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New 2023 Audi A6 facelift caught testing

Audi is tweaking its executive saloon with a new exterior design and updated infotainment

The Audi A6 has been around for 28 years now and during that time it’s established itself as one of the best executive cars you can buy, be it in saloon or Avant estate guise. Audi is still looking to hone the A6 formula further, however, and we’ve caught the revised 2023 model testing. 

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The current fifth-generation A6 launched in 2018 so it’s due a mid-life refresh. We first spotted the updated model early in 2022 and this latest test car doesn’t show any exterior revisions over that car, although we can see the new rear light signature in better detail.

Audi’s rival to the BMW 5 Series, Mercedes E-Class and Maserati Ghibli won’t change too much visually then, with the major cosmetic changes being limited to the camouflaged portions of this prototype. So, there’s a new front bumper with what appears to be a slightly smaller radiator grille, as well as a fresh pair of headlamps with revised daytime running lights and projector units.

The lamps are the same shape as those found on the recently updated Audi A8 limo, and it’s almost certain they’ll feature the same Digital Matrix LED technology – although expect to see this offered as an optional extra. The A8’s headlamps contain 1.3 million micromirrors, which Audi says can precisely adjust the beam pattern to help light up dark patches on the road and improve the driver’s visibility.

It’s much the same story at the rear. The tail lights have refreshed design signatures, the rear valance is a slightly different shape and the boot lid seems to have a larger overhang above the licence plate. The exhaust is also still hidden by the rear bumper.

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We’re expecting the usual suite of trim and upholstery tweaks inside, as well as some updated software for the car’s tri-screen infotainment setup. The screens themselves are unlikely to change, though, with buyers getting the same 12.3-inch digital instrument cluster, 8.8-inch infotainment system and 8.6-inch screen to operate the climate controls.

The current A6’s trim levels will likely be retained, with entry-level Sport, S Line, Black Edition and top-spec Vorsprung completing the range.

The engine line-up will also be carried forward onto the facelifted car with only minimal changes. Starting at the bottom, there’ll be a 201bhp 2.0-litre four-cylinder diesel unit and a pair of 2.0-litre four-cylinder petrol engines with either 201bhp or 261bhp.

Stepping up a rung, there’ll be an updated version of the A6 55 TFSI, which will get its grunt from a 335bhp turbocharged 3.0-litre V6 petrol engine. It’ll also have a diesel V6 counterpart with 282bhp – and both options will come with quattro four-wheel drive as standard.

Plug-in hybrid power will remain a constant in the A6 range, with the updated 50 TFSI e offering 295bhp and a maximum electric only range of up to 41 miles (providing Audi doesn’t make any changes to the current car’s 14.1kWh battery pack).

At the very top of the line-up, there’ll be the performance-focussed Audi S6 and RS6. The former will be powered by a 344bhp 3.0-litre V6 diesel, while the latter will have a 592bhp twin-turbocharged 4.0-litre V8. Again, both will have four-wheel drive. At the top of the range will be the RS 6 Avant ‘performance’ edition with 621bhp

Now now read our review of the updated plug-in hybrid Audi A8 60 TFSI e…

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Senior news reporter

A keen petrol-head, Alastair Crooks has a degree in journalism and worked as a car salesman for a variety of manufacturers before joining Auto Express in Spring 2019 as a Content Editor. Now, as our senior news reporter, his daily duties involve tracking down the latest news and writing reviews.

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