Next Car Pty Ltd 
Australia's Easy Reading New Car News Journal

Home | News | Road Tests

The new Audi A6 (copyright image) (copyright image)

Home > News > Audi

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 extensive.

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 (24.76 ft2).


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 wood.

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 electrical consumers.

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 used.

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 g/mile).

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.

Self-Catering Holiday
Accommodation in
Denmark, WA
..... more


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 more dynamic.

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 custom solutions.

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.


Hear Chris Goodsell
Talk Motoring On
Radio & Internet
..... more

More Audi News ..... here

Top of page

Next Car Pty Ltd 
Australia's Easy Reading New Car News Journal

About | Car Clubs | Home | News | Road Ramblings | Road Tests | Subscribe | Top Drive

©   2010   All rights reserved.   Next Car Pty. Ltd.