New A6 faithful to Audi brand


IF BMW AND Mercedes have taken relatively bold steps with the design of late, Audi has remained resolutely sober with its new A6, the first official details of which are revealed today.

You need to look very closely to see where the nips and tucks are and those who thought Audi – having had an extra year on its closest competitors in terms of launch time – might have gone for adventure will be disappointed.

That said, the A6 has a commanding presence. Think of the A8 and Q7 and you have a good idea of how this car has evolved. The shot lines that give a triangular slope to the new narrower grille; the view from a side angle that shows a little more muscle in the front wings; the revamped rear; the elongated front LCD headlights; the wider rear screen and the sloping roofline all give the car a look of strength and performance, without adding up to a statement of revolution.

“It’s a typical Audi and that’s what we set out to achieve,” says the head of A6 exterior design, Achim Badstuebebner.

The car is expected here next spring with no indication yet of price. The body will be a lot lighter with more rigidity and Audi seems to be reserving whatever surprises it has to achieve a driving experience to match BMW in particular.

There will be a choice of five engines, three diesel and two petrol, but the greatest appeal is in the 2.0 litre diesel TDI, also the most powerful. The manual version will be capable of a claimed 4.9 litres of fuel per 100km – anything approaching this will be a significant achievement. A hybrid version is also planned.

One area that has received a lot of attention is the interior. It is very spacious and comfortable. The dashboard area, in an arc from driver to passenger door, is both elegant and functional. Instrumentation is also impressive.

Space in the rear, despite the sloping roofline, is also impressive – but with the front seat moved back to accommodate a taller person, legroom is restricted. The boot is about the same size as the previous model.

The A6 will need closer examination before it can really be compared to rivals. One suspects the real identity of the car will relate to what has yet to be revealed.