The new model cavalcade at Audi continues! Following hot on the heels of the A1 supermini and A7 Sportback come the first official pictures of the all-new A6.
The photos reveal a subtle reworking of the outgoing car’s familiar shape rather than a completely new profile, but major changes include stronger creases along the doorlines and shorter overhangs. Up front, the angular new headlights are picked out by a stylish take on the brand’s signature LED running lamps.
Unlike most new models, the A6 is shorter and lower than the car it replaces, but wider and with a longer wheelbase, to improve space. The resulting short rear overhang reduces the load area yet gives a more compact look.
Inside, it’s more luxurious than ever, with the same great finish as in the A7. Curved new inlays in the doors help provide a wraparound feel. The MMI touchscreen now folds flush with the dash, while a 3G phone connection creates a wireless Internet hotspot for mobile devices inside the car.
The lightweight philosophy debuted on the Quattro concept is clearly already influencing production Audis, as more than 20 per cent of the body is made of aluminium. This means the front-wheel-drive 2.0-litre TDI tips the scales at 1,575kg – that’s 120kg less than the equivalent version of the latest BMW 5-Series.
Under the bonnet, the big news is the arrival of a hybrid version, in 2012 – a year after the rest of the range. The first-ever petrol-electric A6 will use the same 2.0-litre TFSI engine and 33kW lithium-ion battery as next year’s Q5 hybrid, giving a 242bhp combined output. The car will also be capable of running on electric power alone – at up to 62mph – although the range is limited to only two miles.
The rest of the line-up is a familiar mix of four and six-cylinder petrols and diesels. A supercharged 296bhp 3.0-litre V6 will launch the flagship from 0-62mph in only 5.5 seconds. Despite the new hybrid, the cleanest A6 will be a front-wheel-drive 2.0-litre TDI with 175bhp. This will return 61.4mpg and emit a mere 129g/km of CO2.
Two specs will be available - SE and S line. Standard kit includes LED daytime running lamps, leather upholstery, cruise and parking controls, SD-based satellite navigation, Bluetooth and rain sensors.
S line models add 18-inch alloy wheels, xenon headlamps, sports suspension and an exclusive S line exterior and interior styling treatment.
The A6 is set to debut at next month’s Detroit Motor Show, before arriving in dealers in the spring. Prices start at £30,145 for the 2.0-litre TDI with a manual gearbox, rising to £41,620 for the 3.0-litre TFSI with a seven-speed S Tronic transmission. S Line models command a £2,350 premium over SE versions.