Douro Valley is probably one of the prettiest places in Europe, and provides an excellent background for testing the all-new fifth-generation Audi A6 sedan. On a business executive trip, Audi A6 has traditionally been a large volume model for Audi. But the last car was not in line with his expectations. So much is expected from the new. And I’m happy to report that Audi has delivered. The new Audi A6 in many ways is the Audi A8 baby; and being a downsizing version of a reliable ship is not necessarily a bad thing! The new Audi A6 is built on the VW Group MLB platform, or what it describes as a Modular Longitudinal Matrix. Uses multi-material steel and aluminum construction that gives 10 percent greater torsional rigidity, and 30 percent lateral stiffness.
2019 Audi A6 is built on the VW MLB platform
This car looks almost the same size as its predecessor, and does maintain the same footprint. But the size is a little on the inside – the cabin length rises 21 mm, the hind legs are 17 mm, and there is more headroom – 8 mm in front and 11 mm in the back. What also grows is a sense of luxury and luxury the cabin exudes. It’s better to be sure, but that is the use of complementary and contrast materials that really distinguish the interior of Audi A6. Especially so when you compare it with ordinary rivals – BMW 5 Series and Mercedes-Benz E-Class.
Use of complementary materials and contrast in 2019 Audi A6 makes it different from its competitors
But I will come to the cabin in more detail later. First words in the engine lineup. Audi introduces Audi A6 with a choice of 1 petrol and 3 diesel engines. Yes – three diesel engines! There are 55 TFSI – V6 gasoline with 333 bhp and 500 Nm of torque. India is likely to get this, as well as the smallest diesel – 40 TDI – 2 liters, 4 cylinders 200 bhp, 400 Nm motors. Other diesel uses the same 3-liter block – in various tones (228bhp, 282 bhp). The cars also get a lightweight-hybrid system as standard on the V6 and optional on 4-cylinder. This means the car has a small lithium-ion battery on the board (48 volts on V6, 12 volts on 4-cylinders) which stores recuperative energy. So, any regenerated power obtained by braking or in dynamic drive mode is stored to make the car run more efficiently, and also when it starts to stop. But more than that. When you drive a car in the Efficiency Mode, it will sometimes go through the battery and disconnect the engine. This can happen for only 40 seconds at most, at a certain time. So it’s like starting to stop – just when moving. This results in 0.7 liters of fuel savings for every 100 km driven. I am sure we will hear more about this system – because Audi / VW continues to hone it.
Audi introduces new 2019 Audi A6 with a choice of 1 petrol and 3 diesel engines.
I drive three variants – and yes make sure I cover two people who come to India (and that only happens next year). I started with a 2 liter diesel – a new engine for Audi A6. Audi has introduced a new 2-liter diesel with the current Q5 in 2016. But it has been reworked for Audi A6. And very different from the TDI 2.0 we got in the last car. Oh yes, it’s very different. The first thing that attacks you is the motor feels very smooth. It has a rough growl – but only when you push it hard. For the most part it’s smooth as silk, and I have to say it’s the best 4-cylinder diesel from Audi. This is mated to the 7-Speed S-tronic dual-clutch transmission with paddle shifters on wheels. The engine is amazing at torque and there is no lag. This will accelerate quickly, downshift faster, and respond when you need it. The engine response and construction of the car will give you a sense of driving a sedan that is far more compact – completely opposite to the last car that feels big on the road. You can always choose a 3 liter V6 diesel engine for greater power. But the 2.0 TDI does a very good job. Handling and driving are also a few steps in front of the car he replaced.
Handling and driver of new 2019 Audi A6 is a few steps in front of the car he replaced.
Audi A6 2019 has an ultra Quattro as a standard, and works effectively to give you the sense of control you expect from it. There is an optional 4-wheel-steering too, which makes control better. At higher speeds (more than 60 km / h) the rear wheels rotate with the front wheels, while at lower speeds they turn in the opposite direction. This helps cut the turn radius to 1 meter! Surely it will help with U-turn and parking situations – especially in India. Audi A6 has Drive Select of course with Efficiency, Comfort, Dynamic, Automatic, and Individual modes. That’s not new, and it’s quite clear isn’t it? What I like is when you enter dynamic mode, even though the throttle response, gear changes, and suspension stiffness change immediately, the steering remains relatively light.
Audi A6 2019 has Drive Select with Efficiency, Comfort, Dynamic, Auto, and Individual mode
That means – there is no excessive rigidity, and considering that it is a business sedan, not having to struggle with the wheels while maintaining a good sporty response I will think. Douro River is my friend when I push Audi A6 40 TDI through a narrow, winding road. The steel springs in my test car give me a great sense of certainty, while also providing the right level of dynamic handling. Of course the next air suspension I tried on Audi A6 55 TFSI is even better because it lowers the chassis in dynamic mode and lifts it comfortably so you increase the level of sportsmanship and bearing, respectively.
New 2019 Audi A6 looks sexier now and styling cues are borrowed from Audi A8
The TFSi engine is what you expect – very smooth, smooth and fast. Once again USP shines is how flexible the sedan feels, despite its weight and size. The engine is mature and will likely be a better option if you are not a driven driver – because it will give you a clear sense of power that 40 TDI might not. That said, diesel is likely to be a family mainstay in India, and probably also a much lower price because it might also drop some technological features or creature comforts – say lightweight hybrids, air suspensions, panoramic roofs, matrix LED lights and the like. 55 TFSI will have everything as a standard. But both cars will be the same in appearance and attractiveness, with a slight difference in style – except for the pattern and size of the wheels. But expect a lot of standards in both – after all, this car must face stiff competition from new E-Class, Series 5 and even Volvo S90.
Audi A6 2019 gets LED matrix headlights which consist of 32 LED units
The new Audi A6 looks more sexy now, and yes there are lots of styling cues from Audi A8 big sis. Even since new A5, Audi A8, Audi A7 and Audi A6 are now out, I feel Audi is bravely stepping out of the cookie cutter design strategy; finally! There are clear characteristics that tie them together as siblings though – muscular hoods, masculine wings and sharp folds that determine the character of the rear fenders. I expect a different interpretation of that to appear in an SUV too, soon – maybe the upcoming Q6 will show us the first time. But back to A6! His face is thick; the wide grille makes the car look confident and impressive. The headlamp is amazing, with sleek DRL (daytime running lights) and incredible layering usage. The matrix LED headlamp consists of 32 LED units, and is likely to be standard on Indian specifications.
Masculinity that appears on the car’s exterior styling is very good because it gives Audi A6 a definite attitude and so much presence. The taillights are the car’s signature – with sharp horizontal LED lines and short vertical lines below. Both are separated by chrome strips that move across the back of the boot lid and cut through both rear lights. So unlike A8 where the line connecting them is an LED, this is chrome. I would not say the design of the new taillights is so handsome because it is of typical blood. Boot itself is a cave with a wider opening now. The volume is 530 liters – bigger than before – and even though the Li-ion battery is stored below the floor. I was a little surprised by the artificial twin exhaust motif made in chrome just below the boot on the rear bumper. A Mercedes-Benz design style – which always uses the line to only suggest dual exhausts, Audi has taken it further by designing a very specific exhaust hole – fake ones! Well, I don’t think buyers will mind! Yes, I mean American, Chinese and Indian buyers in particular!
New 2019 Audi A6 will spoil the owner of the rear seat with a very comfortable bench
On the inside of Audi A6 will be truly impressive because the cabin has risen several levels not only in design, materials and gadgets, but most importantly – at convenience. The last car has a very awkward rear seat and new Audi A6 will spoil the owner of the rear seat with a very comfortable bench and seat back angle. Leather is standard – even in Europe – where competitors offer fabric seats in entry variants. Likewise the virtual cockpit – has become the Audi USP – which makes it Audi A6 now. The Virtual Cockpit is a rival who is desperate and openly trying to imitate, with good reason. The large screen display on the instrument is very sharp, and can be adjusted with larger or smaller calls, full screen navigation, and more. But the real x-factor comes from the twin touchscreen on the center console. A direct carryover from Audi A8, twin screen houses all infotainment and climate settings among them. Haptic feedback is what makes the operation of this screen cool, but I have to say – you need to look far from the road to get the right climate control settings – something you can do with a dial or switch by habit – without looking at it. But this is still very cool. The large dial button of the MMI system is lost, and so is the touchpad – the bottom screen can be used to provide written input for telephone navigation. The top screen is wider and provides a great interface – especially for connectivity options like Apple CarPlay or maps, etc.
New 2019 Audi A6 also comes with a virtual cockpit
Now I embrace new technology, because many of you will know. But the world of touch screens is not just getting used to the new system. It takes away from your eyes on the road, and so it needs to be fast supported with the voice prompted interface that I feel. For example you want to tweak the rear air conditioner settings, or activate air-inside circulation – you have to look down to find the right place on the screen to hit. On the button or system-based knob, you will get used to the feeling and not have to look down – manage most with a touch of feeling. The screen can never be as accurate and I’m busy hitting the wrong function. What I think is where the ‘getting used’ part has to enter! So let’s give this some time!.