2019 Audi A6: Prestige Pack
Track driving fiends may continue to lament Audi's decision to shove their engine far over the front axle but for day to day driving the A6 has long been a favorite amongst its class. From Car & Driver to Consumer Reports this mid-sized luxury sedan is praised for its handling, rise quality, interior finish, and noise isolation. Audi takes luxury to mean sensory depravation for its passengers - casting away pothole bumps and jackhammer blasts as far out as $50,000 can take you. For the 2019 model year Audi is reiterating that experience with a new platform, new drivetrain, and a whole lot of new invisible technologies.
Quattro All The Time
Beginning.... now all Audi A6 models will come standard with Audi's Quattro all-wheel-drive. In fitting with Audi tradition, the Haldex unit favors front wheel drive for fuel economy before using a center-locking differential to quickly engage rear wheel power in slippery conditions. This also means active torque vectoring will mark a return to aid in handling. Active rear-axle steering, a first for the A6, is an available option - tightening its turn radius from 40 ft to 36.4 ft. And since the rear tires can turn independently from the front (up to 5 degrees) high speed stability is improved when all four tires point in the same direction.
For European markets where the A6 will launch first, Audi is offering two simple engine choices. The first is a petrol powered 3.0-liter turbocharged V-6 producing 340 horsepower and 368 lb-ft of torque. An engine strong enough for an effortless stride from zero-to-100 kmh in 5.1 seconds with a 155 mph limited top speed. A clear replacement for the old supercharged 3.0-liter TFSI. The second engine is a diesel 3.0-liter TDI making 286 horsepower and 457 lb-ft of torque. A unit more powerful than any previous single-turbo diesels offered on the A6, but not quite as strong as their twin-turbo model. These two engines are also the only two powertrain choices for the latest Audi A7 and Audi A8 saloons, but since the A6 is smaller and lighter its straight line performance surpasses its more luxurious siblings.
Diesel engines are paired with a 7-speed S tronic automatic transmission while petrol models use an 8-speed tiptronic, and both are privy to Audi's 48-volt mild-hybrid technology. That's right; even the midpack A6 will be using a belt-alternator-starter powered by a lithium-ion battery for a more usable range of engine start/stop conditions. The A6 can now shut off its engine when coasting to a stop as soon as it hits 13 mph, and regenerate energy while braking or rolling off-throttle when between 34-99 mph. A6 models may also use front facing sensors to determine when it's best to stop firing its pistons. But while the powertrain choices are simple the suspension choices are not. Audi offers four different ways to cope with corners and curbs; conventional steel spring, sport spring with 10mm ride height drop, electrically controlled damping, and self-leveling air suspension. We say if you don't know which one to pick you should wait until a review has driven all four back to back.
Body by Audi
Besides the new singleframe grille and redesigned lights the A6 is more aerodynamic, more rigid, and more light than the outgoing model. Audi stretched its length by 7mm, width by 12mm, and height by 2mm. Compared to the latest Mercedes E-Class sedan the A6 is 16mm longer, 34mm wider, and 9mm taller. The extra dimensional weight is offset by aluminum doors, fenders, hood, and trunk. And that extra space is used to enlarge the interior cabin for added headroom, shoulder room, and legroom. Rear storage remains the same at 18.7 cu-ft (530 liter) as the rear end is used to house both the 12-volt and 48-volt batteries but the opening is wider and it can be opened with a kick under the tailgate. The fact that the A6 looks like a slightly uglier version of the pretty-looking A7 is not a coincidence.
Screens, screens they make you....
Taking a step inside the A6 reveals a carbon copy of the new A7 cabin. The center stack is home to a 10.1-inch touchscreen supporting gesture control, drag and drop functions, haptic feedback, and many of the car's multimedia settings. Underneath is an 8.6-inch touchscreen used for climate control. And in front of the driver seat you'll see a 12.3-inch fully digital gauge cluster. Option the A6 with a tech package and a full color head-up display is projected onto the windscreen. Option the A6 with another package and the windscreen will be heated.
Audi is putting a lot of eggs into their multimedia basket where drivers can assign shortcuts, define over 400 parameters, and save them into seven different driver profiles. Navigation is standard on A6 models across the board while an upgrade to navigation plus will cost extra up-front and on a monthly basis (For Audi Connect). Navigation plus adds data transfer through LTE Advanced protocols, self-learning driving route guidance, car-to-X traffic sign and hazard information, and street parking search. If you spend a little bit more you can order the A6 with Audi Connect Key enabling the car to be locked, unlocked, or started with a smartphone using NFC (Near field communication). Android Auto and Apple Carplay support will likely be included.
The best features come in optional packages that can add up to 5 cameras, 5 radars, 12 ultrasonic sensors, and a laser scanner for driver assistance. These packs include the City assist pack (Adding cross assist), Tour assist pack (With lane keep assist and efficiency assist), and Park assist. Park assist consists of garage pilot and parking pilot. A set of technologies that enables the A6 to remotely park itself inside a garage or on the street without needing a driver to sit inside. It's controllable on a smartphone as long as the controller holds down one button.
Additional available luxuries include panoramic sunroof, vented and massage capable front seats, air ionizer filter, cabin fragrance system, Bang & Olufsen sound system, Valcona leather, interior ambient lighting, contour (customizable) ambient lighting, single-line tail lights (With dynamic indicators and lock/unlock animations), and HD Matrix LED headlights. Wheel sizes range from 19- to 21-inch with 255/35 section at the largest. German deliveries are expected June 2018 with a 58,050 euro starting price. Other markets will receive price and availability at a later date.