2019 Audi A6 First Drive: Redesigned from the inside out | review

If you were expecting a bold new Audi A6, well, you didn’t really notice. Audi’s styling approach has lately been as conservative as Austria’s, and as with recent restylings of everything from the TT to the A8, this new model looks more like its predecessor than it is different. Yes, this mid-length sausage sedan has some new wrinkles and bulges on its fenders, but its evolution is as predictable as a Swiss watch. Pick up a little here and tuck there and you’ll have a car that, despite the new MLB Evo platform shared with the A7 and A8, is half an inch short of the old-fashioned in every dimension. Ingolstadt hasn’t made any really bold moves since the original R8 over a decade ago, and in any case, the place to do so isn’t a prime demographic is German bankers.

Six is ​​the first

American bankers – or only Americans who have a bank – will be customers, too, which is why Audi is releasing its first ever V-6-powered A6. This is the same 3.0L engine from The new A7 and A8, generate 335 horsepower and 369 pound-feet of torque thanks to a single turbocharger located in the cylinder valley in a hot V-setting. Alternator belt starter with 48V battery under the trunk floor enables the engine start/stop system , as well as allowing the aerodynamics function that improves the mileage that has been omitted from US market cars. As in the A7, the only transmission will be Audi’s seven-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission, which sends power to all four wheels using the latest version of the Audi Quattro Ultra all-wheel drive system that electronically separates the shaft under light loads to improve it. efficacy.

the factorycar and driver

Efficiency, however, is more important for the lower A6 models, as is the inevitable version with VW’s corporate-specific 2.0-liter turbo and four under the hood. This, V-6, is for people who like to bend their right ankle. The engine is the most exciting thing about a new car – as it should be – it delivers instant thrust thanks to a torque curve that’s more of a flat line once the throttle is broken. It’s eager to spin through its powerband, and the dual-clutch gearbox picks up shifts like a drummer plays the rims. The turbocharged engine may lack some of the traits of the supercharged V-6 it’s replacing, particularly in the A6, where the exhaust sound is completely choked off, but it shames the old engine in terms of power and agility.

We can’t say the same about the new chassis. While we’ll reserve judgment until we can actually drive an American-spec A6 on American roads, our brief experience with a European car in Portugal revealed a somewhat rough ride and the same kind of light and over-steering that feels endemic to an Audi. All A6 models use multi-link front and rear suspension, and cars sold in the US will have steel springs and electronically adaptive dampers, with an optional sport suspension lowering the car by 0.8 inches. The Drive Select system familiar from Audi varies the shock valves, steering response and transmission shift points with five settings: Efficiency, Comfort, Automatic, Dynamic and Individual. None of them helped improve steering feedback, which was minimal, although our test car wore high-performance summer rubber on 20-inch wheels instead of the all-season 18 or 19-inch tires we’d expect to see as standard in the U.S. United Models. Europeans will be able to order the A6 with air springs and four-wheel steering, but Americans wanting to get those handsets will need to upgrade to the upcoming S6.

Super Fly MMI

The real attraction for most A6 buyers is likely to be a different type of hardware, namely the new infotainment system that has revolutionized the interior design. While the Audi Virtual Cockpit’s digital instrument cluster isn’t very sophisticated anymore — you can get the same on the $25,000 Volkswagen Jetta — it makes its debut in the A6, along with the new touchscreen MMI system that’s been updated. Introducing it in the new A8. The touchscreen replaces nearly every hard button and knob—the old MMI setup had a few—with two touch screens for haptic feedback. We found the touchscreen performed well but not perfect, although with a little practice we expect we’d be better off ‘turning on’ finger taps.

the factorycar and driver

The lower 8.6-inch screen displays the HVAC controls or switches to a giant version of the touch-sensitive writing pad that Audi introduced years ago. The 10.1-inch top screen contains most of the other functions like navigation and sound, and it can be reconfigured in a number of ways, including a particularly useful customization of the five-tile sidebar on the left side of the screen. Up to seven drivers can save separate profiles for preferences and settings.

The system is compatible with both Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, although we had to restart our Android phone to force it to connect, and the screen mirrored on the Audi screen appeared dotted, clearly inferior to the in-car system graphics. MMI also allows owners to program shortcuts – to radio stations, navigation destinations or phone contacts – that appear in turns on the bottom screen. Overall, the system is intuitive and impressive, but its menus can be deep. Audi forbids changing most settings while the car is in motion – including the audio system settings – the only glaring flaw we could find in our brief test. Fortunately, the volume knob survived.

the factorycar and driver

So, too, the A6 has a traditionally high level of interior finishes, with wood inserts and smooth leather that deliver on the new car’s promise of luxury. The design of the dashboard can take some getting used to, as the large areas of black plastic, piano and metallic trim that frame the touchscreens deviate from the minimalism typical of Audi. (Remember, this is a company that uses navigation screens that retract to dashboards on some models.)

Since Audi has yet to have its US market orderbook ready before the A6 debuts this fall, we’re left to speculate on the features from the European market cars we’ll see here, from driver assistance systems to remote self-parking to the “always online” navigation system that uses Cloud data to inform the vehicle. This applies to pricing as well. Regardless of the final specs, the new A6’s bones – whether those under the hood or under the dashboard – are impressive, even if you have to park the old car next to it to get a feel of its new look.

to specify

to specify:

Vehicle Type: Front engine, 4WD, 5-passenger, 4-door sedan

base price (grandfather EST): 60 thousand dollars

Engine type: Turbocharger and intercooler DOHC 24 valve Miller V-6, aluminum block and heads, direct fuel injection

displacement: 183 cubic inches, 2995 cubic centimeters
Energy: 335 HP @ 6400 RPM
torque: 369 lb-ft @ 1370 rpm

transition: 7-speed dual-clutch automatic with manual transmission mode

wheelbase: 115.1 inches
Length: 194.4 inches
an offer: 74.3 inches Height: 57.4 inches
trunk size: 19 cubic feet
curb weight (grandfather EST): 3900 lbs

performance (grandfather EST):
Zero to 60 mph: 4.4 seconds
0 to 100 mph: 11.1 seconds
Standing ¼ mile: 13.0 seconds
Top speed: 130 mph

fuel economy (EPA) (grandfather EST):
Pool/city/highway: 24/21/30 mpg

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