feature subtle red backlighting. The optional ambient lighting and lighting package emphasize the lounge atmosphere.
The front seats in the new A6 provide excellent support and guidance for the body. Audi can also install the optional comfort seats, which can be adjusted in 18 different ways. These seats can be equipped with optional, luxurious air-conditioning and massage functions, featuring ten air cushions and five programs to pamper the back. Sport seats with accentuated side bolsters and an extendable thigh support mechanism are available as an alternative.
The seats at the rear of the executive sedan offer ample room for feet, knees, elbows, and heads, with continuously adjustable doors that make getting in easy. As part of the front comfort seating option, Audi can install two individual contoured seats in the rear compartment, but without sacrificing the third seat. Large, practical storage compartments are available at all of the seats, and a special storage package is available as an option.
The seats are upholstered in cloth as standard, with two types of leather and an Alcantara/leather combination available as options. The colors for the seat upholstery are black, goa beige, nougat brown, titanium gray, and velvet beige. Black, gray, brown, and beige hues are available for the interior, and the roof lining comes in black, silver, and beige.
In addition to the standard trims in Micrometallic platinum, the inlays are also available in an aluminum version. The inlays also feature wood veneers made of ash and walnut. In the near future, Audi will also offer a new, exceptionally attractive alternative – a veneer made of layered oak wood.
The new Audi A6 offers a whole host of functions, all of which can be controlled effortlessly owing to the brand's logical ergonomics concept. The latest-generation MMI radio operating system is standard; its terminal is situated on the wide center tunnel, where there is ample space thanks to the electromechanical handbrake. When the system starts up, the central on-board monitor with its high-gloss black frame extends from the instrument panel in an elegant movement; it measures 6.5 or 8 inches in diagonal, depending on the version.
The optional seven-inch driver information system (DIS) sits between the two large dial instruments. It is controlled by means of the multifunction steering wheel, which, like the DIS itself, is available in a number of versions. Among the system's standard features is the on-board computer featuring an efficiency program. The on-board computer provides a gear-change indicator, offers tips for fuel-efficient driving, and displays the current energy requirements of on-board electrical consumers.
A high-efficiency two-zone automatic air conditioning system comes standard in the new Audi A6. One of the most attractive options is the newly developed head-up display, which projects important information onto the windshield. The colored digits and symbols appear to float at a distance of approximately 2.5 meters (8.20 ft), allowing for optimal readability. Drivers can customize the display for specific information.
The luggage compartment, lined with high-quality carpeting, has a capacity of 530 liters (18.72 cubic ft). The rear seat backs can be folded down as an optional feature, a feature that is standard with comfort seats. For the tailgate, Audi offers an optional electric drive that can also be operated with the convenience key. Also available are a load-through hatch complete with ski bag, as well as a reversible mat.
Audi is launching the A6 with a choice of powerful, sophisticated, and highly efficient four- and six-cylinder powerplants: two gasoline engines and three TDI units. They have outputs ranging from 130 kW (177 hp) to 220 kW (300 hp). They obtain their fuel through direct injection; the 3.0 TFSI employs a supercharger to achieve boost, and the 2.0 TFSI and TDI operate with turbochargers.
Each of these engines makes use of technologies from the Audi modular efficiency platform. Much effort has gone into optimizing these engines, particularly with regard to internal friction, in keeping with the brand's innovative thermal management system. Each of the units operates with an energy recovery system combined with a start-stop system, irrespective of the type of transmission used.
The new Audi A6 is setting the standard for efficiency in the executive class. Throughout the entire model line, fuel consumption in the A6 has decreased by up to 19 percent compared with the previous models – even as its performance has increased. The 2.0 TDI requires on average just 4.9 liters of fuel per 100 km (48.00 US mpg) and emits only 129 g CO2 per km (207.61 g/mile).
The naturally aspirated 2.8 FSI is also equipped with AVS; in this case, it acts on the intake valves. The throttle can usually remain open, allowing the V6 to breathe freely. It has an output of 150 kW (204 hp) and achieves 280 Nm (206.52 lb-ft) of torque in the speed range of 5,250 to 6,500 rpm. Key data (with multitronic): 0-100 km/h (0-62.14 mph) in 7.7 seconds; top speed 240 km/h (149.13 mph); consumption in the EU cycle 7.4 liters per 100 km (31.79 US mpg), 172 g CO2 per km (276.81 g/mile). This represents an improvement of 12 percent, despite the fact that the predecessor delivered 10 kW (14 hp) less.
The most powerful gasoline engine in the A6 family is the 3.0 TFSI; its mechanical charger is situated in the 90-degree V formed by the cylinder banks. The V6 delivers 220 kW (300 hp) of power and 440 Nm (324.53 lb-ft) of torque, the latter at 2,900 to 4,500 rpm. The A6 3.0 TFSI sprints from standing to backroad speed in 5.5 seconds and reaches an electronically governed top speed of 250 km/h (155.34 mph). It consumes on average 8.2 liters per 100 km (26.68 US mpg) and emits 190 g CO2 per km (305.78 g/mile) – an advance of 13 percent over the previous model, which produced 213 kW (290 hp).
The most efficient engine in the new A6 is the redeveloped 2.0 TDI. This four-cylinder unit develops 130 kW (177 hp). Its 380 Nm (280.27 lb-ft) of torque stand at the ready between 1,750 and 2,500 rpm. In conjunction with a manual transmission, it propels the Audi A6 from zero to 100 km/h (62.14 mph) in 8.7 seconds, then on to a top speed of 228 km/h (141.67 mph). In the EU cycle, it requires just 4.9 liters per 100 km (48.00 US mpg) and emits only 129 g CO2 per km (207.61 g/mile). That is a 13 percent decrease in fuel consumption.
The newly developed 3.0 TDI is represented with two versions in the A6 family. Both stand out for their low weight, minimal internal friction, ultra high-precision tuning of the auxiliary units, and a highly sophisticated thermal management system that provides separate coolant circuits for the crankcase and cylinder heads.
In the first version, the V6 diesel generates 150 kW (204 hp) and applies 400 Nm (295.02 lb-ft) of torque in the low range of 1,250 to 3,500 rpm. Paired with a multitronic transmission, it accelerates the A6 to 100 km/h (62.14 mph) in
7.2 seconds and achieves a top speed of 240 km/h (149.13 mph). Its average consumption is a mere 5.2 liters per 100 km, a CO2 emissions level of 137 g per km (220.48 g/mile). Compared with the 140 kW (190 hp) predecessor, this represents an advance of 19 percent.
The top-of-the-line version of the 3.0 TDI delivers 180 kW (245 hp), providing 500 Nm (368.78 lb-ft) of torque between 1,400 and 3,250 revolutions. The standard sprint takes just 6.1 seconds, and top speed is limited to 250 km/h (155.34 mph). On average, this top-performing diesel powerplant uses just 6.0 liters of fuel per 100 km (39.20 US mpg) and emits 158 g CO2 per km (254.28 g/mile). As such it outperforms the previous engine, which achieved 176 kW (240 hp), by 16 percent.
Audi A6 hybrid
At a later point, Audi will begin series production of the A6 hybrid, its second hybrid model after the Q5 hybrid quattro. The A6 hybrid employs an efficient parallel hybrid concept: Its combustion engine, a 155 kW (211 hp) 2.0 TFSI, works together with an electric motor that delivers 33 kW (45 hp) and 211 Nm (155.63 lb-ft) of torque. The electric motor sits directly behind the TFSI, occupying the space of the torque converter upstream of the modified 8-speed tiptronic. The transmission sends torque to the front wheels.
A crash-protected area of the luggage compartment houses a light, compact lithium-ion battery that provides 1.3 kWh of nominal power and generates 39 kW. Depending on requirements, it is air-cooled in two ways – by means of a blower from the interior or by means of an internal refrigerant circuit coupled to the automatic air conditioning system. This technology largely maintains the rechargeable battery within the appropriate temperature range, thereby ensuring that the vehicle operates on electric power a comparatively large percentage of the time.
The Audi A6 hybrid can achieve speeds of up to 100 km/h (62.14 mph) purely on electricity; at a constant speed of 60 km/h (37.28 mph), it has a range of 3 km. It can also operate with the combustion engine only or in hybrid mode; in the deceleration phases, it recovers power and activates both the engine and the electric motor together when accelerating quickly. Special indicators on the instrument cluster and on the MMI monitor provide of detailed display of the different driving conditions.
The Audi A6 hybrid provides the power of a V6, combined with the fuel efficiency of a four-cylinder engine. It accelerates in 7.3 seconds from zero to 100 km/h (62.14 mph), top speed is 238 km/h (147.89 mph) and the average fuel consumption is 6.2 liters per 100 km (37.94 US mpg), a CO2 emissions level of 142 grams per km (228.53 g/mile) (performance and fuel consumption figures are provisional).
As was the case with the previous model, the new A6 is also available with a wide range of drivetrains. Depending on the engine version, these include front-wheel drive and quattro drive, the manual six-speed transmission, the continuously variable multitronic, and the seven-speed S tronic – the lightning fast dual-clutch transmission is a new addition to the large series. Audi offers optional shift paddles.
The transmissions are a major factor in the efficiency of the new A6. They stand out due to their low internal friction and high efficiency; with their wide gear-ratio spread, they are high geared for high speeds. The automatic transmissions have access to predictive route data from the navigation systems and are integrated into the engine's thermal management system. The differential is in front of the clutch and immediately behind the engine. Accordingly, the front axle on the A6 is positioned farther forward, making for a long wheelbase and a harmonious axle load distribution.
The four-cylinder TDI transfers its power to the front wheels. It is fitted as standard with a manual transmission or, alternatively, with the multitronic. These transmissions are also available for the front-wheel-drive version of the 2.8 FSI. The manual transmission will also be available soon after for the 150 kW (204 hp) 3.0 TDI. The FSI gasoline engine can also be coupled with quattro permanent all-wheel drive and the S tronic. The 3.0 TFSI and the 180 kW (245 hp) 3.0 TDI come with a standard all-wheel drive, always in combination with the S tronic.
All quattro versions of the new A6 implement the latest development stage of the permanent all-wheel drive with the crown-gear center differential. This system distributes power in an especially flexible, dynamic manner, while also featuring a compact, lightweight construction. The basic ratio of power distribution between the front and rear axle is 40:60 – a sporty, rear-biased characteristic.
The new quattro drivetrain features the integrated torque-vectoring function, which recognizes when the inside wheels are about to lose their grip during fast cornering. Before this can happen, it brakes the wheel very slightly – almost imperceptibly – making the handling even more fluid and traction even stronger. Rounding off the top-of-the-line version, Audi offers the optional sport differential, which actively distributes the power between the rear wheels.
The chassis of the new Audi A6 combines sporty precision with supreme comfort. The wheel control arms and many other components are made of lightweight aluminum. Each of the front wheels is guided by five control arms, with self-tracking trapezoidal-link suspension operating at the rear.
The standard alloy wheels are 16 or 17 inches in diameter, depending on the engine version. Audi and quattro GmbH offer wheels with up to 20-inch rims as an option. Tire formats ranging from 225/60 to 265/35. A tire-pressure monitor display is standard, and certain tires can be optionally equipped with emergency running properties.
The four disk brakes – internally ventilated at the front – are generously sized and powerful. The brake light operates on an adaptive principle; when the brakes are fully applied, it warns the traffic behind by pulsating rapidly.
The redesigned power steering has an electromechanical drive that operates in a highly efficient manner. The degree of support it provides is based on the speed. With a ratio of 16.1:1, the steering is sporty and direct, providing precise feedback from the road. It cooperates closely with the optional Audi active lane assist system and also proves useful with braking when the car has traction on only one side: The steering impulses it gives in this case make it easier for the driver to steer in the right direction.
Audi has equipped the new A6 with steel springs that ensure a high level of ride comfort. Sport suspension as well as S line sport suspension from quattro GmbH are alternative options. Air suspension with four electronically controlled shock absorbers is also optionally available. The adaptive air suspension has been redesigned, with spring struts up front and separate air springs and dampers in the back. The system sets the ride height of the body to one of three levels. On the highway, it lowers the body, increasing stability and decreasing fuel consumption.
All front-wheel drive models of the A6 have the ESP electronic stabilization program with electronic limited-slip differential on board. This software solution operates much like the torque-vectoring function in the quattro train; however, it focuses its light brake applications solely on the inside front wheel. This braking action ensures that the sedan remains neutral longer during fast cornering, practically eliminating understeering, improving grip, and making handling more dynamic.
Among the high-end solutions in the new A6 is the Audi drive select dynamic handling system. In its standard version, it controls the engine management, power steering, and the automatic air conditioning system. The driver can vary the function of these components between the five modes "comfort," "auto," "dynamic," "individual," and "efficiency." For all TFSI and TDI models, the "efficiency" operating level supports a driving style that provides for optimum fuel consumption by customizing the characteristics of various vehicle systems.
A6 customers can expand the system to include the automatic transmission, adaptive air suspension, ACC with stop & go function, adaptive lights, and ambient lighting options. Soon to come are the sport differential and dynamic steering, which varies its ratio according to the speed at which the car is traveling.
Equipment and trim
The new Audi A6 will arrive at dealerships with an array of standard equipment, including the Audi pre sense basic system, alloy wheels, the high-efficiency two-zone automatic air conditioning system, the front center armrest, the engine start-stop button, the tire pressure monitoring system, the adaptive brake light, the MMI radio complete with 6.5-inch monitor, and the electromechanical parking brake. The safety package consists of two front, side and head airbags, four belt tensioners, and the integral Audi head restraint system.
The portfolio of new assistance, safety, and infotainment systems is particularly attractive. In terms of music, a number of components are available, such as a DVD changer, a digital radio tuner, the Audi music interface for integrating a mobile player, a TV module, and the Bose surround sound system. The pinnacle of all sound systems is the 1,300-watt Advanced Sound System from Bang & Olufsen. Its 15 speakers, which include two acoustic lenses that extend from the instrument panel when the system is switched on, have elegant housings made of aluminum.
The optional Bluetooth car phone online connects the executive sedan to the Internet, in partnership with service provider Google. A UMTS module allows the car to retrieve news, weather, and travel information; it also pulls images and information from Google Earth up on the monitor and integrates them with the navigation route. A WLAN hotspot provides contact to mobile terminals on board. Drivers can make use of all these services with their mobile phone contract; the services are charged via the SIM card, which in many cases already has a flat-rate plan.
The MMI radio and CD drive are standard in the infotainment systems in the new Audi A6. Available options include the MMI radio plus, MMI navigation, and MMI navigation plus with MMI touch. The top-of-the-line version offers, among others, a 3D graphics chip for an elegant map display, a high-resolution eight-inch color monitor, a large hard disk, a convenient voice control system, and a Bluetooth interface.
The groundbreaking feature of MMI navigation plus is the touchpad – MMI touch. It allows the driver to perform a great many functions easily and intuitively, for example, writing the digits of telephone numbers and the letters of the navigation destination with a finger or scrolling lists and maps. The driver's eyes can stay on the road because the system acknowledges every input acoustically. MMI touch also recognizes the characters of Asian languages. When the driver is not using the touchpad to enter data, it turns into a radio keypad with six station buttons.
MMI navigation plus in the new Audi A6 is closely networked with the optional assistance and safety systems. Data from the route is utilized in the control units for the headlights, the automatic transmission, and the adaptive cruise control with stop & go function. This enables these systems to recognize complex scenarios and predictively assist the driver.
The Audi pre sense safety system is available in various versions. In many situations, it is able to minimize accidents and their consequences, or even prevent them altogether, by warning the driver and applying the brakes with increasing force to slow the sedan down in an emergency.
At the same time, the system closes the windows and the sunroof, tightens the seat belts, activates the hazard warning lights, and stiffens the dampers of the optional adaptive air suspension.
Audi pre sense front works closely with the adaptive cruise control with stop & go function. The radar-based distance control accelerates the new A6 and decelerates it within certain limits. The system uses the data from two radar sensors, a video camera and the ultrasonic sensors, incorporates navigation data, and analyzes a multitude of additional signals. With its precisely variable function, the range of use of the ACC stop & go extends from rolling in city traffic all the way to top speeds.
The new Audi active lane assist helps the driver keep the A6 on course with ease at speeds of 60 km/h (37.28 mph) and above. A camera detects the lines on the road; if the sedan crosses over one of them, the system guides it back by gently intervening in the steering.
The parking system, also new, takes over steering from the driver when parallel parking or parking perpendicular to the road. It detects suitable spaces and automatically guides the A6 into and back out of parallel parking spaces – in several moves, if necessary. Alternatively, Audi also offers conventional parking assistance with and without a reversing camera.
At speeds of 30 km/h (18.64 mph) and above, Audi side assist observes the area behind the sedan via radar, thereby ensuring it is safe to change lanes. The speed limit display detects important speed restrictions and shows them in the driver information system or on the optional head-up display. Night vision assistant works with a thermal-imaging camera. It projects its black-and-white images onto the display of the driver information system, highlighting any pedestrians it detects in front of the vehicle. If it anticipates a potential dangerous situation, it highlights the pedestrian in red.
A multitude of additional equipment is available on customer request. Special mention should be made here of the convenience key for keyless vehicle entry, the electric closing assist function for the doors, the comfort and sport seats, the insulating/acoustic glazing, the roller sunblinds for the rear of the vehicle, the four-zone deluxe automatic air conditioning system, the head-up display, the parking heater, the power-adjustable steering wheel, and the two ambient lighting packages. Xenon plus and LED headlights enable clear night vision.
Those who prefer an even sportier look can opt for an S line sport package, immersing the interior in an elegant shade of black. The package is combined with sport seats, a designated leather steering wheel, special inlays, sport suspension from quattro GmbH and 19-inch wheels. The S line exterior package provides the visual complement. The Audi exclusive range will offer a whole host of additional custom solutions.
Delivery of the new Audi A6 will being in early 2011. Its base price in Germany is 38,500 euros.