2013 A6 New Car Test Drive
Audi A6 is a luxurious midsize sports sedan that seats four people in comfort. The A6 lineup was completely redesigned for the 2012 model year, and a new high-performance S6 follows suit for the 2013 model year.
Also new for 2013: The 2013 Audi A6 2.0T is available with all-wheel drive. The 2013 Audi A6 3.0T comes with a top-view camera system and a fuel-saving start/stop system.
The A6 2.0T uses a turbocharged 2.0-liter inline-4 that makes 211 horsepower and 258 pound-feet of torque. It's paired with a continuously variable automatic transmission (CVT) and comes standard with front-wheel drive. Audi's Quattro all-wheel drive system with an 8-speed automatic transmission is optional on the 2013 A6 2.0T. Fuel economy for the A6 2.0T is very good, with an EPA-estimated 25/33 mpg City/Highway with the CVT and 20/30 mpg with the 8-speed automatic and Quattro.
The A6 3.0T is silky smooth, and fast. It gets 310 horsepower and 325 pound-feet of torque out of a supercharged 3.0-liter V6 that produces 310 hp and 325 lb.-ft. of torque. Quattro and the 8-speed automatic transmission are standard, as is Audi's stop/start technology, which turns the engine off during long idles to save fuel. Fuel economy is an EPA-estimated 18/27 mpg City/Highway. Premium gasoline is recommended.
After a one-year hiatus, a new 2013 Audi S6 returns on the same new chassis the A6 received for 2012. The high-performance S6 is Audi's answer to the BMW M5 and Mercedes-Benz E63 AMG. The Audi sits between the two in terms of sportiness, with the BMW suited more for the racetrack, and the Mercedes more of a luxurious cruiser.
Like the A6, the new S6 now has a longer wheelbase and is slightly shorter and wider. The new body is better balanced and more athletic. What differentiates the S6 from the A6 models is a more powerful engine, a sport-tuned adaptive air suspension, upgraded brakes and high-performance tires, as well as unique exterior and interior trim.
At the heart of the 2013 Audi S6 is a new twin-turbocharged 4.0-liter V8, which replaces the old naturally aspirated V10. The new powerplant cranks out 420 hp and 406 lb.-ft. of torque, and is paired with a dual-clutch 7-speed transmission. Quattro all-wheel drive is standard. Although the new engine in the S6 is slightly less powerful than its predecessor, the 2013 S6 is faster and more efficient than the last generation. Audi estimates the S6 can go from 0-60 mph in less than 4.8 seconds, a full second less than the old model. That's especially impressive, considering the new S6 is about 130 pounds heavier. EPA fuel economy estimates for the 2013 S6 are 17/27 mpg City/Highway, which is impressive considering the car's weight and performance.
A bevvy of electronic safety and convenience features are available on the A6 and S6, including lane departure warning, adaptive cruise control, pre-collision warning and night vision. There's even an option that can turn the vehicle's onboard wifi into a wireless hotspot for up to eight wireless-enabled devices.
It's hard to beat Audi's interiors, and the A6 is no exception. One arc flows gracefully into the next, on the dash and door panels, from vents to grab handles. On the 3.0T, the leather is grainy, wood is walnut, trim brushed aluminum. Leather interior on the S6 is quilted in a diamond pattern, and the instrument panel and doors can be trimmed in carbon fiber.
Competitors to the 2013 Audi A6 include the BMW 5 Series, Mercedes-Benz E-Class, and Jaguar XF. For the S6, buyers might consider the Jaguar XFR-S, BMW M5, and Mercedes-Benz E63 AMG.
The 2013 Audi A6 is available in three models: the 2.0T with a 211-horsepower 2.0-liter turbocharged engine, CVT and front-wheel drive; the 2.0T Quattro with the same engine plus 8-speed automatic and all-wheel drive; and the A6 3.0T Quattro with a 310-horsepower 3.0-liter supercharged V6, 8-speed automatic transmission and all-wheel drive. The 2013 Audi S6 is available in one variant, with a 420 hp 4.0-liter twin-turbocharged V8, seven-speed dual-clutch transmission and all-wheel-drive.
The A6 2.0T ($42,200) comes standard with three-zone air conditioning, leather interior, eight-way power front seats, a tilt-and-telescoping steering wheel with multi-function controls, 5-inch monochrome driver information display, Multi-Media Interface (MMI) with 6.5-inch screen, Bluetooth, a 10-speaker audio system with single CD player, satellite radio and USB port; folding rear seat with pass-through, power sunroof, automatic headlights and wipers, LED taillamps, and 17-inch alloy wheels. On 2.0T Quattro models ($44,400), heated seats are also included.
A Premium Plus package for the 2.0T ($4300) adds keyless ignition/entry, the Audi MMI interface with color display, navigation with real-time traffic and Google Earth, the Audi Connect in-car wireless Internet feature, an upgraded audio system with HD radio, CD changer and digital music storage; a rearview camera, front and rear parking sensors, auto-dimming outside mirrors, HID Xenon headlamps, LED running lights, and 18-inch wheels.
The A6 3.0T ($50,400) includes all the 2.0T equipment plus heated front seats and an automatic stop/start engine system. Options for the A6 3.0T include the same Premium Plus features found on the 2.0. A 3.0 Prestige package ($6,550) adds four-zone climate control, ventilated front seats, a power-adjustable steering wheel, ambient LED cabin lighting, a Bose audio system, adaptive headlights, special S-line badging, cornering lights and unique 18-inch wheels.
On certain trims, an innovation package includes a head-up display, night vision assist, adaptive cruise control, power-folding auto-dimming sideview mirrors, a top-view camera system with front and rear corner views, a blind-spot warning system, active lane assist, and Audi's Pre-Sense Plus pre-collision system (which activates the brakes and adjusts the front seats to protect occupants if a collision is imminent).
Other options include a Bang & Olufsen sound system, LED headlamps with daytime running lights, and a sport package with 20-inch wheels.
The S6 ($71,900) includes S6 sport seats with unique leather interior and diamond stitching, heated, 12-way power front seats with driver memory, four-zone climate control, a power tilt-and-telescoping sport steering wheel with multifunction controls, keyless entry/start, Homelink garage door opener, Bluetooth, the Audi MMI interface with navigation, the Audi Connect wifi service with 6-month subscription, a Bose audio system with satellite radio and iPod/USB connection, Xenon adaptive headlights and 19-inch alloy wheels with summer performance tires.
Safety equipment that comes standard includes six airbags in front, front side, and front/rear curtain; electronic stability control, anti-lock disc brakes, LATCH for children, and tire pressure monitor. Optional safety equipment includes Audi Side Assist, rear side-impact airbags, Adaptive Cruise Control, and all-wheel drive.