Audi A6: The best of German engineering

When it comes to driving through the green environs far away from the concrete din of Bangalore City, the Audi A6 makes for the most valuable companion, with its spread and mix of luxury, safety, technology, features and power.

Audi has been at the top of its game since the last few years, with its range of cars and SUVs becoming a household name among luxury car enthusiasts in India. Among its eclectic mix of automobiles, stands the ‘business class’ saloon, the A6, which waits for us to hop on.

Not much of an introduction is required about the A6, which is a familiar sight on Indian roads, but it gives one immense pleasure to pen the Audi A6 experience, reflecting on its finesse and brilliance.

As we behold the A6, we are thoroughly impressed by its large stance, composed of bold cuts and very stylish road presence. Its expressive styling involves the lateral tornado line: below the side windows, where it progresses boldly from the headlights to the rear end, giving the A6 saloon a light, confident appearance.

The impression is enhanced by the 10-spoke V-design cast aluminium wheels. Besides, it has a single-frame design wherein the new geometry with the horizontal struts in high-gloss black emphasises an agile forward urge in the Audi single-frame grille.

Every edge and every line on the Audi A6 is part of the bigger picture, giving this saloon the power to seize the onlooker’s attention immediately, whatever the vantage point. The optionally-available LED headlights blend seamlessly into the car’s design, identifying a strong character even from afar. The car appears sleek, yet aggressive and ready to take on the road with its superior design.

Once inside the car, the technological edge of Audi soon enraptures us as we are welcomed by a set of deftly crafted buttons and knobs that finely blend into the overall aesthetics of the car’s interiors. The dashboard is a fresh breeze as the craftsmanship that has gone into it adds new value to the art of car interior construction itself.

The extraordinary details such as the optionally available comfort seat with a wide array of adjustment options, shape of the air-con vents, seat ventilation and massage function as well as the optional inlays in oakwood beaufour signs of sheer exclusiveness.

The Audi A6 saloon’s technology is perfectly tailored to the driver’s needs. The optional touch-sensitive MMI touch allows you to control the navigation system and place calls with one finger, without even needing to look away from the road. The interiors’ spaciousness is one of the A6’s most inviting features that greet the driver and passengers on every journey. The many intelligently designed shelves and compartments make driving a relaxing affair.

Great beginning

We hit the road. In the very beginning itself one realises that the drive on an A6 is a beautiful partnership between man and machine as the car’s responsiveness is clear even as we hit the ignition.

The car that we are driving is the Audi A6 TDI, which happens to contain one of the most powerful, yet fuel-efficient diesel engines. A reading of Audi’s official brochures, tells one that it was about 20 years ago, when Audi revolutionised the car market with the launch of the first 2.5-litre TDI engine. In the meantime, developments such as common-rail technology have made the TDI even more efficient.

Piezo injectors ensure a fine, precise distribution of fuel. Thus, engines have become around 30 per cent more economical since the first TDI was introduced onto the market, while specific output has been increased.

The new generation A6 that we are driving boasts of a 3.0 TDI quattro powertrain developing 180 kW, which accelerates the saloon from 0-100 km/h in 6.1 seconds with a muscular torque of 500 Nm. We approach the highway towards Tumkur and begin hitting the acceleration pedal, first gradually, then with faster pace. The car’s pickup is indeed commendable. Without any jerk or abrupt movement, the A6 effortlessly and quickly picks up speed and begins to power across the road.

The car’s advanced gearbox requires some explanation here. The 7-speed S tronic dual-clutch gearbox, which combines two gearboxes in one, enhances the car’s sportiness and efficiency. The high level of efficiency and the rapid gear changes deliver even greater driving pleasure.

Audi explains about an enthusiasm its drivers share to this day, owing to the modern S tronic changing gears at lightning speed. To do this, two multi-disc clutches serve the different gears. One large clutch transfers the torque via a drive shaft to the gearwheels of the odd-numbered gears.

A second clutch serves the even-numbered gears via a hollow shaft. Both parts of the transmission are permanently active, although there is only one ever actively connected to the engine via a closed clutch. The gear change only lasts a few hundredths of a second and is completed with virtually no interruption in the power flow. It runs so smoothly and comfortably that the driver barely notices it.

While driving, we could not make out the sudden, yet very smooth, shifting of the gears, even as the car galloped towards a top speed of above 185 km/h. The automatic transmission is available in two selectable modes: Drive (D) and Sport (S). In manual mode, gearshifts are carried out just like in a racing car, by means of paddles on the steering wheel or by nudging the selector lever.

Overall, the transmission is available in a combination with quattro Vorsprung durch Technik: quattro technology stands for permanent power to all four wheels distributed between the front and rear axles.

As the A6 approaches traffic on the road, its firm steering wheel control and braking makes manoeuvrability easy and the engine’s power is fully controlled by the driver and the car’s turning radius complements the complete drive experience well.

At higher speeds, the car’s ground clearance adapts itself accordingly, ensuring that the car is more aerodynamic and the drive is smooth and safe.

In terms of convenience and safety, the A6 offers a plethora of features that add grandeur and value to its premium feel. The luggage compartment lid, optional with electric opening and closing, conceals a 530-litre luggage compartment – ample storage space whatever the destination.

The mobile solutions for the Audi A6 provide outstanding levels of reacheability and convenience. One can choose between the Bluetooth interface, the flexible mobile phone preparation (Bluetooth) and the Bluetooth car phone online.

The car’s infotainment system is very advanced as well. In the Audi A6, you have access to thousands of songs, audio books and podcasts, as well as video DVDs and the latest TV programmes. Apart from this, the car comes with a Bose surround sound system.

At the end of the 100-odd kms that we have driven the A6, we are certainly impressed with its driving comfort that its plush leather seats offer. The interior ambience is just perfect with zero engine sound being heard inside the cabin, and the car feels all the more inviting over and over again that one would like to drive in it.

The Audi A6 is a good choice both as a powerful pleasure car as well as a safe family car. It boasts of special features that different enthusiasts may expect from their car, being priced in the range of Rs 42,73,000—Rs 54,29,000 (Ex-showroom Bangalore). Above all is the triumph of German engineering that is written all over it.

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