Key among the updates is that mild hybrid system, which Audi says will be standard with each of the A6’s engines. At the car’s European launch, those include a 3.0-litre TFSI turbo V6 (340 hp/369 lb-ft of torque) and a diesel that we can count on never seeing in North America.
The belt alternator starter (BAS) draws power from a lithium ion battery (and sends regenerated electricity to it under braking) to allow the car to coast at speeds between 55 and 160 km/h. The BAS also allows for an automatic start-stop function that can shut the engine down before the car stops — at speeds below 22 km/h — and will fire it up when the car in front pulls away.
Additionally, Audi says the BAS cuts fuel consumption by as much as 0.7 L/100 km.
Look for the current A6’s 2.0-litre TFSI four-cylinder engine to return following this car’s market launch.
Also new to the A6 is an all-touchscreen MMI infotainment system that includes a 10.1-inch dash-mounted display complemented by a secondary 8.6-inch screen at the leading edge of the console to be used for climate control and convenience functions. Meanwhile, the larger screen allows icons to be moved using drag-and-drop functionality that apes a smartphone or tablet.
New driving assists include a parking pilot system that the driver can use to guide the car in and out of parking slots while standing outside of it, much like the setup BMW offers in its 5 Series.
All of the car’s assists are managed by a central control module that uses five cameras, five radar sensors and a dozen ultrasonic sensors to monitor the car’s environment.
Audi says the new car boasts more interior space than the outgoing car and the A6’s competitors, and features a wider trunk that can accept two golf bags loaded crossways.
Handling is aided by a variable front steering ratio and rear-wheel steering that can turn the back wheels as much as five degrees. As with past all-wheel steering systems, the rear wheels turn in the opposite direction from the fronts at low speeds for maneuverability but switch to the same direction at higher speeds to aid stability.
Meanwhile, lighter suspension components deliver improved ride comfort and reduced noise despite the availability of 21-inch wheels, larger than was available in the outgoing generation.
Audi will begin selling the A6 in Germany in June, with sales in other markets to follow.