Audi has lifted the veil on the 2009 A4. The new vehicle features a very big list with innovative technologies, an improved suspension, a new-generation MMI control system as well as cutting fuel consumption with over 15%.
The new design of the car consists in a new single-frame grill, bumpers, air vents and fog lights, new LED daytime running lights, a new gentle lip on the trunk, integrated chrome strip on the bumper, broad diffuser and straight exhaust pipes are part and partial of the revamped rear end”. Also, the car comes with 13 exterior colors to choose from, including five new ones.
Like most Audis, the interior of the car its clean and elegant, with new higher-resolution graphics for the instrument panels, with new materials like the Valcona leather available for the sport seats and integrated headrest system reduces the danger of whiplash.
Under the hood, the new Audi received engines like the 2.0 TFSI, a 125 kW (170 hp), two new 2.8-liter FSI engines: the 140 kW (190 hp) or the 162 kW (220 hp), 3.0 TFSI with 213 kW (290 hp) and the astonishing 4.2 FSI, a 257 kW (350 hp) V8 engine.
Pricing are as follow: the Audi A6 3.2 sedan Premium will start at $45,100. The Audi A6 3.0T quattro sedan Premium will start at $50,100. The Audi A6 3.0T quattro Avant Premium will start at $53,310. The Audi A6 4.2 quattro sedan will start at $60,950, and the Audi S6 will start at $75,900.
A winner always builds on his strengths: That’s why Audi has again upgraded its luxury class A6 model. Efficient engines have been added to the drive-train lineup, with innovative technologies cutting fuel consumption by about 15 percent across the whole model range. An improved suspension and new high-tech assistance system give the driver even greater control over the car. And the new-generation MMI control system is out-performing itself.
The revamped A6 will be launched in the German market in late summer. It’s the sportiest and most popular business sedan on the market. The Audi A6 is leading the Premium C pack – both in Europe and around the world. In 2007, Audi sold about 234,000 units, giving the A6 a 37 percent market share among its core competitors. Most of the A6’s sold were equipped with six- or eight-cylinder engines, permanent 4x4 quattro and a luxury assortment of optional equipment – all evidence of the high regard Audi technologies is enjoying worldwide. Its design is emphasized by a range of bold new accents, perfectly articulating the A6’s strong personality.
The single-frame grill, bumpers, air vents and fog lights have all gotten a facelift. The optionally-available xenon plus, LED daytime running lights have been redesigned as horizontal strips with 6 LEDs each. Other options include Audi adaptive light, a dynamic cornering light system, and the high-beam assistant that automatically switches between the high and low beam.
An aluminum-colored molding traversing the sides emphasizes the A6’s dynamic contour. At 4.93 meters (16.17 ft) long, 1.86 meters (6.10 ft) wide, and 1.46 meters (4.79 ft) high, little has changed in the sedan’s generous proportions. The gentle lip on the trunk, integrated chrome strip on the bumper, broad diffuser and straight exhaust pipes are part and partial of the revamped rear end.
The bipartite rear lights with LED technology have also gotten a new look: narrow and wide, they taper inward on the sedan. And there are 13 exterior colors to choose from, including five new ones. The A6’s spacious interior with its clean and elegant contours and perfect craftsmanship is characteristic of this luxury brand. The rear seats are extremely comfortable and the L-shaped headrests improve the driver’s rear view visibility. As an option, the back seats can be fitted with a comfortable 2-seater bench. A package of elaborate features makes sure the noise level is cut by almost half, particularly within critical frequency ranges.
The instrument panel uses new higher-resolution graphics; and a new frame better accentuates the display (color in the optional MMI navigation system). Tastefully-appointed chrome trim, even on the spokes of the steering wheel, call attention to its overall elegance and inlays are available in either aluminum look or fine woods. As is expected of an Audi, the interior designers have made sure all the colors and materials match. Standard seats can be optionally upholstered with a new material; the sport seats are available in Valcona leather.
Soft armrests on the doors increase comfort, while the integrated headrest system reduces the danger of whiplash. Audi is now offering an S-line sports package for the most dynamic of drivers. The package includes enhanced performance features like 18-inch wheels and sports suspension that lowers the ride height by 30 millimeters (1.18 in). Its sporty seats, decorative inlays and upholstery give the black-trimmed interior a feeling of even more exclusivity and the S-line exterior package provides more drama. Features from this Audi exclusive program are tailor-made to fit the A6’s luxury-seeking mavericks.
One of the major strengths of the A6 lies in its broad selection of engines: six gas and four diesels use direct fuel injection and cutting-edge FSI, TFSI and TDI technologies in a choice of four, six or eight cylinders. Whether stick shift, convenient tiptronic or high-efficiency multitronic, the energy literally flows to the front wheels, or all four wheels for that matter. Its engines are both powerful and efficient. New measures have been introduced to optimize engines and minimize fuel consumption without sacrificing one ounce of driving pleasure. Fuel consumption over the whole A6 family has been lowered by about 15 percent.
The smallest gas engine is the 2.0 TFSI, a 125 kW (170 hp) turbocharged four-cylinder unit. On the other end of the spectrum is the 4.2 FSI, a 257 kW (350 hp) V8 engine. Audi V6 models can be equipped with one of its two new 2.8 liter FSI engines; the 140 kW (190 hp) or the 162 kW (220 hp). Both engines feature the innovative Audi Valvelift System (AVS), which manages the inlet valve timing so that there is more torque and less fuel consumption. Regardless of which 2.8 FSI engine the A6 sedan is fitted, average fuel consumption is only 8.2 liters per 100 kilometers (28.68 US mpg) for the 190 hp, 6-speed manual shift or 8.4 liters per 100 kilometers (28.00 US mpg) for the 220 hp multitronic CVT. With its 3-liter displacement and 213 kW (290 hp) power output, the V6 is a particularly exciting newcomer. Audi has designed the perfect package for each one of its engine.
That’s why the 3.0 TFSI is fitted with a supercharger. From now on "T" doesn’t just stand for turbocharged – it stands for supercharged. Supercharger technology does not mean increased consumption – but the short intake paths do mean instantaneous response. And it’s got full power build-up even at low engine speeds: from 2500 1/min to 4850 1/min, the torque curve is broad and flat at 420 Nm (309.78 lb-ft). The 3.0 TFSI comes with tiptronic and quattro drive train. The A6 sedan accelerates from 0 to 100 km/h (62.14 mph) in 5.9 seconds and keeps on going as it presses to its electronically-regulated maximum speed of 250 km/h (155.34 mph). This is the kind of performance that only an eight-cylinder engine would have been able to deliver a few years ago. At 9.5 liters per 100 kilometers (24.76 US mpg) on the EU cycle, the supercharged V6 is amazingly economical.
The 3.0 TFSI’s combination of dynamic performance and low consumption is one more example of Audi’s successful efficiency strategy. The A6 TDI engines give further evidence of just how closely Audi has been able to align sporty performance and efficiency. Fuel is delivered by the extremely sophisticated and quiet system of common rails with rapid-action piezo injectors and an injection pressure of 1800 bar (26,106.79 psi). The two V6 TDI engines (2.7 TDI with 140 kW (190 hp) and 3.0 TDI with 176 kW (240 hp) have peak torques of 380 Nm (280.27 lb-ft) and 450 Nm (331.90 lb-ft), respectively. At the lower end of the diesel program is the four-cylinder 2.0 TDI engine, which is available in two versions: the 125 kW (170 hp), expected in fall 2008, and the 100 kW (136 hp).
The basic version is an especially efficient e-model known as the 2.0 TDIe, which uses a six-speed manual shift or automatic multitronic transmission to deliver 320 Nm (236.02 lb-ft) of torque to the front wheels. With multitronic it sprints from 0 to 100 km/h (62.14 mph) in 9.9 seconds, and continues on to a top speed of 204 km/h (126.76 mph). Yet its average fuel consumption with a manual shift gearbox is only 5.3 liters per 100 km (44.38 US mpg), equivalent to CO2 emissions of app.
139 grams per kilometer (224 grams per mile). The key to achieving such exemplary values is the strategic deployment of innovative technologies. The power steering pump operates on demand; the alternator regenerates electrical energy when coasting thereby reducing load off the engine. By lowering the ride height by 20 millimeters (0.79 in) and other aerodynamic fine-tuning, the drag coefficient has been reduced to cD = 0.28. The transmission can be used longer in the upper two gears. Any manual-shift A6 with Driver Information System, even the 2.0 TDIe, can opt to have the shift indicator displayed in the instrument panel. The icon lets the driver know which gear is most economical under actual circumstances.
Audi quattro four-wheel drive is available on all engines with 140 kW (190 hp) or above and is standard equipment on high-end aggregates. The manual shift, 140 kW (190 hp) 2.8 FSI notwithstanding, this is the very latest generation quattro with the newly emphasized rear-end design. It gives the A6 tremendous driving characteristics, remarkable grip and superior safety. Under normal conditions, the torque split is 40 percent to the front wheels and 60 percent to the rear. The mechanically-operated Torsen differential immediately diverts most of the power to the axle, providing better traction whenever the need arises – in extreme cases, up to 65 percent to the front or 85 percent to the rear. In fine-tuning the A6, two key objectives were identified – increasing its comfort while retaining its sporty character.
With new large-diameter, front-axle shock absorbers operating within an optimized valve system, Audi engineers were able to achieve both goals. Every other aspect of the suspension set-up has been improved, including the automotive spring response. The A6 can be equipped with factory-fitted adaptive air suspension so that the driver can vary his response and the characteristics of the adaptive shock absorbers into three styles. High-powered engines come equipped with larger 17-inch wheel brakes. Audi can also be fitted with a tire pressure monitoring system, which is entirely wear-free and maintenance-free.
The customer can opt for run-flat tires, which limit the car to 50 kilometers (31 miles) should there be a drop in air pressure. Audi has integrated several new high-tech assistance systems. The new Audi side assist kicks in to help drivers when changing lanes at speeds over 30 km/h (18.64 mph), ensuring a stress-free and superior drive. Using radar sensors, Audi Side Assist is able to detect other cars up to 50 meters (164.04 ft) away: a signal on the outside mirror lights up should changing lanes pose a threat. Audi lane assist helps keep drivers in their own lane, radar-assisted adaptive cruise control keeps a steady distance to the vehicle ahead, and Audi parking system advanced has a rearview camera. Since its debut in 2002, the Audi Multi Media Interface system (MMI) has been setting the standard for perfectly controlling any number of functions.
The A6 comes equipped with the latest MMI generation, including the top-of-the-line MMI Navigation plus. Its basic construction has not changed. The central control knob can still be found on the middle console between the front seats and the operation is still carried out using large buttons. The new joystick capping the control knob means the MMI Navigation plus can be operated even more intuitively.
MMI Navigation plus is an ultimate solution, pioneering in an entirely new system generation with high-tech portfolio and ground-breaking standards. Special features include a CD/DVD/Navigation combination drive with a 40 GB hard drive capacity which can be used to store MP3s and up to 5000 addresses.
With its 7-inch, high-resolution screen, the monitor on this ultimate navigation system is truly innovative. The image is rich in contrast and incredibly sharp even under difficult lighting conditions. It also has an optional TV tuner that receives digital programs (DVB-T) in perfect quality. The new navigation system has another innovation. A new bird’s eye picture mode shows landscapes in topographical relief – in full detail, complete with three-dimensional images of landmark buildings. The monitor has a new operating principle: when adjusting specific functions like air conditioning or seat heating, a pop-up window appears at the right rather than taking over the whole screen.
Most of the new features found in the A6 sedan and Avant are also present in two other models: the versatile A6 allroad quattro and the dynamic S6. The A6 allroad quattro can be powered either by the new 213 kW (290 hp) 3.0 TFSI engine or one of the two powerful V6 TDI diesels. The V10 on the S6 has 320 kW (435 hp). Changes made to the sports model are limited to interior and exterior optical details. The upgraded Audi A6 will be available in German dealer showrooms as of mid-October 2008. Starting at 34,200 Euros for the A6 2.0 TFSI sedan, Audi’s initial list prices have remained virtually unchanged, despite all the extensive innovations.
The lines of the body give visual expression to the sporty character of the A6 – they present the classic Audi silhouette with a high beltline, low windows and an elegant flow to the trunk. The visual focus of the body lies ahead of the rear axle, making the rear end appear lighter and creating a forward-thrusting dynamic impression.
A thin aluminum-look molding that extends along the lower area of the sides emphasizes the dynamic line. LED turn signals in the exterior mirror housings and newly designed, powerful light-alloy wheels with uniform protective caps for the wheel bolts enhance the body sides. In the case of the Avant, the seamlessly integrated, anodized aluminum roof rails emphasize the coupe-like construction.
The Audi A6 has had the same unchanged single-frame grille since its debut in 2004 – now the brand’s design icon has been slightly revised. The license plate holder has now been harmoniously integrated, while the bars for the grille have a new look and high-gloss paint. The bumper was also redesigned; the outer air intakes stress the horizontal look, making the front end appear broad and flat. The integrated fog lights have also been redesigned.
Daytime running lights – an important safety innovation from the brand with the four rings – are standard equipment on the A6. Instead of the standard halogen lights, Audi will supply extremely powerful xenon plus headlights as an option. They are linked to the daytime running lights made up of white LEDs. The six LEDs, which consume only a few watts of energy, run horizontally along the lower edge of the headlights. An additional option is the dynamic ‘adaptive light’, which now also serves in addition as a cornering and turning light.
Fast and safe: The high-beam assistant
The high-beam assistant is available as an option together with the xenon plus headlights. As tests have shown, it can switch the high beams on and off faster and more precisely than a person can. The system recognizes other vehicles and built-up areas from their lighting with a small, light-sensitive detector that sits at the base of the interior mirror. It then automatically switches from high beams to low beams and back. When the road is clear, it reactivates the high beams within fractions of a second.
An integrated LED unit for the brake and rear lights is now standard in the rear lights. The lifespan of the diodes is normally 10,000 operating hours or even more. They use little energy and react at lightning speed – within a millisecond they produce their full power, a clear safety benefit for following drivers.
The lights on the A6 Sedan were redesigned – they are wide and low and taper inwards. A modified glass cover is used on the Avant. The horizontal design of the rear gives both A6 versions a broad stance on the road; a wide diffuser, a chrome strip on the bumper and straight tailpipes emphasize the sporty impression. The sedan has a subtle edge on the trunk lid, while the Avant has a roof spoiler. With 13 exterior colors, Audi offers a particularly broad range of paints to choose from. Five new colors join the familiar Ibis White, Brilliant Black, Quartz Gray, Phantom Black, Night Blue, Oyster Gray, Deep Green and Dakar Beige. They are Ice Silver, Condor Gray, Polar Blue, Aventurine Blue and Garnet Red.
For dynamic customers, Audi will make the S line exterior package available at a later time. Add-on parts such as the bumpers, the radiator grill, the diffuser insert and the rear spoiler have a striking, dynamic design; the front fenders and the door sills have special logos. Chrome tailpipe trims for the four-cylinder versions, round front fog light surrounds and a headlight washer system complete the package.
The Audi A6 is an impressive and prestigious vehicle in the business class – as a sedan and Avant it is 4.93 meters (16.17 ft) long, 1.86 meters (6.10 ft) wide and 1.46 meters (4.79 ft) high. The drag coefficient of 0.31 for the Avant and 0.29 for the sedan is exemplary. An important contribution to this is made by the full underbody paneling, which reduces total wind resistance by almost 11 percent.
The quiet interior, the superior vibrational comfort, the sporty handling, the excellent crash safety – all these strengths of the A6 are based in large measure on the great rigidity of the body. One of the key factors is the use of high-strength and ultra-high-strength steel panels, which reduce the weight at the same time. The basic version of the sedan weighs only 1,520 kilograms (3,351.03 lb).
The hood, the front fenders and a number of reinforcing components are made out of aluminum. Audi is a world leader in the use of this material. The components are joined using a wide variety of methods: in addition to conventional spot welding, rivets, spot welding combined with bonding, laser welding and soldering as well as MIG soldering help to produce a lasting, solid connection.
A high level of protection is a matter of honor for Audi. In a head-on collision, up-front sensors behind the single-frame grill register the impact within a few thousandths of a second. The sensor system activates two-stage, full-size front airbags that can adjust to the severity of the accident. Additional safety features include the retractable safety steering column and the pedals that detach themselves to protect the driver’s feet. In minor front-end or rear-end collisions (at speeds of up to approx. 15 km/h, (9.32 mph)), specially developed energyabsorbing bumper systems absorb the impact and can be replaced at low cost.
In a side impact, an aluminum extruded section in the door sill directly absorbs the resulting forces. In the doors, the inner panels, high-strength reinforcements and an aluminum side-intrusion beam provide resistance. Cross-members in the floor stabilize the passenger compartment, while strong steel tubes are integrated into the front seat frames. Standard side airbags in the front (optional for the rear) and the sideguard head airbag system, which covers almost the entire surface of the side windows, protect the passengers.
The A6 mitigates the consequences of a rear-end collision – helping to prevent whiplash injuries – through the design of its front seats. The shape of the seat back frame, a soft sprung mat and energy-absorbing foam enable the back to sink some way into the seat back. This allows the back of the head to be cushioned early on by the rigid head restraint, which is at a distance of only about four centimeters (1.57 in).
This integral head restraint system, which Audi uses in other model series, has already proved its worth in outstanding fashion. It was awarded the rating “Good” in independent tests such as that conducted by the highly regarded International Insurance Whiplash Prevention Group (IIWPG), a work group that aims to prevent whiplash injuries. The U.S. Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS), too, awarded it the rating “Good”. In Germany, the ADAC and leading trade periodicals arrived at similar results.
546 liters (19.28 cubic ft) of baggage space: Best in class
Like the passengers, baggage travels well protected, comfortably and in plenty of space in the Audi A6. The sedan offers a trunk lined in high-quality carpet with a capacity of 546 liters (19.28 cubic ft) – the best among its direct competitors. In the models with larger engines, the rear seat backs can be folded down separately as standard (optional in the four-cylinder models). There is an optional trunk package available with hooks, net and a power outlet, a reversible mat and a trunk lid that opens automatically.
The A6 Avant offers an equally luxuriously finished trunk with a capacity of 565 to 1,660 liters (19.95 to 58.62 cubic ft), with front-wheel and quattro drive. Two rails with four tie-down eyelets are set into the folding cargo area floor as standard, with bag hooks and a side net. A 12-volt power outlet, a simple-to-use load guard and a window blind are part of the standard equipment as well as a second, lower floor. The plastic container that it contains is an ideal place to put wet or dirty objects.
The optional extras program has been thought out in great detail. A lockable side compartment holds small objects. A telescopic bar and a spring-loaded tensioning strap expand the range of uses for the rails. The large storage box is a practical, versatile solution.
The reversible mat has an integral protective film that can be placed over the bumpers. The trunk lid, which opens and closes at the touch of a button, offers maximum convenience. The load-through hatch in the rear seat back with its removable ski and snowboard bag is intended primarily for winter sports enthusiasts.
The interior of the A6 is deeply rooted in Audi brand culture. With its elegantly clean lines, the generous space and the perfect build quality, it is a wellness lounge for all the senses. The wide center console is an expression of the sporty, driver-oriented architecture. The monitor for the newest generation of the MMI operating and entertainment system is located in the upper area, at the same height as the instruments. The screen was given a plastic frame which emphasizes it more strongly; even the MMI radio has a color display.
The Audi MMI (Multi Media Interface) has stood out since its debut in 2002 as clearly the best user interface among the competition. The control terminal on the center tunnel allows quick access through its large buttons and the central control knob; the strictly logical structure makes menu navigation intuitively understandable.
The top specification called MMI navigation plus is a state-of-the-art, high-end system. The MMI radio version is standard. It allows many vehicle functions to be individually configured and integrates a CD radio with a four-channel sound system with eight speakers.
Elegance along with perfect control – these typical Audi qualities apply to all the other areas of the A6 cockpit. The large, perfectly readable instruments now have aluminum trim rings. The dials as well as the central display located between them were given a new look. On the versions with manual transmission and driver information system, it displays the ideal gear each time as a recommendation. Components such as the rotary switch for the light, the optional starting button, the cap for the mirror adjustment and the switch for the standard electric parking brake now have tasteful chrome trim.
The look and feel of the three-spoke steering wheels has been slightly modified and some of them are decorated with chrome strips. All steering wheels have leather-covered rims and are adjustable for reach and height. Audi offers a rich variety of options in this area, with electrical adjustment, shift paddles and special leather trim.
The luxurious level of the build quality in the A6 represents a new benchmark in the business class. Four additional materials are available for the inlays in addition to the standard Aluminum Radial – Aluminum Trigon, Walnut, Fine grain birch wood and Fine grain ash natural. This is a genuine wood veneer with open-pore surface sealing.
The inserts are perfectly harmonized with the new interior colors. Linen beige replaces cream beige, pale gray replaces light gray. Star silver, taupe and Flexmetallic silver are the new shades for the roof lining, instrument panel and center console. For the seat covers, Arkana cloth replaces Mondial cloth, the sports seats are in two-colored Valcona leather with contrasting stitching – the color combinations are linen beige/black, amaretto brown/black, star silver/pale gray and linen beige/cardamom beige.
The quiet interior: Noise level reduced even further
Numerous additional details make life on board the A6 a pleasure. A package of elaborate features reduces the already low noise level in important frequency ranges by almost one half. As an option for the rear, Audi can provide two comfortable molded individual seats upholstered with Valcona leather. New head restraints were provided for the standard bench seat. Their L-shaped design not only looks good, it allows them to be lowered well out of the way to improve rear visibility for the driver. The bench seat itself was given softer upholstery. The same applies to the armrests in the front doors, which can be optionally covered in leather.
The standard height-adjustable front seats provide perfect support and control for the body. On the A6 4.2 quattro, the adjustment and individual setting of the lumbar support is performed electrically.
Audi offers a broad range of other comfortable and dynamic features as options, all the way to the S line sports seats with integral head restraints and adjustable thigh supports. There are almost no limits to the choice of types of leather – hardcore individualists can even have the cockpit upgraded with this natural material.
One refined detail in all versions of the A6 is the deluxe automatic air conditioning. It takes account of the sun’s position when operating and can heat and cool the driver’s and passenger’s side separately. The 4.2 quattro is equipped with the even more powerful deluxe automatic air conditioning plus; a perforated grille above the instrument panel provides almost draft-free ventilation and the new dust and pollen filter even traps particles with a size of 2.5 μm. A perfect complement is the sunroof with its integrated solar cells that power the fan when the vehicle is stopped. Electrically assisted closing for the doors and windows with heat-absorbing or tinted glass are additional luxury features.
The lighting package provides a refined atmosphere at night – small spotlights provide tasteful highlights in the interior. On long trips, the storage package with its additional nets, cup holders and storage compartments is especially practical. Various blinds protect the rear from direct sunlight. The Audi exclusive program includes a folding table for rear-seat passengers.
Dynamic look: The S line sports package
Audi has put together the S line sports package plus for customers who want to give the interior of their A6 an especially refined look. In addition to technical modifications to the suspension, wheels and brakes, there are logos on the door sills and fenders, sports seats with electric lumbar support and special inlays – options are Matt brushed aluminum, Piano finish black and Fine grain birch wood gray.
The instrument panel and the headlining are in black in the S line sports package plus. Optional special materials for seat upholstery and steering wheels include cloth, leather and Alcantara. Embossed S line logos in the seat backs and special leather multifunction sports steering wheels emphasize the special character of this equipment line. Audi offers the special exterior paint colors Daytona Gray, pearl effect and Monza Silver, metallic.
Anyone looking for even more individuality can browse the Audi exclusive program. It offers a wide selection of special paints, leather trim, inlays, floor mats, seat belts, steering wheels and carpets.
The A6 comes with a choice of five gasoline and four diesel engines with four, six and eight cylinders. With two exceptions, all are either completely new or fundamentally revised. They all receive their fuel by direct injection using the common rail system, and employ the latest FSI, TFSI and TDI technologies. Both the power and the efficiency of the engines have increased. Intensive fine-tuning has helped to reduce internal friction, which means that fuel consumption fell across the model range by about 15 percent, and, in some engines, by as much as 16 percent.
Dynamism and efficiency: The FSI engines
Audi is once again demonstrating its lead in engine design with its gasoline engine, which use the gasoline direct injection technology known as FSI. With this technology, fuel is injected under high pressure directly into the combustion chambers and at the same time intensely swirled. The evaporation achieved in this way withdraws heat from the walls, thus allowing for a high compression ratio which contributes significantly to a highly efficient combustion process.
As part of its efficiency strategy, Audi has taken FSI technology even further. In both 2.8-liter V6 engines, this is combined with the Audi valvelift system, and, in the 3.0 TFSI, with compressor supercharging. The 2.0 TFSI has an exhaust-gas turbocharger on board which boosts its free-revving character with a high torque. The 2.0 TFSI with 125 kW (170 hp) is a serial winner. In the 200 hp version, as used in the Audi A3, it has been voted “Engine of the Year” four times in succession since 2005 by an international panel of journalists. The four-cylinder plant comes with an engine capacity of 1,984 cc. Its most significant characteristics are the intake camshaft, adjustable by 60 degrees crankshaft angle, and the two balancing shafts in the crankcase. These compensate for the second order inertia forces and ensure refined running with very low vibration.
The 2.0 TFSI produces 125 kW (170 hp) and a satisfying torque of 280 Nm (206.52 lb-ft), the latter being available between 1,800 and 4,200 rpm. In conjunction with the six-speed manual transmission, this accelerates the sedan to 100 km/h (62.14 mph) in 8.2 seconds, while the top speed reaches 228 km/h (141.67 mph). In consumption terms, the two-liter car is frugal: just 7.5 liters/100 km (31.36 US mpg). Alternatively, Audi also supplies the A6 2.0 TFSI with the continuously variable multitronic, in both cases driving the front wheels.
Two versions: The 2.8 FSI
Audi offers two versions of the 2.8-liter FSI V6, one with 140 kW (190 hp) and the other with 162 kW (220 hp). Both deliver a generous torque of 280 Nm (206.52 lb-ft), which is available at 3,000 to 4,500 rpm and 3,000 to 5,000 rpm respectively.
Both versions of the 2.8-liter V6 have the Audi valvelift system (AVS) on board. This technology, which controls valve lift in two stages, ensures excellent combustion chamber filling in all situations. It regulates the amount of air drawn in when the valves open; the throttle valve can usually remain fully open, thus largely eliminating undesirable throttling losses. The engine breathes freely, and achieves higher output and torque on less fuel.
Other technical advances on the 2.8 FSI, which summons its power from a displacement of 2,773 cc, concern the timing chains that drive the camshafts. Their idler wheels and the gears have a higher number of teeth, resulting in quieter operation and reduced forces exerted onto the chains. A similar effect is achieved by the tri-oval, i.e. slightly triangular shape of the gear wheels. The oilpump delivery volume has been reduced by 30 percent, and it now operates by varying the volumetric flow according to actual demand. The net result is that frictional losses are greatly reduced.
The fuel efficiency in both versions of the 2.8 FSI is impressive. In the A6 Sedan, consumption averages a mere 8.2 or 8.4 liters respectively for every 100 kilometers (28.68 and 28 US mpg). The version with 140 kW (190 hp) can perform the standard sprint in 8.2 seconds, and reaches a top speed of 238 km/h (147.89 mph).
These values apply with manual transmission and front-wheel drive. The multitronic transmission and a manual-shift quattro version are available as options. The more powerful version sprints in 7.3 seconds and reaches a top speed of 240 km/h (149.13 mph). This car is fitted with multitronic and front-wheel drive as standard, with the tiptronic/quattro combination available as an option.
Comeback of supercharger technology: The 3.0 TFSI
The V6 with a 3.0-liter capacity and 213 kW (290 hp) is a very interesting newcomer to the engine range. As long ago as the 1930s, superchargers were powering the legendary Auto Union Grand Prix racing cars to top performance levels. The comeback of this technology is now being celebrated in the A6. The T in the TFSI logo no longer stands for just turbo, but for supercharging in general.
Extensive comparison tests have shown that the mechanical charger is a better solution in the three-liter V6 than a twin-turbo design. In its packaging, acceleration characteristics and dynamic response behavior, it has proved to be significantly superior. The supercharger is so compact that it easily fits inside the 90-degree V of the cylinder banks, in place of the intake manifold. Since it is driven by the engine via a belt, it can deliver its full boost right from idle. The 3.0 TFSI delivers its maximum 420 Nm (309.78 lb-ft) at only 2,500 rpm and maintains this constantly until 4,850 rpm. This pulling power enables it to extend the transmission ratio somewhat, further adding to its already superior efficiency. The gas paths after the compressor are short; this means that the torque is built up extremely quickly, even more dynamically than on a naturally aspirated engine of the same displacement. The 3.0 TFSI is agile and sprightly, revving up to the maximum of 6,800 rpm with playful ease.
The compressor itself is a so-called Roots blower. Inside the blower, two contrarotating pistons with four vanes turn at up to 23,000 rpm. These can deliver 1,000 kilograms (2204.62 lb) of air per hour and force it into the combustion chambers at a boost pressure of up to 0.8 bar. Two water/air intercoolers, connected to a separate water cooling circuit, cool the compressed and heated intake air to increase the oxygen content needed for combustion. A comprehensive package of measures suppresses the noise made by the compressor to a minimum.
The three-liter V6 forms part of Audi’s very modern V-engine range. Its bore measures 84.5 mm (3.33 in) and its stroke 89.0 mm (3.50 in), resulting in a cubic capacity of 2,995 cc. All components have been designed for minimum friction. The intake camshafts can adjust by 42 degrees crankshaft angle.
Tumble flaps in the intake ports induce movement in the incoming air flow, thus assisting with mixture preparation. A common rail unit injects the fuel at up to 150 bar pressure into the combustion chambers. The rapid action of the injectors allows up to three injections per operating cycle across an extensive range of the characteristic map. Direct injection is noted for another great advantage – in contrast to conventional solutions, it enables the supercharger to be located behind the throttle. In view of the low density of the intake air at loads below supercharging level and when coasting, its rotors are free-running and the amount of power required to drive them is low.
The 3.0 TFSI, which is combined with the tiptronic and quattro drive, excels in its exemplary efficiency: in the EU cycle it consumes 9.4 liters of fuel per 100 km (25.02 US mpg). It accelerates the A6 Sedan to 100 km/h in 5.9 seconds, the thrust not ceasing until 250 km/h (155.34 mph) is reached when it is governed by the electronic limiter.
The most powerful engine in the A6 is the 4.2 FSI with 257 kW (350 hp). The V8 with its 4,163 cc engine capacity develops 257 kW (350 hp), with a torque reaching 440 Nm (324.53 lb-ft) at 3,500 rpm. With its highly sophisticated tone, it delivers an impressive performance. Equipped with tiptronic as standard, the V8 takes the A6 Sedan to 100 km/h in 5.9 seconds from a standing start, a figure equal to that of the 3.0 TFSI, although the gear ratio has been adjusted accordingly. Top speed is a governed 250 km/h (155.34 mph). Thanks to FSI technology, average fuel consumption is only 10.2 liters per 100 km (23.06 US mpg).
Smart power: The TDI engines
Audi’s aim to link dynamic performance intimately with fuel efficiency is also evident in its four TDI engines. Their high torques, extremely low fuel consumption values and quiet, refined running are evidence that the overall concept is harmonious and convincing. Audi introduced the TDI principle to the market as early as 1989 and has continuously extended its lead in this area ever since. With three wins in the Le Mans 24 Hours, the R 10 TDI racing car has proved conclusively since 2006 how much smart power there is in a diesel. A four cylinder car, the 2.0 TDI, signals the entry into the diesel range for the A6. This engine is available in two versions. The two-liter unit with its 1,968 cc capacity builds on the strengths demonstrated by its predecessor, the world’s most-built diesel, namely driving fun, fuel economy and refinement.
The most important advance took place in the cylinder head, where common rail injectors replaced the pump-injector elements used previously. The 2.0 TDI operates with modern piezo injectors. The ability to finely modulate the injection events – up to five per working cycle – has resulted in a marked reduction in noise level. The extremely fine vaporization of the fuel at up to 1,800 bar provides very accurate combustion.
The acoustics of the timing belt have also been modified. Two balancing shafts reduce the vibrations caused by the crankshaft drive. The geometry of the pistons has also been revised. Electric motors control the position of the swirl flaps in the intake manifold to adjust the air inflow to the load and engine speed at any given time. The turbocharger is part of a new generation. With its adjustable vanes, it provides a rapid build up in torque.
As a whole, these advances have resulted in a higher maximum engine speed of 5,400 rpm and improved thermodynamics in the combustion chambers. They enable the 2.0 TDI to be operated with a higher proportion of recycled and greatly cooled exhaust gas, which significantly reduces untreated nitrogen oxide emissions.
The more powerful version of the 2.0 TDI, which will be launched somewhat later, delivers 125 kW (170 hp) and generates 350 Nm (258.15 lb-ft) of torque between 1,750 and 2,500 rpm. The key performance figures for the sedan with manual transmission are 8.9 seconds to accelerate from zero to 100 km/h (62.14 mph) and a top speed of 225 km/h (139.81 mph). This makes the rated fuel consumption of only 5.7 liters per 100 km (41.27 US mpg) all the more impressive. Audi equips this powerful two-liter diesel version with front-wheel drive and makes continuously variable multitronic transmission available as an option.
Only 5.3 liters/100 km (44.38 US mpg): The A6 2.0 TDI e
The second version of the 2.0 TDI also reveals a highly interesting character – it is a particularly efficient ‘e’ model known as the 2.0 TDI e. It has a power output of 100 kW (136 hp) and a maximum torque of 320 Nm (236.02 lb-ft). The 2.0 TDI e is an agile performer, taking 10.3 seconds to accelerate from a standstill to 100 km/h (62.14 mph) and with a top speed of 208 km/h (129.25 mph) as a sedan with manual transmission. Yet on average it is content with a mere 5.3 liters of fuel per 100 km (44.38 US mpg).
The particularly low fuel consumption is due to an array of innovative technologies. When the engine overruns, the generator recovers energy, thus reducing the load on the engine. The servo pump for the steering is demandcontrolled. The body has been lowered by 20 mm (0.79 in); fine-tuning measures on the bumpers and underbody have reduced the drag coefficient to 0.28. The transmission ratio has been widened in the top two gears. Sporty 17-inch forged wheels are available on request; the size 225/50 R17 tires are designed for low rolling resistance. The ‘e’ model also comes with front-wheel drive, and multitronic can be ordered as an option.
Sheer power: The V6 diesel
The two V6 diesel engines, the 2.7 TDI and the 3.0 TDI, are also highly efficient units. Both have blocks made from hi-tech cast vermicular graphite, which is around 15 percent lighter than conventional cast iron. Its great rigidity creates the basis for its quiet running, while meticulous fine-tuning measures reduce frictional losses. The V6 TDI engines likewise use a common rail injection system, which generate system pressure of up to 1,800 bar. Their piezo injectors act extremely rapidly and can close again in just 0.2 milliseconds, which enables minute quantities to be injected weighing only 0.8 milligrams, less than one thousandth of a gram.
The 2.7 TDI develops 140 kW (190 hp) from its engine capacity of 2,698 cc; its maximum torque of 400 Nm (295.02 lb-ft) is available between 1,400 and 3,500 rpm. In combination with front-wheel drive and manual transmission, this engine powers the A6 Sedan from zero to 100 km/h (62.14 mph) in 7.9 seconds and all the way up to a maximum speed of 232 km/h (144.16 mph). Its average fuel consumption is 6.2 liters per 100 km (37.94 US mpg). The front-wheel-drive version comes with multitronic, while the quattro/tiptronic pairing is available as an option.
The three liter engine with a displacement of 2,967 cc is the top TDI in the A6 range. It has an output of 176 kW (240 hp), and develops a massive 500 Nm (368.78 lb-ft) of torque between 1,500 and 3,000 rpm. The driver experiences this surge of power as a kind of wave that can be ridden in relaxed and reassured style. The 3.0 TDI features a VTG turbocharger of the latest generation with variable turbo geometry, in which a fast-acting electric actuating motor adjusts its vanes. The charge air cooler, which is also new, cools the charge air significantly, increasing the charging efficiency of the cylinders. Like the other engines, the 3.0 TDI is impressive for its particularly clean exhaust gas, where an innovative exhaust gas recirculation concept reduces nitrogen oxides.
Operating in conjunction with manual transmission, the 3.0 TDI propels the A6 Sedan from a standing start to 100 km/h (62.14 mph) in 6.6 seconds and on up to an electronically governed top speed 250 km/h (155.34 mph). Its average fuel consumption is just 6.7 liters/100 km (35.11 US mpg). The 3.0 TDI comes with quattro drive, and six-speed tiptronic is available as a transmission option. New bearings were installed in both transmissions to improve vibration comfort.
In the technical field of the powertrain, in which Audi is out in front, the brand offers a broad range of hi-tech solutions to choose from. The engines’ power is distributed via either front-wheel drive or quattro permanent all-wheel drive, the latter of which is sportier than ever before courtesy of its asymmetric/dynamic torque split. All transmissions in the A6 – the six-speed transmission, the sixspeed tiptronic automatic transmission and the multitronic continuously variable automatic transmission – are characterized by their ease of operation, high efficiency and precise functioning.
Two versions: The manual transmission
For engines up to 140 kW (190 hp) and for the 3.0 TDI, six-speed manual transmissions transfer the power as standard. They come with front-wheel drive for the 2.0 TFSI and for both 2.0 TDI units. The quattro drive system is supplied on request for the 2.8 FSI delivering 140 kW (190 hp) and the 2.7 TDI, and exclusively for the 3.0 TDI.
Various measures reduce the transmission’s internal friction, thus further improving the already high levels of efficiency. A special mount for the selector forks isolates the gear lever from driveline vibrations. The driver detects no vibrations, but only experiences the precise shift action with short, clearly defined lever movements. A gearshift indicator is incorporated in the display of the optional driver information system in all manual transmission versions of the A6. It shows which gear is in use, and recommends a different gear if this would be a better choice.
The continuously variable multitronic automatic transmission is available as an option for all versions with front-wheel drive, and comes as standard with the 2.8 FSI 162 kW (220 hp) engine. The multitronic combines the advantages of a manual transmission and a torque-converter automatic, offering very smooth and dynamic operation along with sporty comfort. Furthermore, it allows the engine to run in its optimum operating range at all times – a great advantage in terms of efficiency.
Internal losses have been reduced still further on the multitronic transmission by numerous improvements to component geometry, the shaft bearings and the design of the oil pump. The new variator optimises the spread – the ratio of the longest to the shortest ratio has been extended from 6.25 to 6.73. At the longest ratio, the A6 accelerates powerfully, while at the shortest ratio it runs with great efficiency at low engine speeds. The shortened ratio for starting off enables it to accelerate rapidly from a standing start. With its adaptive control system, the transmission varies its settings to suit driving style and road conditions.
In the D mode of this successful unit, the effective transmission ratio changes steplessly, but the driver can also press a button to activate the dynamic Sport program, which selects lower ratios. When accelerating, the fixed characteristics of the Dynamic Shift Program select seven specific ratios in succession – an impressively sporty way to make rapid progress. In one-touch mode, the third type of operation, the driver can shift manually as he wishes between the seven fixed gears, using either the selector lever or the optional shift paddles behind the steering wheel.
Convenient automatic: tiptronic
Audi always supplies the convenient six-speed tiptronic with quattro drive. It is available as an option for the entire range of all-wheel-drive A6 versions, except for the 2.8 FSI with 140 kW (190 hp). This classic automatic transmission, with the Sport program and the additional manual-shift mode, has been thoroughly revised in design in the transfer-case and torque-converter areas.
The torque converter is now equipped with a novel form of two-stage torsional damper that permits the lock-up clutch to remain engaged for long distances, which boosts overall efficiency and reduces fuel consumption. When the car is at a standstill, a controlled drive-off clutch disconnects the transmission from the engine even if the selector lever remains in position D. This clutch is engaged as soon as the driver releases the brakes.
The latest generation of tiptronic operates extremely dynamically. It reacts rapidly and performs gearshifts in a short time without impairing their overall smoothness. During an upshift the control unit lowers engine torque by as much as 80 percent, and during a downshift it opens the throttle for a predetermined time.
Smooth: quattro drive
Permanent all-wheel drive is optionally available for engines in the Audi A6 from 140 kW (190 hp) upwards, except for the 3.0 TFSI, 4.2 FSI and 3.0 TDI where it comes as standard. The enhanced traction, road dynamics, safety and directional stability combine to provide Audi’s proverbial ‘Vorsprung durch Technik’. The quattro models handle with unruffled stability whatever the weather, and are also ideal towing vehicles. With the exception of the 2.8 FSI with 140 kW (190 hp) and manual transmission, the latest generation of quattro technology uses asymmetric/dynamic torque distribution.
The key element in the quattro driveline is a self-locking worm gear. Operation of this center differential is purely mechanical, meaning response is instantaneous. Its locking action only develops in response to an applied load; when braking or cornering, it permits the wheels to rotate at different speeds. Under normal driving conditions, the differential transfers 40 percent of the engine power to the front axle and 60 percent to the rear axle, allowing for sporty handling with a slightly rear-driven emphasis. The distribution is 50:50 for the 140 kW (190 hp) 2.8 FSI with manual transmission.
When needed – i.e. when a wheel starts to spin – the differential instantly redirects most of the torque to the axle revolving more slowly and therefore having better traction. It can direct up to 65 percent of the power to the front axle and up to 85 percent to the rear axle; as a result, the A6 can often master situations close to the handling limit without any brake intervention from the ESP stabilization system. If one wheel on an axle nevertheless spins, this is eliminated by the electronic differential lock (EDL) without any brake application being needed – though this situation seldom arises.
The dynamic suspension on the A6 uses the typical Audi four-link front axle and the self-tracking trapezoidal-link rear suspension, a combination employed on both front-wheel drive and quattro versions. The key components of the suspension are made from aluminum, which brings about a considerable reduction in unsprung weight. With its precise handling, to which the speed-dependent servotronic steering makes an important contribution, the Audi A6 is the sportiest car in its class.
In fine-tuning the suspension, the Audi engineers pursued two objectives. These were to increase the already high level of comfort even further and at the same time to maintain its sporty character. This was achieved by fitting new, largerdiameter shock absorbers with an optimized valve system to the front axle and by enhancing the responsiveness of the springs.
Audi supplies the S line sports package plus as an optional extra. In addition to a large number of features for the passenger compartment, it comprises a series of dynamic components. The S line sports suspension from quattro GmbH lowers the
body by 30 mm (1.18 in). The cast aluminum wheels are either size 8J x 18 with 245/40 tires or size 8.5J x 19 with 255/35 tires. 17-inch brakes are located behind the large wheels for the 2.8 FSI and 2.7 TDI. Besides the S line sports suspension, a sports suspension which lowers the body by another 20 millimeters (0.79 in) is available as an option.
Perfect synthesis: Adaptive air suspension
If desired, Audi will deliver the A6 with adaptive air suspension, ensuring a perfect synthesis of sporty handling and superior ride comfort. The air-suspension bellows are made of a multilayered elastomeric material and axially oriented polyamide fibers to provide strength. The thin-walled and therefore soft bellows help the A6 to achieve excellent ride characteristics and a sensitive response. The adaptive air suspension can set the body to three height levels – for regular operation, for the motorway and for uneven terrain – which differ overall by 30 millimeters (1.18 in). At the lowest level, in which the center of gravity is lowered by 15 millimeters (0.59 in), the directional stability of the A6 is further improved, while the fuel consumption decreases. The air suspension also has a self-leveling function: when the overall weight is high, air is pumped into the springs, and released when the load becomes lighter. The body thus retains a constant ride height regardless of the load.
The adaptive air suspension is combined with active regulation for the shock absorbers. The driver can select three characteristics at the MMI terminal – from highly sporty to comfortable. The automatic mode represents the perfect all round setting. The “comfort” setting will provide smooth springing and superlative comfort for long journeys. In the “dynamic” setting, the performance matches that of the steel-sprung sports suspension. In all of the selected ranges, the shock absorbers adapt to the road conditions and the style of the driver.
New look: The aluminum wheels
The alloy wheels for the A6 feature a completely new design. There is a wide selection of eight types, although all wheels have the same hub cap to cover the wheel screws. The four-cylinder versions and the 2.8 FSI with 140 kW (190 hp) feature size 7J x 16 cast wheels of six-spoke design. For the 2.8 FSI with 162 kW (220 hp) and the 2.7 TDI, forged lightweight wheels in the size 7.5J x 16 with six twin spokes are used. The 3.0 TDI, 3.0 TFSI and 4.2 FSI have size 7.5J x 17 wheels of seven-arm design. Other options include five further wheels with 17-inch and 18-inch diameters. In addition, Audi offers a further seven exclusive wheel designs in the sizes 18 and 19 inches. The A6 comes with a tire repair kit as standard; a full-size spare wheel can be ordered as an option.
The second-generation tire pressure monitoring display which Audi uses as an option is an intelligent solution. In contrast to a conventional indirect measuring system, it senses which tire is losing pressure. It works by monitoring the torsional vibrations arising from excitations from the road. In the event of a loss of pressure, the stiffness of the tire changes, and therefore so does its characteristic natural frequency. This solution from Audi is software-based; unlike direct measuring systems, it requires neither batteries nor maintenance.
On request, in conjunction with the monitoring display, Audi offers some of the 17-inch wheels with tires with emergency properties which correspond to the “run-flat” standard. Special rubber elements inside them enable them to be driven for a further 50 km at a maximum speed of 80 km/h (49.71 mph), even after a total loss of pressure and with a half-laden vehicle.
The brakes supplied with the A6 are every bit the equal of the powerful engines. Most of the versions have 16-inch brakes, while the 3.0 TDI quattro, 3.0 TFSI quattro and 4.2 FSI quattro use 17-inch brakes. The large disks remain stable even under high loads; the pedal action is sporty and firm yet outstandingly sensitive. The electronic stabilization program ESP brings with it a series of additional functions: it applies the brakes to dry the disks in wet conditions, activates the hazard warning lights during emergency braking and stabilizes a trailer which is threatening to fishtail by making subtle adjustments. A short press on the button switches off the ASR traction control function, a feature which is important when driving off in snowy conditions. A longer press on the button deactivates the ESP entirely.
The electromechanical parking brake in the A6 also has special features. It assists in hill starts by independently selecting the best time to release itself. If the driver operates it in an emergency situation, it can decelerate the vehicle at 8 m/s2 – much faster than a conventional handbrake. Furthermore, by dispensing with the handbrake lever, a considerable amount of space has been created on the center tunnel of the A6.
The innovative assistance systems that Audi offers for the A6 provide even greater comfort and convenience. The brand with the four rings is at the forefront of progress in this field as well, offering various high-tech systems. These systems regulate the distance to the car ahead, help the driver to change lanes and stay in the lane, and assist with parking.
The lane change assistant, Audi side assist, is new in the A6. It comes into operation above a speed of 30 km/h (18.64 mph). Two radar sensors located under the rear bumper, which operate on a frequency of 24 gigahertz, scan the adjacent traffic lanes behind the A6 for a distance of 50 meters (160.04 ft). A high-speed computer evaluates and interprets the data.
If another vehicle moves into the critical zone, a yellow LED display in the housing of the exterior mirror lights up. It is designed to be “subliminal” – drivers see it only when looking directly in the mirror; as long as they are looking ahead, it is not noticeable. If drivers activate their turn signal to change lanes in spite of the warning, the LEDs become brighter and flash at a higher frequency. The flashing is almost impossible to ignore as the human eye is extremely sensitive to changes in contrast in the peripheral field of vision.
This visual display is located on the inner surface of the mirror housing so that the driver is virtually the only one who can see it. It must not be visible to following traffic and it should not be visible to the passenger. The brightness of the display adapts to ambient light conditions and can also be adjusted from the MMI control terminal. The system can be switched off with a button close to the exterior mirror.
High-tech from the luxury class: Adaptive cruise control
Another assistance system that originally appeared on luxury-class cars is radarassisted control of the distance from the vehicle in front. Adaptive cruise control (ACC) operates at speeds between 30 and 200 km/h (18.64 to 124.27 mph), adjusting speed and distance to the vehicle ahead by braking automatically within certain limits.
The radar sensor at the front of the A6 integrates four transceivers. At intervals of 100 milliseconds, they transmit waves on the 76.5 gigahertz frequency, which cover a field 180 meters (590.55 ft) long with an eight-degree angle of aperture. The signals go to a computer that can contact the control modules for the engine, the automatic transmission and the ESP electronic stabilization program within milliseconds.
The computer constantly analyzes the differences between the successive measurements. Consequently, it can identify the distance to the vehicle ahead and how it is changing. By comparing the signals in the four individual antennas, it also calculates the angle of the vehicle in front in relation to the car’s direction of travel.
ACC allows the driver to choose between various modes. The time interval to the vehicle ahead can be set in four steps, the control dynamics in three stages. ACC speeds up the engine or applies the brakes as necessary in order to maintain the correct speed and distance, with priority given to ride comfort. Deceleration is limited to no more than 3 m/s2 at speeds above 50 km/h (31.07 mph), barely onethird of the maximum possible deceleration. To the driver, this feels like moderate braking.
In certain situations, it could be possible that this automatic braking is not enough – for example if the driver ahead brakes suddenly. In this case, an integral subfunction of ACC is activated: Audi braking guard warns the driver in two stages.
The first stage uses audible and visual signals: a gong sounds and a red light comes on in the instrument cluster. Meanwhile the ESP ensures that the brake system is prefilled with hydraulic fluid. If the driver still does not take action, the next stage is activated: the acute warning. It is triggered when only an immediate reaction on the part of the driver – usually an emergency stop – can resolve the situation.
The acute warning is a mini-brake application – it is created by a rapid build-up of pressure in the brake system and lasts for only 0.5 seconds. It slows the Audi A6 down by no more than 5 km/h (3.11 mph) to ensure that the vehicle behind does not cause a rear-end collision. If the driver now steps on the brake, the hydraulic brake assist converts this action into an emergency stop.
By prompting the brake system to fill with hydraulic fluid ahead of time, ESP saves 0.1 to 0.2 seconds – an interval that translates into more than seven meters (22.97 ft) of stopping distance at 130 km/h (80.78 mph). Audi braking guard remains on the lookout even if the driver has deactivated ACC. Conversely, the pre-warning and the entire function can be switched off
Audi lane assist: Always on track
A third assistance system from the luxury class is available in the A6 – Audi lane assist. Above a speed of approx. 65 km/h (40 mph) it warns the driver if the car inadvertently strays out of its lane. A small black-and-white camera mounted at the top of the windshield observes the road ahead of the car for a distance of 60 meters (196.85 ft) with an angle of aperture of about 40 degrees. A computer located in the same housing identifies lane markings on the road surface and determines the car’s position in relation to them.
If drivers move onto one of these markings without activating the turn signal, Audi lane assist warns them by causing the steering wheel to vibrate; the intensity of this can be set at three different levels. The timing of the warning can also be selected – before the wheels have even reached the lines, as soon as they cross them, or based on the system’s adaptive interpretation. A display indicates if Audi lane assist is unable to provide warnings, for instance if the lines are too difficult to identify.
Parking made easy: The APS systems
Audi has three parking assist systems available to take the hassle out of parking. The best known of these is the successful Audi parking system (APS), which supplies an audible signal as the rear of the car approaches an obstruction while backing up. In the second version of APS, visual displays to the front and rear are added. Audi parking system advanced with its integrated rearview camera is the high-tech solution. It is built into the trunk lid and is extremely light-sensitive. With its 130-degree angle of aperture it covers a broad area behind the vehicle and also shows the trailer hitch. The images generated by this camera are input and displayed on the MMI operating system monitor.
The display includes various reference lines and zones to help the driver position the car correctly when backing up. In addition to this real-image mode, APS advanced also provides the classic visual and audible parking aids using signals from ultrasonic sensors.
Audi is also a driving force for progress in the area of multimedia technology – leading from the front of the field. The brand with the four rings has fundamentally revised its superior operating, communication and entertainment system, the MMI (Multi Media Interface), establishing new standards in the business class. It is available in various equipment levels on board the A6, depending on the customer’s requirements.
The A6 has the MMI radio with a 6.5-inch color display, a radio and a CD player as standard; an MP3-capable changer is available as an optional extra. A fourchannel sound system with eight speakers takes care of music reproduction. The basic system in itself delivers outstanding radio reception – thanks to a diversity antenna – as well as speed-dependent volume control.
The standard system can be upgraded in two stages - to MMI radio plus and to the full version MMI navigation plus. Both levels boast an exceptional multitude of high-tech features which completely redefine the standards in this class. The basic controls, which are impressive for their intuitive simplicity, have remained the same; in the case of the MMI navigation system plus they are joined by a new joystick on the control unit. It sits like a cap on the central control knob and can be pushed in eight directions – with extreme precision and the most delicate feel, as is usual with Audi.
Alongside the control terminal, the monitor is the second important interface. In the case of the MMI navigation system plus, this is a TFT color display with a seven-inch screen. With an extremely high resolution of 800 x 480 pixels and LED background illumination, it has extremely good definition and contrast – the colors glow with excellent saturation against a black background, even in difficult light conditions.
As before, the display switches between the individual images with elegant dissolves. When the driver operates the automatic air conditioning the new settings appear for a few seconds in a small window. This pop-up window takes up very little space and gives the user the opportunity to view the MMI content continuously.
Spectacular images: the map display
The large display serves as the stage for another attractive innovation – the navigation’s map display. Here you can choose between the usual twodimensional view and a new 3D view. In the latter the surrounding area appears in bird’s eye view – with the greatest attention to detail. As in an atlas the different altitudes are shown in different colors, with the most important buildings in large towns and cities being shown as three-dimensional images.
Audi has further upgraded many functions in the area of navigation. They include a supplementary detailed map for junctions, on which additional small arrows show the correct lane, as a recommendation to the driver. Whenever helpful the navigation system also presents a choice of three routes, including one that is especially economical.
If the driver wants to enter their destination using the speech control system, they no longer have to spell it out. The new system understands whole words in a large number of languages, without first having to program them. For the MMI navigation system plus, the same applies to the extremely powerful telephone directory, which can store up to 5,000 entries with five numbers each.
Individual pairs of sounds, known as diphones, are recorded in a studio and saved as data records in one of the system’s sub-memories. A fast piece of software recognizes them in the driver’s command, puts them together and compares the complete words with the terms in the directory. The audio instructions of the route guidance system are created from synthetic language by the reverse process. They sound fluent and natural. The driver can choose between a detailed and a concise announcement mode.
Music and entertainment: the DVD drive
The new MMI radio plus and the MMI navigation plus also deliver a fascinating performance in the field of entertainment. Both systems include a drive for navigation, audio and video DVDs. The new joystick function for the control knob proves to be particularly useful in operating the drive.
The drive can play back DVDs in Dolby digital 5.1 multi-channel sound and in other common formats; for safety reasons and because of legal requirements, the picture can only be seen when the vehicle is stationary. Furthermore, the system plays music from CDs and SD cards, as well as in MP3, AAC and WMA formats. A six-channel sound system distributes the signals to ten speakers. There is a double tuner to handle radio reception. One tuner receives the music while the other searches continuously for alternative reception frequencies; the changeover takes place without any perceptible break.
Optional equipment modules make the MMI even more attractive. The Audi music interface perfectly integrates external MP3 players, such as the customer’s iPod. All the menu structures and content appear on the MMI display; control is by means of the MMI or the multifunction steering wheel. Using a socket in the glove box and via adapters it is also possible to connect many players with USB interfaces, as well as analogue audio and video devices. One other highlight is the new double tuner for DAB (Digital Audio Broadcasting) digital radio reception – its signals are of significantly superior quality to those of the analogue standard. The advantage of the double tuner for DAB is that the list of stations is continuously updated in the background.
The modular structure of the two large MMI versions also permits the integration of a CD changer. There is the option of a surround sound system from Bose for excellent sound; it operates with an eight-channel amplifier and 13 speakers. A particularly convenient feature is available on request for making phone calls. The system uses a Bluetooth chip to integrate the customer’s cell phone, provided that it supports the SIM access profile. The MMI car phone comes into action when the ignition key is inserted. It borrows the data from the SIM card and from the cell phone memory, and then switches the cell phone to standby mode. Operation via the vehicle’s antenna ensures optimum reception quality. A voice processor ensures optimum call quality. Voice output is via the sound system.
In the background: concentrated high-tech
Behind the fascinating wealth of functions that the new system offers there is some concentrated high-tech. The central computer in the center console, the “main unit”, integrates all the functions that were previously shared between five separate devices, including the DVD drive. One of its key components is a disk drive. Its 10 or 40 GB storage capacity can be used as a jukebox, holding up to 4,000 music tracks, perfectly sorted. The hard drive also contains the navigation data and an electronic logbook.
Two processors – an 800 MHz chip and a 500 MHz digital signal processor – ensure that all applications such as navigation, speech control, phone and audio can run simultaneously, even though they require high processing power. With the 3D graphics processor from Californian market leader Nvidia, the MMI navigation system plus opens up the third dimension – its resolution and display quality set new standards.
A second grouping, the “radio unit”, combines the functions of tuner and sound system. One central interface links the two units with the rest of the vehicle network. All the components have been developed according to strict specifications from Ingolstadt. Audi’s quality standards are as uncompromising as ever, because the use of electronics in cars involves high levels of stress in terms of temperature and vibration.
The Audi A6 is not just the sportiest sedan in the business class – it is also distinguished by its generous levels of equipment. This applies to its comfort and safety features as well as to both standard and optional equipment.
Standard equipment in the A6 includes the competition-beating Audi MMI (Multi Media Interface) operating system – which integrates a monitor, tuner, CD player and a four-channel sound system with eight speakers. The height of both front seats is adjustable and the deluxe automatic air conditioning features separate controls for the driver and front passenger.
The light and rain sensor relieves the driver of many operating tasks; the electromechanical parking brake is extremely convenient to operate via the touch of a button on the center tunnel. Speed-dependent servotronic steering reduces the effort required for maneuvering and in city traffic. The A6 rolls on powerful yet elegant 16-inch light-alloy wheels.
High visibility: the daytime running lights
With its standard-equipment daytime running lights, Audi’s business sedan can be seen clearly from afar; fog lights also come at no extra charge. The same goes for the quick-response LED rear lights and the Isofix system for fastening child seats to the rear seat.
Six airbags are also always on board, comprising full-size, two-stage airbags for the driver and passenger, side airbags in the front, and the sideguard head airbag system. The integrated head restraint system reduces the risk of whiplash injury in rear-end collisions. Five three-point seatbelts with seatbelt tensioners and belt force limiters round out the ample restraint system package.
The A6 Avant is an especially versatile car for business and leisure. It features roof rails and its large load area contains two rails with sliding fastening rings. A load guard for the luggage compartment, a side net, rear window blind, bag hooks and a 12V socket are also included as standard equipment. The luggage compartment floor can be folded up and locked, allowing access to a second storage level that contains a tray for wet items.
The top model of the A6 family, the 4.2 FSI quattro, includes an array of additional luxurious features: 17-inch light-alloy wheels, an anti-theft alarm, a driver information system, deluxe automatic air conditioning, and electronically adjustable and heated front seats.
The finest in high-tech: Options
The list of optional equipment is also wide-ranging – as is typical for Audi, many features stemming directly from the luxury class are integrated here. Numerous options are available for the interior that lend even more polish to the already refined atmosphere – including aluminum and fine wood inlays, upholstery in high-quality leather and the lighting package. The S line sports package plus features a sophisticated black interior, and numerous additional visual elements can be found in the Audi exclusive program.
The steering wheels feature optional rims made from special types of leather or wood, and shift buttons can be selected for cars equipped with tiptronic or multitronic transmissions. The storage package comes in especially handy on longer drives. Refinements are also available for the seats – heating and electric seat adjustment with an optional memory function can be included, as can a center armrest.
Action-loving customers can order the sports seats or S sports seats, while more luxury-oriented clientele can opt for two individual rear seats or fold-up desks. Tinted windows, infrared-dimming windshields and blinds help to shield occupants from curious onlookers and piercing sun, while the solar sunroof uses the sun’s energy to power the car’s blowers when the car is standing still. Additional luxury options include deluxe automatic air conditioning with indirect air vents and electric power-assisted closing for the doors.
The list also includes fold-down rear seat backrests for the four-cylinder sedan. If desired, the trunk lid can swing open by itself after being released; a luggage compartment package with bag hooks, net and plug socket can also be obtained. Even more practical features can be selected for the Avant: a reversible mat, bicycle rack, a load-securing set with telescopic bar and tensioning strap, a loadthrough hatch with a ski and snowboard bag, an electrically powered trunk lid, a lockable side compartment and a large storage box. There is also a mechanically foldable towing hitch for both body styles.
The driver can make operation of his A6 even more comfortable – with the driver information system, cruise control, the keyless ‘advanced key’ access and starting system, anti-dazzle mirrors, a garage door opener, or with one of the four hightech assistant systems. Audi side assist helps when changing lanes and Audi lane assist warns you if you inadvertently drift out of your lane. Radar-supported adaptive cruise control orients the speed of the A6 on that of the car in front and warns if a rear-end collision is imminent, and the Audi parking system advanced makes parking maneuvers easier with a rearview camera.
A safe bet: Intelligent options
Intelligent options are also available in the area of safety. Xenon plus headlamps are coupled with LED daytime running lights. Together with these, customers may order the enhanced adaptive light system with cornering and static turning lights as well as the high-beam assistant. Isofix fasteners are also available for the front passenger seat – including the ability to switch off the airbag – and side airbags may be selected for the rear seat. A tire pressure monitoring display and run-flat tires also add to safety, while an anti-theft alarm makes life very difficult for unwelcome visitors.
Sporty A6 fans also find a wide selection of options, from the S line sports package plus and the S line exterior package, wheels ranging up to 19 inches and two sports suspensions that lower the body by 20 mm (0.79 in) or 30 mm (1.18 in). Customers seeking the perfect synthesis of dynamics and comfort can select adaptive air suspension with its adjustable shock absorbers.
The sportiest business sedan on the market is also the most successful: the Audi A6 is at the top of its segment, both in Europe and worldwide. Audi sold some 230,000 units of the sedan and the Avant all around the globe in 2006; the following year this number was exceeded by another 4,000 cars – which corresponds to a 37 percent market share among its core competitors.
The various drivelines also underscore the leading role that the A6 plays in the premium segment. Of the cars sold in 2007, 35 percent were equipped with quattro drive, while 65 percent had a V6 engine and another 10 percent had a V8 engine under the hood. If we exclude the Chinese market – where Audi clearly dominates the premium segment – the share of quattro drives rises to 51 percent, and the high-performance engines amount to 68 and 14 percent, respectively.
Luxurious options such as navigation systems also display unusually high installation rates worldwide, which testifies to our customers’ high regard for Audi technologies. The A6 has received numerous awards from the automotive press, including prizes such as “Europe’s No. 1 Car” from “Auto Bild” magazine and the “2005 Import Car of the Year Award” in Japan. In 2008, the Audi A6 was selected as the best car in its class for the fourth time in a row by the readers of “auto motor und sport” magazine. The car also won the 2007 “Auto Trophy” from “Auto Zeitung” magazine – likewise for the fourth year in a row.