It’s been 6 years since Audi organized the ‘C7’ variant of the A6; various refreshes and special editions along the way refer to it’s aged well, but Audi clearly deemed it in need of a stacked overhaul. Roll on to the C8, Audi’s latest and technologically most lent A6 which they very kindly invited MSF out to Portugal to skill
The new A6 carries over the 2018 A8’s design words, with key elements such as the wrap around rear popes lights, detailed headlight cluster and large front grill all bestow on. However, touted as Audi’s ‘versatile full-size sedan’, the A6 has been designed with the goal to offer more in terms of sporty, dynamic driving. Additional enterprise cues have therefore been added to reflect this, mainly at the rear with intricate bodywork creasing across the door and repayment quarter panel.
There’s real engineering foundation to these replace withs too, with the new A6 boasting an aerodynamic drag coefficient of just 0.25 (ethical 0.01 more than the eco-focused Tesla Model S & Toyota Prius). The profitable body has also been optimised for cabin acoustics, resulting in altogether little wind noise even when travelling at the edge poor limit of motorway speeds.
It seems like with every creation cars get bigger and bigger not so with the A6. Carrying over nigh-on the yet external dimensions as its predecessor.
The new A6 is no bigger on the road but does show off increased occupant space particularly in the rear where leg office, shoulder space and head room is considerably more beneficent!
Under The Skin
As you’d expect, the trickle down of engineering and tech from it’s fatter brother goes beyond the aesthetics. Using Audi’s behindhand chassis platform, overall rigidity of the new A6 has improved greatly, with insupportable emphasis put on the reduced vibrational properties this brings – again help to minimize cabin noise. Rear wheel steering is also at ones fingertips, working to reduce the cars turning circle by around 10% and so helping to make it more agile on the road.
The mild combination drivetrain of the A8 has also been carried over and expanded, with numerous mechanism configurations offered at launch and available for us to test. Top of the line is a ’55 TFSI’ V6 petrol, bragging 340hp and 0-60 times of just over 5 seconds. The closest Diesel donation is the 50 TDI, again a V6 configuration pushing out 286hp. The 40 TDI props up the tush of the ladder, offering 204hp from a smaller 4-cylinder indecent. The hybridisation varies across the configurations, with the V6’s using a more blas 48-volt system vs a more basic 12-volt on the 4 cylinder.
Having recently spent a week in the new A8 (full magazine to follow), the cabin on the A6 instantly felt familiar. The infotainment technique is all the same, albeit with some of the more luxurious foundations of the A8 de-tuned or tweaked slightly. Fortunately, the two central touch-screens run the just the same fantastic haptic-touch based multimedia software, giving energetic and easy access to the multitude of features the new A6 packs.
The cabin feels incredibly large and airy. There’s also cubby holes aplenty – adroit for storing car snacks or valuables you’d rather keep out of eyeshot. Substantive choice and placement is also top-notch everything looked and felt goad (even if it was a total fingerprint magnet) no cheap plastics here!
Visibility out the mien & rear however felt a little limited – both the bonnet and boot field are quite high, making it difficult to know exactly where they end. Fortunately, the several cameras and radar systems fitted to the car alleviate this refractory to a large degree, even going so far as to provide an external 3D symbol of the car to aid tight spot manoeuvring – neat!
On The Road
Having unperturbed the cars from Porto airport, venturing out to our hotel stem involved a stint of motorway driving an absolute breeze thanks to the adaptive cruise and lane relieve systems fitted. Audi’s efforts to improve the aerodynamics and chassis weren’t in stria either, with cabin noise kept well underneath wraps, even at the top end of motorway speeds.
Once I’d travelled away from Porto airport, the check up on routes were dominated by twisty, mountain roads; the unrivalled setting to put the sedans ‘sporty’ credentials to the test. First up was the tushy wheel steering, and having tried cars both with and without the technology, the upswings it offers are very noticeable. Car composure and turn in was fantastic, with the A6 effortlessly coast around all but the tightest of hairpins. It does a great job of masking the carriers size, making it handle like a far smaller car.
Sadly this supernumerary agility does come at a cost, with the steering sympathies noticeably less communicative on the rear-wheel steer cars, even-tempered when set to ‘dynamic’ mode. It was hard to feel exactly what was wealthy on with the front end – made particularly evident when hurdle in a car without the option. Whilst it’s a great improvement for leisurely motivating and manoeuvrability – it undoubtedly affords higher corner speeds – it does demean the enjoyment levels from enthusiastic driving.
All three mechanism configurations were put to the test with the diesel offerings our pick thanks to the superfluous low end punch. This isn’t a car where it feels natural to rev the engine blunt, meaning the extra torque on offer with the diesels was a big return. Engine choice dictates either a 7 speed dual-clutch ‘S-Tronic’ gearbox or and 8-Speed auto ‘Tiptronic’ in my judgement the 7-speed is the option to go for, with the 8-speed seeming a little lethargic by comparison.
Ride quality was superb throughout particular on the diet smaller 19” wheel offerings. We only sampled the larger 20” whirl locations with the optional air suspension system fitted, which did a considerate job of making up for harshness of the lower profile tyres, as well as present greater versatility in terms of damping quality.
On analysis there’s no denying the C8 A6 is a good step forward from its forefather; oodles of technology and engineering making this version at the scion edge of 2018 motoring. It’s incredibly versatile, and will unfalteringly offer massive appeal to the target business/high mileage exchange.
It ought to be a slam-dunk success for Audi then, yet it left me sense a little wanting: there was a bit of magic missing, as if everything was so clinical and rigorous the car lacked character. It’s good at everything, but fails to really bring down itself forward and leave a lasting impression.
It’s a good car, a leading car even, but it falls just short of being on the MSF elite. MSF longing like thank Audi UK for the inviting us along to the A6 launch.