NEW YORK CITY – Audi has chosen the New York Auto Show for the North American premiere of its luxury sedan, the A6, a first-class ride that comes with many of the technologies and innovative devices launched on the recent A8 and A7.
A more assertive look
The A6 now boasts a more distinctive and aerodynamic look characterized by a 0.24 drag coefficient and balanced proportions. The Singleframe hexagonal grille is both low and wide, the headlight clusters are sleeker and the front air inlets are more pronounced. Combined, all this makes for a sportier appearance.
A chrome strip runs across the rear, connecting the two taillights. The trunk still offers a volume of 530 litres, but a newly redesigned opening makes it easier to load. Plus, you can now pop the trunk by swiping your foot under the rear bumper.
A first-class cabin
The new 2019 Audi A6 is longer and wider than its predecessor, while its wheelbase is increased to provide more space for passengers. The real metamorphosis took place in the super-slick cabin where digital technology is king. There are two high-definition colour touchscreens—with acoustic and haptic feedback—used as the interface for the car’s various systems, as with the A8 and A7.
The 10.1-inch upper screen acts as the interface for the navigation, infotainment and communication functions, while the 8.6-inch lower screen controls heating and air conditioning, as well as the heated and ventilated seats. It can also be used as a tablet that lets you input an address for the navigation system or even a dial a phone number. The Audi virtual cockpit that replaces the traditional driver instrument panel is also present and accounted for.
Level 3 autonomous driving
Like the A8 and A7, the new A6 has all the necessary equipment for level 3 autonomous driving. With the driver’s acknowledgment, the vehicle can guide itself when cruising under 60 km/h on the highway. Right now, level 3 autonomous driving is only allowed in certain areas, but it’s expected that many countries will soon be updating their laws to allow it. Audi’s most recent vehicles (namely the A8, A7 and A6) are ready for this shift.
Mild hybrid technology
Several drivetrains are available for different markets, including one gas engine and three diesels. However, we expect that all A6 units sold in Canada will come with a turbocharged, 3.0-litre V6 with 340 horsepower and 368 lb.-ft. of torque. That’s the same mill found in the A7 and one of the A8 models available in our country. The V6 works in tandem with a 48-volt electric system and mild hybrid technology thanks to a belted alternator starter and a 10-Ah lithium-ion battery.
This combination improves fuel efficiency because it enables the vehicle to coast with the engine off between 55 and 160 km/h for up to 55 seconds, after which it restarts. The A6 comes with an advanced automatic stop/start and energy recovery system of up to 12 kW. Quattro all-wheel drive comes standard with the V6 engine, along with a dual-clutch seven-speed transmission, just like in the A7.
A more dynamic ride
The 2019 Audi A6 offers four suspension configurations: conventional steel spring, sport, damper control and adaptive air suspension. However, we still don’t know which of these will be available to Canadian buyers. The options menu also includes dynamic all-wheel steering, allowing the rear wheels to turn up to five degrees in the opposite direction of the front wheels for enhanced maneuverability in low-speed situations. This system can also rotate the rear wheels in the same direction as the front ones when we’re driving over 60 km/h. This makes the vehicle more stable during lane changes on the highway or quick side-to-side transitions.
The new eighth-generation A6 will make its European debut this summer before heading our way toward the end of 2018.