Audi A6 3.0T FSi quattro S line - AUDI A6 Car Review
Added: 18 Apr 2009
AWESOME, said the man delivering the new A6 saloon; Wow, said the official who valet-parked it for me at a motoring event.
Two drivers with great experience over a wide range of cars and Audi's newcomer took their breath away; mine, too, for that matter.
It wasn't so much the technical, design and equipment improvements, though these all make their mark, as we shall see, but the supercharged 3.0-litre TFSi V6 power pack, the pride of the new range of engines.
At 290bhp and producing pull that reaches a massive 309lb/ft way down at 2,500 revs, it is a beast of the highest order that easily takes a 1,725kg car to 155mph and would cheerfully go beyond that if a limiter wasn't in place.
Neither does it waste time getting there. Pin-you-back acceleration is on tap, and the 0-62mph time of under six seconds - this is a big, five-metres long car, remember - tells only part of the tale. It promises to go on and on, but the laws of the land forbade me from finding out.
What is readily clear is how well the car copes with all this shove. Control was the hallmark of the previous A6 and it is one of the areas that has been enhanced further in the new one. Audi's all-wheel drive is a good, secure start, of course, and there are stability and traction controls at work, but the car's surefootedness still makes a big impression. There's a four-link front suspension and trapezoidal-link at the rear, with anti-roll bars featuring in both.
The car under test was an S line model, which brought in sports suspension settings to add to the driveability, but in this case it didn't bring jarring discomfort with it, Audi managing to combine handling certainty with a highly-absorbent ride.
To add to the driving pleasure, the six-speed automatic transmission adds sports mode, while to get do-it-yourself satisfaction there's tiptronic manual operation and paddle change as well. Something for everybody. Then there's the executive-class ambience in the cabin, with fine noise-suppression at work that even the bigger 18in tyres that feature in the S line couldn't defeat.
Also on the credit side, surprisingly so given the performance stats, is the economy from the 3.0T FSi, just about 40mpg on the open road and beating 30 on average. Okay, in-town figures of 21.4mpg aren't so laudable, but this isn't natural territory for a car like the A6. But you have to feel guilty about the emissions, because, while improvements have been made, you are still churning out 219g/km of carbon dioxide. Not good.
Practical enhancements in the cabin include the third-generation version of the Multi-Media Interface, operated by a dial ahead of the arm rest and with more capacity and more information.
As always with Audi, design and layout is exemplary and here there were the benefits of S line special features, including badging, black headlining and some very attractive brushed aluminium inserts along with chrome highlights, while the whole dash was given a kick by the lovely piano-black panels from the options list.
At this trim level you also get sports seats in Milano leather, with electric lumbar adjustment, and three-spoke leather, multi-function steering wheel. Externally, S line gives you distinctive styling features and xenon-plus headlights with washers.
But even entry models are well kitted-out, including as standard the driving aids, front, side and curtain airbags, climate control, cruise control, an electronic handbrake, reach and height-adjusting steering wheel and 17in alloys.
And, of course, all models benefit from the super room, which benefits those at the back as well. Reading lights and a power point are provided in this area.
Luggage, too, gets ample room with a boot of 546 litres, cleanlined, although with a substantial lip. Fold-down rear seats allow for even more capacity.
There's class about the whole thing, and that's also true of the exterior. The A6 features strong flowing lines, but nothing flashy, unless you count the generous chrome features. Spot the two tailpipes on the 3.0T FSi and you may suspect that the general elegance is hiding something quite wicked, and you would be right.
Audi A6 3.0T FSi quattro S line 4dr
Mechanical: 290bhp, 2,995cc, 6cyl petrol engine driving four wheels via 6-speed automatic gearbox
Max speed: 155mph
0-62mph: 5.9 secs
Combined mpg: 30.1
Insurance group: 17
CO2 emissions: 219g/km
BiK rating: 29%
Warranty: 3yrs/ 60,000 miles
Keywords: Audi, A6