REVIEW | The Audi A6 Sedan – the quintessential business sedan

Audi A6 Sedan

Audi A6 Sedan

 

We recently test drive the Audi A6, which is more versatile than ever before, with end-to-end digitalization, enhanced comfort, more sportiness and technical, elegant design. The all-digital MMI touch response system provides intuitive operation and even more personalization. Priced at $340,800 including COE and VES, the Audi A6 3.0 TFSI quattro S tronic is now available at the Audi Centre Singapore.

 

MMI touch response operating system – intuitive and customizable 

Inside the car, two large displays replace most of the buttons and controls of the predecessor model. As such it is a prime example of the end-to-end digitalization which the new A6 brings to the business class. The all-digital operating system also supports a high degree of personalization. In the top display, the buttons for all functions can be placed freely, similar to the user experience with smartphone apps. In the bottom display, the user can create up to 27 individual shortcuts for the key vehicle functions and often used favorites such as phone numbers, radio stations or navigation destinations.

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The driver manages the infotainment on the top display, which has a 10.1-inch screen diagonal if MMI navigation plus has been specified. The bottom 8.6inch display, located in the console in the center tunnel, is used for the climate control, the convenience and vehicle functions as well as for text input; the driver’s wrist can sit comfortably on the selector lever of the transmission.

MMI navigation plus also includes the Audi virtual cockpit whose high-resolution display measures 12.3 inches. Operation is via the multifunction buttons on the steering wheel. There is also a head-up display which projects information relevant to the driver into the driver’s field of view on the windshield, for instance, a detailed junction map for the navigation.

Besides the MMI touch response operating system the A6 also offers the online voice control system. This allows a wide range of vehicle functions, such as controlling the air conditioning system, to be performed using everyday speech commands.

 

Smart business-class sedan

The A6 features a full range of navigation and infotainment offerings that make it a smart business-class sedan. With each profile, up to seven drivers can individually store around 400 preferred settings. The natural-language voice control responds to operating commands and questions on the basis of data stored onboard; also with detailed knowledge from the cloud in conjunction with the MMI navigation plus. With its extensive connectivity lineup, the new Audi A6 is always online. The data transfer module uses the new LTE Advanced standard. When it comes to navigation, the system offers many innovations, including a self-learning function based on the driven routes.

MMI navigation plus is even more compelling with the optional add-on modules, including a choice of two sound systems. The top-of-the-line version, the Bang & Olufsen Advanced Sound System, also delivers 3D sound to the rear courtesy of its height information.

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Driver assistance systems for more safety and comfort 

With up to 39 driver assistance systems the new A6 sets new standards in the premium class. It is thus the ideal choice for high-mileage drivers, fleet customers and commuters. The driver assistance systems with refined control mechanisms enhance convenience and additional support for drivers’ tasks.

Behind the extensive assistance systems lies a high-tech module from Audi: the central driver assistance controller (zFAS). It continuously calculates a detailed model of the environment from a fusion of sensor data. In the top-of-the-line version, the sensor set of the A6 includes up to five radar sensors, five cameras for visible light, an infrared camera for the night vision assist and twelve ultrasonic sensors.

 

Broad-based electrification – all engines electrified

To further enhance comfort and efficiency, all available engines in the new A6 are fitted with a mild hybrid system. This signifies that, after the A8 and the A7, Audi has now fully electrified a third model line. A belt alternator starter (BAS) works together with a lithium ion battery with 10 Ah capacity. In combination with the 3.0 TFSI six-cylinder engine, a 48V mild hybrid system is used. The A6 can coast between 55 and 160 km/h and the start-stop kicks in right from 22 km/h. During deceleration, the BAS recovers up to 12 kW of energy. In real-world driving, the mild hybrid technology based on 48V reduces fuel consumption by up to 0.7 liters per 100 kilometers.

 

Body and dimensions – more legroom in the business class

Long journeys are the domain of the new Audi A6. With a generous amount of space, many convenience features and minimal interior noise, the business-class sedan pampers driver and passengers alike. Its interior is even larger than on the outgoing model – the A6 beats the core competitors in important criteria such as legroom in the rear.

The A6 is perfectly equipped for long journeys with new convenience functions. The seats are all-new. Front sport seats are standard for Singapore. The top-of-the-line options include the customized contour front seats with numerous adjustment functions, optionally fitted with ventilation and massage function. The air quality package provides a subtle fragrance and improves the air with an ionizer. The optional panoramic glass sunroof floods the interior with light. The luggage compartment, with its capacity of 530 liters will accommodate two golf bags crosswise, while the trunk lid can be closed electrically with a kicking motion as an option.

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The low noise level of the A6 also makes it an ideal long-distance specialist. The body structure is a major factor in achieving this. Designed with a mixed steel and aluminium construction, the body is extremely rigid. It provides the basis for high torsional stiffness, minimal body movement and the sporty, precise handling. With a drag coefficient of 0.24 (with an engine to be released subsequently) the new Audi A6 cuts effortlessly through the wind. Thanks to its sophisticated aeroacoustics, including acoustic glass, it remains very quiet in the interior, even at high speeds.

 

Suspension technology for enhanced manoeuvrability and agility

Manoeuvrable in town, sporty on country roads, and poised and comfortable on the highway – the new Audi A6 handles even more dynamically than its predecessor model. The reason is the different suspension components – from the centralized control of all systems via control strategies, newly developed axles through to new features such as optional dynamic all-wheel steering.

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The standard progressive steering generally has a direct ratio, with the increasing steering angle it operates even more sportily. Its electromechanical power assistance transfers useful information to the driver yet eliminates unpleasant jolts. This provides a direct connection between steering wheel, wheels and road. As an option, Audi delivers the new A6 with the dynamic all-wheel steering. With this setup, the A6 handles more compactly than a midsize model and with greater maneuverability than any other model in the segment, despite its exterior length of almost five meters. The combination of a superimposed steering and a rear-axle steering thus resolves the classic conflict of objectives in the field of suspension. It combines direct steering response with unshakable stability. Depending on the speed, the overall ratio varies between 9.5:1 and 16.5:1.

 

In the front-axle steering, a strain wave gearing operates; at the rear axle a spindle drive turns the wheels up to 5 degrees – unrivaled in the segment. At speeds up to 60 km/h they turn in the opposite direction to the front wheels, thus reducing the turning circle by up to one meter. At high speeds from 60 km/h, the wheels turn in the same direction, thus increasing stability when traveling in a straight line or changing lanes. And in turn improving handling safety. At the same time, passengers enjoy enhanced comfort as steering movements when changing lanes are felt much less in the rear in particular.

 

The upgraded wheel suspension of the Audi A6 is made extensively from lightweight aluminium. Despite the larger wheels compared with the predecessor model – up to 21 inches with 255/35 size tires – the ride and noise comfort is top-class. Brakes with fixed calipers made from aluminium are fitted to the front axle. In Singapore, the Audi A6 3.0 TFSI quattro S tronic comes standard with suspension with damper control.

 

The electronic chassis platform (ECP) controls the dynamic all-wheel steering. The driver can adjust the settings in the Audi drive select dynamic handling system – in the modes comfort, auto and dynamic. The dynamic all-wheel steering varies its steering ratio and the degree of feedback, for example.

 

The powertrain – powerful and efficient

In Singapore, the Audi A6 is launched with the 3.0 TFSI quattro S tronic powertrain.

With the S tronic quattro, it uses ultra technology, which instantly activates rear-wheel drive as needed.

 

The exterior design – technical and elegant 

Like the A8 and the A7 Sportback, the new A6 is an expressive ambassador of the new Audi design language. With taut surfaces, sharply defined edges and striking lines, the business class sedan unmistakably conveys its character. It stands for sporty elegance, high tech and sophistication. The exterior stands out with balanced proportions and short overhangs, the dimensions of the eighth-generation Audi A6 have grown a few millimeters compared with its predecessor model line – by seven millimeters to 4.94 meters long, by twelve millimeters to 1.89 meters wide and by two millimeters to 1.46 meters high.

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The wide, low-slung Singleframe grille with chrome trim, the flat headlights and the powerfully contoured air inlets exude elegance and sportiness at the front. In the side view, the powerfully taut contours above the wheel arches are testimony to Audi’s quattro genes. The taut roofline flows into the steeply raked C-pillars. A chrome strip accentuates the rear and provides a link between the lights. The paint range includes a choice of 11 colors. The top-of-the-line S line exterior package comes standard in Singapore.

 

The lighting design – technology brought to life 

The lighting design emphasizes the technical character of the A6. Audi supplies the headlights in three versions, through to the HD Matrix LED technology being standard for Singapore with high-resolution, dynamically illuminating high beam. Five horizontal lines draw the daytime running light signature – above them are the dipped beam modules that look like pupils. The equipment with the top-of-the-line headlights and rear lights also includes the dynamic indicators; the lights stage the pulsing coming and leaving home functions when unlocking and locking the doors. The contour ambient lighting package is available for the interior. The ambient lighting makes the dashboard and the center console appear to float. The contour light also traces the lines of the architecture and the customer has a choice of 30 different colors for the interior lighting.

 

The interior design – futuristic and clean

On the sleek instrument panel of the new A6, a technical, futuristic black-panel design dominates which impressively combines form and function. The design language appears reduced and matter-of-fact; the horizontal lines create an airy sense of space. The center console and the two MMI touch response displays are angled slightly toward the driver. When switched off, the top display is incorporated almost invisibly into the dark decorative surface.

 

Colors and materials – a range of equipment for all tastes 

The wide range of colors and materials which Audi provides for the new A6 lend the interior design very different characteristics – from elegant through contemporary to sporty. Several interior trim lines are available with different color concepts, such as sport and the S line sport package with 20-inch wheels. All elements, from the open-pore wood trim to the upholstery in Valcona leather, attest to the uncompromisingly high Audi quality.

After driving the Audi A6 around Singapore for a few days, we are convinced of its technologies and features. Those looking for a large executive sedan in Singapore could open their horizons by considering the accomplished Audi A6. The Audi A6 is an excellent large luxury sedan from Germany with almost no shortcomings.

The new Audi A6 has a recommended retail price of $340,800 incl. COE and VES and is available at Audi Centre Singapore.

 

 

 

 

 

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