Audi unveils the all-new 2018 A6

28th February 2018
Gary Axon

Fifty years after the launch of the large executive saloon that put Audi on the map - the Mercedes-Benz engineered Audi 100 of 1968 – that model’s 2018 spiritual successor, the all-new, fifth-generation Audi A6, has now broken cover, ahead of its public reveal at next week’s Geneva Salon.


Drawing inevitably on the current Audi design DNA, the new A6 relies heavily on the front-end of the latest ‘long-tail’ fastback A7, with strong overtones of the new A8 top-draw saloon as well.

The front of the new A6 is the twin of the A7 from the A-pillars forward, with the side near identical too, save for the new A6’s more traditional three-box profile. The rear of the new booted A6 clearly resembles the two larger and more expensive executive Audi A7 and A8 models, but with unique styling.

The new A6’s interior is like its frontal section, identical to its near-twin, the A7. The new model’s showpiece is the latest Audi MMI touch response system (as per the new A8), which features a 10.1-inch ‘infotainment’ touchscreen at the top of the dash, plus an additional 8.6-inch touchscreen below it that controls the climate control system, and also accepts finger-drawn text inputs drawn. An optional full-colour head-up display with a 10.1-inch screen, navigation and 12.3-inch Virtual Cockpit digital gauges will also be available at extra cost.


The new A6 will be the first car in the upper-executive sector to be sold with mild-hybrid technology across the entire engine range, stretching from four-cylinder motors to V6s. The four-cylinder motor will have a basic 12-volt belt starter-generator system, with a stop-start function that will operate while the Audi is still moving, at up to 14 mph. It will also enable the new A6 to coast between 35 mph and 100 mph when the driver lifts his or her foot off the accelerator pedal, to switch off the engine entirely.

The 3-litre turbocharged V6 engine will have a 48-volt belt alternator starter mild-hybrid system, which will add an electric generator to the belt to allow for quicker, smoother automatic engine stop/start, as well as regenerative braking when the engine isn’t generating full power, and the ability to also coast at speed. to a stop, the engine automatically restarting when the car ahead moves. The V6 model also has a lithium-ion battery to store energy during deceleration, to help the engine emit around 10g/km less Co2 than a conventional unit.

This V6 engine is connected exclusively to a seven-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission and a variant of Audi’s Quattro all-wheel drive, which decouples the rear axle when not required to help the A6’s fuel economy.


A rear-wheel steering system is optional and improves both agility and the turning radius. As the wheels are driven and turned, they are corralled by independent suspension all around, with one of four spring and shock combinations: springs and fixed dampers, springs and electronically adjustable dampers, air suspension and electronically adjustable dampers, and a sport suspension, with stiffer springs and fixed dampers.

The UK market engine line-up will begin with the 201 bhp 2.0 TDi diesel, with the option of 3.0 V6 TDi with 228 bhp or 286 bhp, plus a 3-litre V6 TFSi petrol, all mated as standard to an automatic gearbox.

Slightly larger on the outside, noticeably larger on the inside than the out-going fourth-generation A6, sales of the new executive Audi will commence in June, when prices will be announced.

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