New 2019 Audi A6 revealed: mild hybrid and high-tech all over

The new A6 C8 generation comes with lots of driving and comfort tech

Audi A6's eighth generation is prepared for the electric and autonomous driving revolution, but it's also the last of its kind

All new-gen cars launched in 2018 are like the last dinosaurs: eight years later, most of the tech available today will be completely obsolete, in a manner that did not happen until a couple of years ago. And the all-new Audi A6 C8 is the perfect example of a car that makes the transition between internal combustion cars driven by a human to electric autonomous machines. We're almost there, but not quite yet.

Design-wise, there's nothing to write home about. The Audi A6 is more aggressive than the preceding generation, with HD Matrix LED headlights featuring five horizontal lines as DRLs, and taillights united with a single horizontal chrome line, with nine vertical segments for each unit. Two big chrome tailpipes finish the rear signature, giving the car a massive look.

You can choose one of the 14 colors, seven of which are new, and you have a choice of two sport and design exterior lines, and the S line exterior package. 

2019 Audi A6 C8: platform and dimensions

Based on the MLB platform, the new A6 is 4,939 millimeters (16.2 ft) long, 7 mm (0.3 in) longer than its predecessor. The width increased by 12 mm (0.5 in) to 1,886 mm (6.2 ft), and the car is now 2 mm taller, at 1,457 mm (4.8 ft). 

The standard progressive steering becomes more direct as the steering angle increases; the new A6 also comes with dynamic all-wheel steering - depending on the speed, the steering ratio varies between 9.5:1 and 16.5:1, the rear wheels steering as much as 5 degrees. At low speeds, this reduces the car's turning circle by up to 1.1 meters (3.6 ft) to 11.1 meters (36.4 ft).  At high speed, the wheels turn in the same direction, for optimal stability.

The new A6 also comes with larger wheels, measuring up to 21 inches and tire sizes of up to 255/35, and Audi says that ride and noise comfort has improved. The front axle is fitted with brakes with fixed aluminum calipers. Audi also provides a choice of four variants for the suspension setup: the conventional steel spring suspension, the sport suspension, the suspension with damper control, and the adaptive air suspension, also with controlled damping.

2019 Audi A6: drivetrain

Both engines in the new A6 come with Audi’s new mild-hybrid technology (MHEV), enabling the Audi A6 to reduce its overall fuel consumption by up to 0.7 l/100 km. The car can coast between 55 and 160 km/h (34.2 and 99.4 mph). The start-stop function kicks in up to 22 km/h (13.7 mph). The engine is restarted from standstill predictively as soon as the vehicle in front of the Audi A6 starts moving. During deceleration, the car can recover up to 12 kW of energy.

On the European market, Audi offers the new A6 with two engines. The petrol engine is a 340 hp V6 3.0 TFSI able to sprint from 0-100 km/h in 5.1 seconds, for an electronically limited top speed of 250 km/h (155.3 mph). It develops 500 Nm (368.8 lb-ft) of torque and has a combined fuel consumption of 7.1 – 6.7 liters (33.1 – 35.1 mpg) and combined CO2 emissions: 161 – 151 g/km (259.1 – 243.0 g/mi). The engine is coupled as standard with a seven-speed S tronic automatic gearbox. 

The 3.0 TDI develops 286 hp and 620 Nm (457.3 lb-ft) of torque. Combined fuel consumption is 5.8 – 5.5 l/100 km (40.6 – 42.8 mpg); combined CO2 emissions are 150 – 142 g/km (241.4 – 228.5 g/mi). The 3.0 TDI is paired with an eight-speed tiptronic gearbox.

Both engines are equipped as standard with the quattro all-wheel drive, whose design varies depending on the specific setup. In conjunction with the tiptronic it comes with the self-locking center differential; in tandem with the S tronic the setup features the more efficient ultra technology, which always activates the rear-wheel drive instantly whenever needed.

When coupled with the tiptronic transmission, the optional sport differential actively distributes power between the rear wheels. The driver can select various driving profiles via the Audi drive select system – from comfort to sportiness.

2019 Audi A6: interior, tech, and conveniences 

Audi increased headroom, shoulder room and legroom both in the front and rear, while also reducing noise and vibrations (the minimum drag coefficient of 0.24 should help). Luggage space remains the same at 530 liters (18.7 cu ft) but now offers more loading width. The trunk lid can be opened electrically with a kicking motion with the foot.

The seats are new and are optionally available with ventilation and massage. Owners can opt for the air quality package that offers two subtle fragrances, an ionizer, and a pollutant filter. Also optional are the windshield wipers with integrated washer jets and the heated windshield.

Five trim versions are available: basic, sport, design, design selection and S line sport package (with 19-inch wheels and sport suspension). Each variant is associated with different color concepts and interior lightning packages (with up to 30 different colors to choose from). Audi also offers the S line exterior package as an option for all equipment lines.

The center console in the new Audi A6 is directed at the driver; the top MMI touch response display with haptic and acoustic feedback is also tilted slightly to the left and is activated when opening a door. Speaking of the MMI, it's the latest iteration of the system and comes with some new features, tailoring the car to the driver.

You can drag and drop the vehicles' functions according to your preferences; shortcuts and favorites buttons also enable the driver to configure the car at ease.  Up to seven drivers can store their preferred settings in individual user profiles and set up to 400 parameters. 

As you can see from the official pictures, there are two displays on the center console. The driver manages the infotainment on the top screen, which has a 10.1-inch screen diagonal if MMI navigation plus has been specified. The bottom 8.6-inch screen is used for the climate control, the convenience functions and text input. The driver also has a head-up display projected onto the windshield. 

The optional MMI navigation plus also includes the Audi virtual cockpit with a 12.3-inch display, and has a self-learning function that offers intelligent search suggestions based on the driven routes. You can combine this nav system with the top-of-the-line Bang & Olufsen Advanced Sound System with 3D sound. The system can also understand normal day-to-day speech and inquires, Audi says, and we're keen to test this function, as voice recognition is still usually a pain in the back.

As an option, the Audi connect key replaces the conventional vehicle key. This allows an Android smartphone to unlock, lock the car and start the engine. Near Field Communication transfers data to the car. The owner can pass the access data onto five people or smartphones.

2019 Audi A6 - driver assistance systems

The Park Assist system can autonomously maneuver the new A6 into and out of a parking space or garage, with the driver outside the car, using the myAudi app on their smartphone. 

The City assist package includes features such as the new crossing assist. The Tour assist package comes with the adaptive cruise assist, which supplements the adaptive cruise control by means of gentle steering intervention to keep the vehicle in lane, and the efficiency assist, which promotes an economical driving style.

Audi connect online services also provide the car-to-X services traffic sign and hazard information that use swarm intelligence from the Audi fleet and network the Audi A6 with its environment. Shortly after the market launch, the on-street parking service will be added, enabling drivers to find parking spaces easier. 

Depending on equipment, the sensor set includes up to five radar sensors, five cameras, twelve ultrasonic sensors as well as a laser scanner. No word yet on other, more advanced driving assist systems like on the new A8, but we'll come back on that. 

The new Audi A6 will be assembled at the Neckarsulm site and will launch on the German market in June 2018 at a basic price 58,050 euros for the Audi A6 Sedan 50 TDI quattro. The US should see the car starting this fall for the 2019 model year.

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