The latest from Neckarsulm Germany is the fifth generation A6 sedan, arriving in India the coming year and is set to take on all competition single-handedly.
The new 5th generation Audi A6 sedan impresses on several levels and leaves its predecessors shortcomings far behind. It arrives in India next year only and is expected to come with both diesel and petrol variants. The A6 has always been Audi’s business or executive flagship model, and great things are expected from each version that comes out every few years. Built on the Volkswagen AG’s Modular Longitudinal Matrix platform, the shell comprises of steel and aluminium fused to provide for higher torsion stiffness and lateral rigidity.
Exterior dimensions are the same as the preceding model, whereas the interiors have undergone some serious changes with slightly larger dimensions and increased space. The touch and feel of interior elements have a much higher bar on luxury and finesse, and the use of contrasting materials make the interior stand out beautifully.
Engine and Transmission
Power comes from four engine variants: a BS-VI 2 litre TFSI petrol producing 245 ps of power and 370 Nm of torque, and three types of diesel – 40 TDI 2-litre inline four-cylinder producing 200 bhp and 400 Nm, the existing 2-litre block in different tunings of 228 bhp and 282 bhp respectively. The petrol comes with a subtle hybrid aid which comes as an option on the four-cylinder diesel. The car gets a lithium-ion battery pack whose job is to store any regenerated power from braking or the dynamic drive mode. Being a hybrid, when driven in Efficiency mode, the car cruises on battery power and cuts the engine feed, though only for a maximum of forty seconds at a stretch saving about 700 grams of fuel every time.
Transmission is a 7-speed S-Tronic dual-clutch unit with paddle shifters behind the steering wheel. Quick acceleration, rapid up and downshifting, and pleasing responsiveness are the key attributes of this powertrain. Though one can go for the top of the line 2 litre TFSi petrol, the 2-litre TDi diesel will also be far from a disappointment. The ride and handling of 2020 A6 beat its predecessor hands down with no room for recovery.
Steering and Suspension
The car comes with the option of four-wheel steering, and Audi’s ultra Quattro feature comes as part of the package. At speeds exceeding sixty kilometres an hour, the rear wheels turn with the front ones and when going slower, they turn in the opposite direction, also reducing the turning radius of the car by one metre. The select drive feature allows the driver to toggle between Comfort, Dynamic, Auto and Efficiency modes. In all modes, be it aggressive power-driven ones or driving pleasure inclined, the steering is light, comfortable to command and very responsive. Since it’s an executive sedan, this feels very right, and even while toying with the extreme sportiness of its dynamic feature, the steering wheel is far from being a struggle.
When compared to the standard suspension on the 2 litres TDi, the unit on petrol is a game level above, where pneumatics handle the cushioning and adjust the ride height according to the selected driving mode. The petrol TFSi variant is smooth, refined and punchy, and will appeal slightly more to the driving enthusiast as opposed to the chauffeur-driven kind. However, as is with Germans, the diesel will be their primary offering in India with the price being dropped a little by eradication of a few extra features. Look and appeal is identical in both models, save for the wheel size and alloy design. The car challenges the likes of the new E-Class, the 5-Series and the S90.
With a lot of its styling cues inspired from the A8, the muscular hood, the bold flanks and sharp, well-defined character lines, a wide grille and the stunning headlamps with slim DRLS and thirty-two led units, make it look strikingly similar to the new generation stretch. The stance and presence are fortified by the whole masculine appeal of the A8’s design cues, and the sharp horizontal LED tail lamps to complete this strong identity.
Interiors are a pleasant blend of futuristic design and comfort. The rear bench has been entirely redone to make the passengers feel more at home and welcome. Draped in leather, they are designed and shaped to offer an empowering experience to those being driven around. The infotainment and control setup is called the Audi Virtual cockpit and is a manufacturer’s USP that most of their competition has been trying to draw inspiration from. The enormous interactive screen comes with the option of dial customisation, full-screen navigation, settings and haptic feedback. Apple Carplay and climate control and touch screen interface come standard as on the A8.
The car is expected to hit showrooms sometime in mid-2020 next year at an estimated price of INR 54.20 lakh and will be a worthy addition to the German automaker’s portfolio.