The new Audi A6 features the logical ergonomics concept that distinguishes all of the brand's models. A highly efficient automatic air conditioning system and the latest-generation MMI radio operating system are standard; Audi also offers an optional head-up display, which projects important information onto the windshield. The MMI touch operating system is also available as an option. This enables much of the hard-drive MMI navigation plus system to be controlled by means of a touchpad.
The online services, developed though a partnership between Audi and service provider Google, connect the full-sized sedan to the Internet via the Bluetooth car phone online. A UMTS module pulls images and information from Google Earth up on the monitor and integrates them with the navigation route. A WLAN hotspot provides contact to mobile terminals on board. The top of the hi-fi line is the Bang & Olufsen Advanced Sound System.
MMI navigation plus works closely together with the optional assistance and safety systems in the new A6. It forwards the route data to the control units for the headlights, the automatic transmission and the adaptive cruise control with stop & go function. This enables these systems to recognize complex scenarios and assist the driver. In many situations, the Audi pre sense safety system is able to reduce accidents and their consequences, or even prevent them altogether. The Audi active lane assist helps the driver keep the Audi A6 on course, and the park assist system relieves the driver of the chore of steering when parallel parking.
Audi offers the A6 with a choice of five powerful, highly efficient engines: two gasoline engines and three TDI units. These power plants develop between 130 kW (177 hp) and 220 kW (300 hp). All of these engines make use of important technologies from the brand's modular efficiency platform - the start-stop system, the energy recovery system, and the innovative thermal management concept.
Throughout the entire model line, fuel consumption in the Audi A6 has decreased by up to 19 percent compared to the previous model. In terms of consumption figures, the Audi A6 outperforms the competition.
The most powerful unit in the range is the 2.0 TDI. In conjunction with a manual transmission, it requires on average just 4.9 litres of fuel per 100 km (48.00 US mpg) and emits just 129 g CO2 per km (207.61 g/mile). The Audi A6 hybrid will be available from Audi at a later date. Serving up 180 kW (245 hp) of system performance, its 2.0 TFSI plus electric motor will achieve efficient and sporty acceleration with an average fuel consumption of only 6.2 litres per 100 km (37.94 US mpg) (provisional figure).
As was the case with the previous model, the new Audi A6 is also available with a wide range of drive trains. The choice, based on the engine version, will include a manual six-speed transmission, the continuously variable multitronic, and the brand-new, sporty S tronic. Each unit is precisely tuned and features a wide gear-ratio spread, thereby making a significant contribution to the sedan's efficiency.
Depending on the engine version, power is funneled via the gears to the front wheels or to the quattro permanent all-wheel drive, whose crown-gear center differential and torque-vectoring function achieve the ultimate traction, stability and dynamic response. For the top-of-the-line engines, Audi will offer an optional sport differential.
The chassis of the new A6 combines sporty precision with supreme comfort. Its links are made of aluminum; the redesigned power steering features a highly efficient electromechanical drive. The executive sedan has wheels ranging from 16 to 20 inches in diameter.
The Audi drive select dynamic handling system is standard, and the front-wheel-drive models have the sporty ESP with electronic limited-slip differential on board. For enhanced comfort, adaptive air suspension with controlled damping is available as an option. Dynamic steering will be available soon, also as an option.
Audi has created an intelligent combination of various materials, rendering the body of the new Audi A6 extremely light, safe, and stiff. Thanks to its composite steel-aluminum construction, the body weighs approximately 15 percent less than a conventional steel construction, earning the sedan with the four rings a top ranking among the competition. Providing 130 kW (177 hp) of power, the Audi A6 2.0 TDI tips the scales at just 1,575 kilograms (3,472.28 lb), not including the driver.
Aluminum components make up more than 20 percent of the body. The strut mounts at the front of the car are castings; the struts in the engine compartment and the crossmembers behind the bumpers are sections made of this lightweight material. All add-on parts, such as the front fenders, the engine hood, the rear hatch and the doors, but also the bulkhead and the crossmember in the luggage compartment, are made of aluminum panels.
High-end steels also play a key role in the new Audi A6. The best of these are the hot-shaped steels, which get their extreme tensile strength from a temperature increase during the shaping process. These steels are found in some areas of the passenger cell and at its transition to the front end of the car. In many areas, tailored blanks are used. These are panels of various thicknesses that are thicker and stronger in areas subjected to higher loads.
The new Audi A6 sedan is extraordinarily quiet. Thanks to a sophisticated aeroacoustics system and extensive insulation, the noise level in the interior remains very low even at high speeds on the highway. The excellent vibrational comfort is the result of painstaking tuning of all components, systematic hydraulic damping in the axle and drivetrain bearings, and the extremely stiff body.
The precision aerodynamic tuning, which also includes the paneled underfloor and the airflow through the engine compartment, translates to a drag coefficient (Cd) of 0.26 in the base version, an improvement compared with the predecessor. The frontal area of the new Audi A6 measures 2.3 m2 (24.76 ft2).
The headlights give the A6 a distinctive look. Featuring a shallow design that becomes wider toward the fenders, they shift the visual focus outward. A curved panel, or wing, gives structure to their interior, and the bottom edge forms an undulatory contour.
High-intensity halogen headlights are a standard feature on the new Audi A6. Xenon plus units that include new all-weather lights and an LED daytime running light strip are optionally available from Audi. Also available is the adaptive light function, which ensures just the right illumination in all driving conditions. Among its features is the floating headlight range control system, which detects other vehicles and localities with a camera and adapts its own light by swiveling the modules with soft transitions.
The headlight control unit works together with the optional MMI navigation plus system, from which it obtains route data in advance. Using navigation-based vehicle assistance, the system can activate the highway lights while the car is still on the on-ramp, for example, or turn on the cornering light even before the car reaches an intersection.
The new A6 can also be outfitted with all-LED headlights - a major technological innovation from Audi. The white light they emit is similar to daylight; at night, it is gentler on the eyes. The LED headlights are long-lasting, maintenance-free, and highly efficient; at low beam, each unit requires just 40 watts of power.
The high-performance LEDs for the low-beam and high-beam headlights produce striking graphics. The daytime running lights and turn signal, comprising a multitude of LEDs, appear as a homogeneous strip at the bottom edge of the headlight. The high-beam assistant switches automatically between the low and high beams. The cornering light, the all-weather lights and the highway lights round out the system.
The latest Audi A6 is 4.92 meters (16.14 ft) long and has a wheelbase of 2.91 meters (9.55 ft). Measuring 1.87 meters (6.14 ft) in width, it is only 1.46 meters (4.79 ft) tall. Compared to the previous model, it comes in a few millimeters shorter and lower; it width and, most notably, its wheelbase, however, have grown significantly. The harmonious proportions - the long engine hood, the short overhangs, and the sweeping roofline - embody a character of athletic elegance.
Painted a high-gloss black, the large, low single-frame grill featuring beveled upper corners merges neatly with the sculptured front end. The horizontal orientation of the louvers underscores the width of the latest Audi A6, as do the wide, low air intakes.
The interplay between soft surfaces and precise, hard lines dominates the side view of the new Audi A6. Typical for the brand, the sheet-metal body is roughly twice as tall as the greenhouse. The tornado line beneath the window edge runs across the entire flank; it forms a prominent shaded edge, lending strength to the body's shoulders. Above the side sills lies the dynamic line, taking a slight upward turn. A high-gloss package accentuates the area around the windows.
The elegant line ends in a prominent tail end with a subtle spoiler edge. The matt black diffuser insert envelopes the two large, round tailpipes for the exhaust system. As is always the case on an Audi, the surfaces at the tail end are three-dimensional in shape. The styling of the two-part tail lights also echoes the trapezoidal shape of the headlights at the rear of the car.
In combination with the xenon plus and LED headlights, Audi also offers tail lights with LED technology, giving a three-dimensional effect to their light pattern. The rear lighting system forms a visually continuous band in the form of a wide, U-shaped curve; the turn signal lights form a strip that runs across the upper edge of the unit. Incandescent lamps illuminate the back-up lights and the rear fog lights.
The optional S line exterior package gives the car an even sportier look, with more prominently featured bumpers, grills on the air intakes, and diffuser insert. The diffuser and the center edge of the front spoiler are painted gray; the fenders and the door sills sport S line badges. The sill panels stay the same color as the body.
Audi offers the new A6 in 12 paint finishes. The two solid colors are called Ibis White and Brilliant Black. The eight metallic hues bear the names Aviator Blue, Dakota Gray, Ice Silver, Havana Black, Moonlight Blue, Oolong Gray, Quartz Gray and - coming soon - Glacier White. The pearl-effect colors Phantom Black and Garnet Red round out the selection.