Wraps off higher-tech, ‘more athletic’ 2018 Audi A6 C8. Hybrid power and advanced in-car systems for all-new executive saloon. Sportier looks, but all new 2018 A6 C8 is bigger and more spacious than ever. Electric assistance cuts emissions and boosts performance.
In 2018 Audi AG has revealed its all-new A6 C8-generation saloon, which will make its public debut at the Geneva Motor Show. The BMW 5 Series G30/G31 rival has been completely redesigned inside and out, with more technology on board and mild-hybrid engines across the range. Inspiration for the styling has come from the larger A8, but shorter overhangs, different body details and a lower stance are designed to make the A6 look more ‘athletic’, according to company bosses.
In profile the A6’s roofline is more coupé-like, but the newcomer is actually taller than the car it replaces, so it delivers more passenger space. To save weight, many of the exterior panels are made from aluminium, although Audi claims a net weight increase of between 5kg and 30kg, depending on which model you go for. This is primarily due to the introduction of the mild-hybrid system which first appeared on the A8.
Even though the new A6 is 7mm longer than the old model, 12mm has been added to the wheelbase. Audi claims that overall the interior is 21mm longer, which improves legroom in the rear seats, while there’s more head, elbow and shoulder room than before, too. But the 530-litre boot is unchanged.
The new A6 is the first executive car to offer mild-hybrid technology across its entire engine range. Four-cylinder engines will use a simple 12V system with a belt starter-generator, which will allow the stop/start function to kick in while the car is still moving at speeds of up to 14mph. It will also be able to ‘coast’ between 35 and 100mph, by switching off the engine entirely when the driver lifts off the accelerator.
A 48V system is used on the V6 engines, and this is joined by a lithiumion battery that can store energy during deceleration. This reduces fuel consumption and means the engines emit around 10g/km less CO2 than a conventional unit. At launch, the range consists of a 201bhp 2.0 TDI four-cylinder diesel, a 3.0 V6 TDI with 228bhp or 286bhp, and a 335bhp 3.0 V6 TFSI petrol. Automatic gearboxes are standard across the board. Bosses tell us a 2.0 TFSI petrol will be offered later to replace the current car’s 1.8 TFSI. The suspension line-up is as extensive as the engines, with everything from passive springs to adaptive dampers and full air suspension on offer. A new four=wheel- steering system also features, claiming to reduce the turning circle by 1.1 metres, increase agility and improve the A6’s stability at high speeds.
Inside, Audi’s latest MMI Touch control system, first demonstrated on the A8, is used. While the standard model has a basic eight-inch display, cars specced with MMI Navigation plus get a 10.1-inch upper screen for infotainment features and an 8.6-inch display lower down for climate control.
Both feature haptic and acoustic feedback, so users feel and hear a physical ‘click’ when they select a function. Audi’s 12.3-inch Virtual Cockpit display will also be available. Prices for the A6 have yet to be announced, but we’d expect a modest increase over the existing car when sales begin in June; a starting figure of around £34,000 is likely.
SPACE Increased dimensions mean more room in rear of the cabin.
TECH FEST Highest-spec models will get a pair of touchscreens on the centre console that will react like buttons to inputs.
“The A6 is the first executive car to offer mild-hybrid technology across its entire engine range”