The new Audi A6
26th December, 2010
The new A6 will arrive at European dealerships in
early 2011 and during H2 in Australia. The new executive sedan features solutions in many areas of
technology. An intelligent combination of materials renders the body unusually light; operation is
easy, despite a wealth of functionality; and the range of assistance and multimedia systems is
For Europe, the new A6 starts with five powerplants generating between 130 kW (177 hp) and 220 kW
(300 hp) of output: two petrol engines and three TDI units. A number of drivetrain options are also
available. The Audi drive select dynamic handling system for all TFSI and TDI versions has been
expanded to include an additional mode – the “efficiency” programme.
Audi has devised an intelligent combination of various materials, rendering the body of the new
Audi A6 extremely light, safe, and stiff. Thanks to its composite steel-aluminium construction, the
body weighs approximately 15 per cent less than a conventional steel construction. Providing 130 kW
(177 hp) of power, the A6 2.0 TDI tips the scales at just 1,575 kilogrammes (3,472.28 lb), not
including the driver.
Aluminium components make up more than 20 per cent 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 mudguards, the
engine bonnet, the boot lid and the doors, but also the bulkhead and the crossmember in the luggage
compartment, are made of aluminium 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 said to be quiet. Thanks to an aeroacoustics system and extensive
insulation, the noise level in the interior remains low even at high speeds on the highway. The
vibrational comfort is the result of the tuning of all components, systematic hydraulic damping in
the axle and drivetrain bearings, and the stiff body.
The 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
The headlights give the A6 a distinctive look. Featuring a shallow design that becomes wider
toward the mudguards, they shift the visual focus outward.
High-intensity halogen headlights are a standard feature on the new 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 metres (16.14 ft) long and has a wheelbase of 2.91 metres (9.55 ft).
Measuring 1.87 metres (6.14 ft) in width, it is only 1.46 metres (4.79 ft) tall. Compared to the
previous model, it comes in a few millimetres shorter and lower; its width and, most notably, its
wheelbase, however, have grown significantly. The harmonious proportions – the long engine bonnet,
the short overhangs, and the sweeping roofline – embody a look of 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 louvres underscores
the width of the latest 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 centre edge
of the front spoiler are painted grey; the guards and the door sills sport S line badges. The sill
panels stay the same colour as the body.
Audi offers the new A6 in 12 paint finishes. The two solid colours are called Ibis White and
Brilliant Black. The eight metallic hues bear the names Aviator Blue, Dakota Grey, Ice Silver,
Havana Black, Moonlight Blue, Oolong Grey, Quartz Grey and – coming soon – Glacier White. The
pearl-effect colours Phantom Black and Garnet Red round out the selection.
The new Audi A6 welcomes passengers in its interior with an ambiance of airiness and roominess;
the quality of the exterior is echoed in the interior lines. The wrap-around inlay defines the
cockpit area, beginning at the driver’s door and running in one large arc beneath the windshield,
then all the way to the front passenger’s door. Curved around the driver’s seat, the dash panel
with its high-precision trim strip rounds out the taut-line concept. Every detail in the interior
has been executed with attention and care, on par with handcrafted quality. Take, for example, the
aluminum-look control knobs, which click and engage perfectly. Merely a few tenths of a millimetre
wide, the gaps run exactly parallel. The shift gate and the start-stop button feature subtle red
backlighting. The optional ambient lighting and lighting package emphasise the lounge atmosphere.
The front seats in the new A6 provide excellent support and guidance for the body. Audi can also
install the optional comfort seats, which can be adjusted in 18 different ways. These seats can be
equipped with optional, luxurious air-conditioning and massage functions, featuring ten air
cushions and five programmes to pamper the back. Sport seats with accentuated side bolsters and an
extendable thigh support mechanism are available as an alternative. The seats at the rear of the
executive sedan offer ample room for feet, knees, elbows, and heads, with continuously adjustable
doors that make getting in easy. As part of the front comfort seating option, Audi can install two
individual contoured seats in the rear compartment, but without sacrificing the third seat. Large,
practical storage compartments are available at all of the seats, and a special storage package is
available as an option. The seats are upholstered in cloth as standard, with two types of leather
and an Alcantara/leather combination available as options. The colours for the seat upholstery are
black, goa beige, nougat brown, titanium grey, and velvet beige. Black, grey, brown, and beige
hues are available for the interior, and the roof lining comes in black, silver, and beige.
In addition to the standard trims in Micrometallic platinum, the inlays are also available in
an aluminium version. The inlays also feature wood veneers made of ash and walnut. In the future,
Audi will also offer a new, exceptionally attractive alternative – a veneer made of layered oak
The new Audi A6 offers a whole host of functions, all of which can be controlled effortlessly
owing to the brand’s logical ergonomics concept. The latest-generation MMI radio operating system
is standard; its terminal is situated on the wide centre tunnel, where there is ample space
thanks to the electromechanical handbrake. When the system starts up, the central on-board monitor
with its high-gloss black frame extends from the instrument panel in an elegant movement; it
measures 6.5 or 8 inches in diagonal, depending on the version.
The optional seven-inch driver information system (DIS) sits between the two large dial
instruments. It is controlled by means of the multifunction steering wheel, which, like the DIS
itself, is available in a number of versions. Among the system’s standard features is the on-board
computer featuring an efficiency program. The on-board computer provides a gear-change indicator,
offers tips for fuel-efficient driving, and displays the current energy requirements of on-board
A high-efficiency two-zone automatic air conditioning system comes standard in the new Audi A6.
One of the most attractive options is the newly developed head-up display, which projects
important information onto the windshield. The coloured digits and symbols appear to float at a
distance of approximately 2.5 metres (8.20 ft), allowing for optimal readability. Drivers can
customise the display for specific information.
The luggage compartment, lined with high-quality carpeting, has a capacity of 530 litres (18.72
cubic ft). The rear seat backs can be folded down as an optional feature, a feature that is
standard with comfort seats. For the tailgate, Audi offers an optional electric drive that can
also be operated with the convenience key. Also available are a load-through hatch complete with
ski bag, as well as a reversible mat.
Audi is launching the A6 in Europe with a choice of powerful, sophisticated, and highly efficient
four- and six-cylinder powerplants: two petrol engines and three TDI units. They have outputs ranging
from 130 kW (177 hp) to 220 kW (300 hp). They obtain their fuel through direct injection; the 3.0
TFSI employs a supercharger to achieve boost, and the 2.0 TFSI and TDI operate with turbochargers.
Each of these engines makes use of technologies from the Audi modular efficiency platform. Much
effort has gone into optimising these engines, particularly with regard to internal friction, in
keeping with the brand’s innovative thermal management system. Each of the units operates with an
energy recovery system combined with a start-stop system, irrespective of the type of transmission
Throughout the entire model line, fuel consumption in the A6 has decreased by up to 19 per cent
compared with the previous models – even as its performance has increased. The 2.0 TDI requires on
average just 4.9 litres of fuel per 100 km (48.00 US mpg) and emits only 129 g CO2 per km (207.61
The naturally aspirated 2.8 FSI is also equipped with AVS; in this case, it acts on the intake
valves. The throttle can usually remain open, allowing the V6 to breathe freely. It has an output
of 150 kW (204 hp) and achieves 280 Nm (206.52 lb-ft) of torque in the speed range of 5,250 to
6,500 rpm. Key data (with multitronic): 0-100 km/h (0-62.14 mph) in 7.7 seconds; top speed 240 km/h
(149.13 mph); consumption in the EU cycle 7.4 litres per 100 km, 172 g CO2 per km. This represents
an improvement of 12 per cent, despite the fact that the predecessor delivered 10 kW (14 hp) less.
The most powerful petrol engine in the A6 family is the 3.0 TFSI; its mechanical charger is
situated in the 90-degree V formed by the cylinder banks. The V6 delivers 220 kW (300 hp) of power
and 440 Nm (324.53 lb-ft) of torque, the latter at 2,900 to 4,500 rpm. It consumes on average 8.2
litres per 100 km (26.68 US mpg) and emits 190 g CO2 per km (305.78 g/mile) – an advance of 13 per
cent over the previous model, which produced 213 kW (290 hp).
The most efficient engine in the new A6 is the redeveloped 2.0 TDI. This four-cylinder unit
develops 130 kW (177 hp). Its 380 Nm (280.27 lb-ft) of torque stand at the ready between 1,750 and
2,500 rpm. In conjunction with a manual transmission, it propels the Audi A6 from zero to 100 km/h
(62.14 mph) in 8.7 seconds, then on to a top speed of 228 km/h (141.67 mph). In the EU cycle, it
requires just 4.9 litres per 100 km (48.00 US mpg) and emits only 129 g CO2 per km (207.61 g/mile).
That is a 13 per cent decrease in fuel consumption.
The newly developed 3.0 TDI is represented with two versions in the A6 family. Both stand out
for their low weight, minimal internal friction, ultra high-precision tuning of the auxiliary units,
and a highly sophisticated thermal management system that provides separate coolant circuits for the
crankcase and cylinder heads.
In the first version, the V6 diesel generates 150 kW (204 hp) and applies 400 Nm (295.02 lb-ft)
of torque in the low range of 1,250 to 3,500 rpm. Paired with a multitronic transmission, it
accelerates the A6 to 100 km/h (62.14 mph) in 7.2 seconds and achieves a top speed of 240 km/h
(149.13 mph). Its average consumption is a mere 5.2 litres per 100 km, a CO2 emissions level of 137
g per km (220.48 g/mile). Compared with the 140 kW (190 hp) predecessor, this represents an advance
of 19 per cent.
The top-of-the-line version of the 3.0 TDI delivers 180 kW (245 hp), providing 500 Nm (368.78
lb-ft) of torque between 1,400 and 3,250 revolutions. The standard sprint takes just 6.1 seconds,
and top speed is limited to 250 km/h (155.34 mph). On average, this top-performing diesel powerplant
uses just 6.0 litres of fuel per 100 km and emits 158 g CO2 per km. As such it outperforms the
previous engine, which achieved 176 kW (240 hp), by 16 per cent.
As was the case with the previous model, the new A6 is also available with a wide range of
drivetrains. Depending on the engine version, these include front-wheel drive and quattro drive, the
manual six-speed transmission, the continuously variable multitronic, and the seven-speed S tronic –
the lightning fast dual-clutch transmission is a new addition to the large series. Audi offers
optional shift paddles. The transmissions are a major factor in the efficiency of the new A6. They
stand out due to their low internal friction and high efficiency; with their wide gear-ratio spread,
they are high geared for high speeds. The automatic transmissions have access to predictive route
data from the navigation systems and are integrated into the engine’s thermal management system. The
differential is in front of the clutch and immediately behind the engine. Accordingly, the front axle
on the A6 is positioned farther forward, making for a long wheelbase and a harmonious axle load
distribution. The four-cylinder TDI transfers its power to the front wheels. It is fitted as standard
with a manual transmission or, alternatively, with the multitronic. These transmissions are also
available for the front-wheel-drive version of the 2.8 FSI. The manual transmission will also be
available soon after for the 150 kW (204 hp) 3.0 TDI. The FSI petrol engine can also be coupled with
quattro permanent all-wheel drive and the S tronic. The 3.0 TFSI and the 180 kW (245 hp) 3.0 TDI come
with a standard all-wheel drive, always in combination with the S tronic.
All quattro versions of the new A6 implement the latest development stage of the permanent
all-wheel drive with the crown-gear centre differential. This system distributes power in an
especially flexible, dynamic manner, while also featuring a compact, lightweight construction. The
basic ratio of power distribution between the front and rear axle is 40:60 – a sporty, rear-biased
characteristic. The new quattro drivetrain features the integrated torque-vectoring function, which
recognises when the inside wheels are about to lose their grip during fast cornering. Before this
can happen, it brakes the wheel very slightly – almost imperceptibly – making the handling even more
fluid and traction even stronger. Rounding off the top-of-the-line version, Audi offers the optional
sport differential, which actively distributes the power between the rear wheels.
The chassis of the new Audi A6 combines sporty precision with supreme comfort. The wheel control
arms and many other components are made of lightweight aluminum. Each of the front wheels is guided
by five control arms, with self-tracking trapezoidal-link suspension operating at the rear.
The standard alloy wheels are 16 or 17 inches in diameter, depending on the engine version. Audi
and quattro GmbH offer wheels with up to 20-inch rims as an option. Tyre formats ranging from 225/60
to 265/35. A tyre-pressure monitor display is standard, and certain tyres can be optionally equipped
with emergency running properties.
The four disc brakes – internally ventilated at the front – are generously sized and powerful.
The brake light operates on an adaptive principle; when the brakes are fully applied, it warns the
traffic behind by pulsating rapidly.
The redesigned power steering has an electromechanical drive that operates in a highly efficient
manner. The degree of support it provides is based on the speed. With a ratio of 16.1:1, the steering
is sporty and direct, providing precise feedback from the road. It cooperates closely with the
optional Audi active lane assist system and also proves useful with braking when the car has traction
on only one side: The steering impulses it gives in this case make it easier for the driver to steer
in the right direction.
Audi has equipped the new A6 with steel springs that ensure a high level of ride comfort. Sport
suspension as well as S line sport suspension from quattro GmbH are alternative options. Air
suspension with four electronically controlled shock absorbers is also optionally available. The
adaptive air suspension has been redesigned, with spring struts up front and separate air springs
and dampers in the back. The system sets the ride height of the body to one of three levels. On the
highway, it lowers the body, increasing stability and decreasing fuel consumption.
All front-wheel drive models of the A6 have the ESP electronic stabilisation programme with
electronic limited-slip differential on board. This software solution operates much like the
torque-vectoring function in the quattro train; however, it focuses its light brake applications
solely on the inside front wheel. This braking action ensures that the sedan remains neutral longer
during fast cornering, practically eliminating understeering, improving grip, and making handling
Among the high-end solutions in the new A6 is the Audi drive select dynamic handling system. In
its standard version, it controls the engine management, power steering, and the automatic air
conditioning system. The driver can vary the function of these components between the five modes
“comfort,” “auto,” “dynamic,” “individual,” and “efficiency.” For all TFSI and TDI models, the
“efficiency” operating level supports a driving style that provides for optimum fuel consumption by
customising the characteristics of various vehicle systems.
A6 customers can expand the system to include the automatic transmission, adaptive air suspension,
ACC with stop & go function, adaptive lights, and ambient lighting options. Soon to come are the
sport differential and dynamic steering, which varies its ratio according to the speed at which the
car is traveling.
Equipment and trim
The new Audi A6 will arrive at dealerships with an array of standard equipment, including the
Audi pre-sense basic system, alloy wheels, the high-efficiency two-zone automatic air conditioning
system, the front centre armrest, the engine start-stop button, the tyre pressure monitoring system,
the adaptive brake light, the MMI radio complete with 6.5-inch monitor, and the electromechanical
parking brake. The safety package consists of two front, side and head airbags, four belt
tensioners, and the integral Audi head restraint system.
The portfolio of new assistance, safety, and infotainment systems is particularly attractive. In
terms of music, a number of components are available, such as a DVD changer, a digital radio tuner,
the Audi music interface for integrating a mobile player, a TV module, and the Bose surround sound
system. The pinnacle of all sound systems is the 1,300-watt Advanced Sound System from Bang & Olufsen.
Its 15 speakers, which include two acoustic lenses that extend from the instrument panel when the
system is switched on, have elegant housings made of aluminium.
The optional Bluetooth car phone on-line connects the executive sedan to the Internet, in
partnership with service provider Google. A UMTS module allows the car to retrieve news, weather, and
travel information; it also 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. Drivers can make use of all these services with their mobile phone contract; the services are
charged via the SIM card, which in many cases already has a flat-rate plan.
The MMI radio and CD drive are standard in the infotainment systems in the new Audi A6. Available
options include the MMI radio plus, MMI navigation, and MMI navigation plus with MMI touch. The
top-of-the-line version offers, among others, a 3D graphics chip for an elegant map display, a
high-resolution eight-inch colour monitor, a large hard disc, a convenient voice control system, and
a Bluetooth interface.
The groundbreaking feature of MMI navigation plus is the touchpad – MMI touch. It allows the driver
to perform a great many functions easily and intuitively, for example, writing the digits of telephone
numbers and the letters of the navigation destination with a finger or scrolling lists and maps. The
driver’s eyes can stay on the road because the system acknowledges every input acoustically. MMI touch
also recognises the characters of Asian languages. When the driver is not using the touchpad to enter
data, it turns into a radio keypad with six station buttons.
MMI navigation plus in the new Audi A6 is closely networked with the optional assistance and safety
systems. Data from the route is utilised in the control units for the headlights, the automatic
transmission, and the adaptive cruise control with stop & go function. This enables these systems to
recognise complex scenarios and predictively assist the driver.
The-Audi pre sense safety system is available in various versions. In many situations, it is able
to minimise accidents and their consequences, or even prevent them altogether, by warning the driver
and applying the brakes with increasing force to slow the sedan down in an emergency.
At the same time, the system closes the windows and the sunroof, tightens the seat belts, activates
the hazard warning lights, and stiffens the dampers of the optional adaptive air suspension.
Audi pre-sense front works closely with the adaptive cruise control with stop & go function. The
radar-based distance control accelerates the new A6 and decelerates it within certain limits. The
system uses the data from two radar sensors, a video camera and the ultrasonic sensors, incorporates
navigation data, and analyses a multitude of additional signals. With its precisely variable function,
the range of use of the ACC stop & go extends from rolling in city traffic all the way to top speeds.
The new Audi active lane assist helps the driver keep the A6 on course with ease at speeds of 60 km/h
(37.28 mph) and above. A camera detects the lines on the road; if the sedan crosses over one of them,
the system guides it back by gently intervening in the steering.
The parking system, also new, takes over steering from the driver when parallel parking or parking
perpendicular to the road. It detects suitable spaces and automatically guides the A6 into and back
out of parallel parking spaces – in several moves, if necessary. Alternatively, Audi also offers
conventional parking assistance with and without a reversing camera.
At speeds of 30 km/h (18.64 mph) and above, Audi side assist observes the area behind the sedan via
radar, thereby ensuring it is safe to change lanes. The speed limit display detects important speed
restrictions and shows them in the driver information system or on the optional head-up display. Night
vision assistant works with a thermal-imaging camera. It projects its black-and-white images onto the
display of the driver information system, highlighting any pedestrians it detects in front of the
vehicle. If it anticipates a potential dangerous situation, it highlights the pedestrian in red.
A multitude of additional equipment is available on customer request. Special mention should be
made here of the convenience key for keyless vehicle entry, the electric closing assist function for
the doors, the comfort and sport seats, the insulating/acoustic glazing, the roller sunblinds for the
rear of the vehicle, the four-zone deluxe automatic air conditioning system, the head-up display, the
parking heater, the power-adjustable steering wheel, and the two ambient lighting packages. Xenon plus
and LED headlights enable clear night vision.
Those who prefer an even sportier look can opt for an S line sport package, immersing the interior
in an elegant shade of black. The package is combined with sport seats, a designated leather steering
wheel, special inlays, sport suspension from quattro GmbH and 19-inch wheels. The S line exterior
package provides the visual complement. The Audi exclusive range will offer a whole host of additional
European delivery of the new Audi A6 will being in early 2011. Locally, the release of the new Audi
A6 will occur much later in the year. The specifications for the Australian models will be announced
closer to that time.