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New 8th-generation Audi A6 features 48V mild hybrid system as standard

Audi unveiled the eighth generation of its successful A6 full-size sedan; all engines feature Audi’s 48V mild-hybrid (MHEV) system (earlier post) as standard equipment.

In Audi’s new mild-hybrid technology, a belt alternator starter (BAS) works together with a lithium-ion battery. The Audi A6 can coast between 55 and 160 km/h (34.2 and 99.4 mph). The start-stop function kicks in at speeds up to 22 km/h (13.7 mph); the engine is restarted from standstill predictively. During deceleration, the BAS recovers up to 12 kW of energy. In real-world driving, the MHEV technology reduces fuel consumption by up to 0.7 liters per 100 kilometers.

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As part of the launch in the European markets, Audi offers the new A6 with one diesel and one gasoline unit. The gasoline unit (combined fuel consumption in l/100 km: 7.1 – 6.7 (33.1 – 35.1 mpg); combined CO2 emissions in g/km: 161 – 151 (259.1 – 243.0 g/mi)) is a 3.0 TFSI.

The V6 turbocharged engine accelerates the business sedan from 0 to 100 km/h (0 – 62.1 mph) in 5.1 seconds with 250 kW (340 hp) and 500 N·m (368.8 lb-ft) of torque; the electronically limited top speed is 250 km/h (155.3 mph).

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The 3.0 TDI with 210 kW (286 hp) produces similar performance (combined fuel consumption in l/100 km: 5.8 – 5.5 (40.6 – 42.8 mpg); combined CO2 emissions in g/km: 150 – 142 (241.4 – 228.5 g/mi)). It delivers 620 N·m (457.3 lb-ft) of torque to the crankshaft. While the 3.0 TDI is paired with an eight-speed tiptronic, the 3.0 TFSI is coupled as standard with a seven-speed S tronic.

The two engines are equipped as standard with the quattro all-wheel drive, the design of which 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 even more efficient ultra technology, which always activates the rear-wheel drive instantly whenever needed. All gearshifts are automatic.

In conjunction with the tiptronic transmission the optional sport differential lends the A6 even more dynamic handling by actively distributing the power between the rear wheels. Like the dynamic all-wheel steering, the controlled damping and the adaptive air suspension, it is integrated into the control function of the electronic chassis platform. These systems are closely networked for innovative precision. The driver can select various driving profiles via the Audi drive select system—the wide spread from comfort through sportiness is even more pronounced than in the outgoing model.

Suspension. The new Audi A6 is noticeably sportier than the outgoing model, due particularly to innovative solutions for the suspension. The already sporty ratio of the standard progressive steering becomes even more direct as the steering angle increases; a new damping concept also conveys intensive, finally differentiated feedback from the road.

The dynamic all-wheel steering is a key component in this agility and maneuverability. It combines direct, sporty steering response with unshakable stability, resolving this classic conflict of aims. Depending on the speed, the steering ratio varies between 9.5:1 and 16.5:1. This is due to a strain wave gearing at the front.

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At the rear axle, a spindle drive turns the wheels as much as 5 degrees. At low speed, the wheels steer in the opposite direction to the front wheels, thus enhancing the agility of the A6 and reducing its turning circle by up to 1.1 meters (3.6 ft) to 11.1 meters (36.4 ft). This makes maneuvering easy despite the almost five-meter (16.4 ft) exterior length of the large Sedan. At high speed the wheels turn in the same direction, thus optimizing stability when traveling in a straight line or changing lanes. Thus the A6 not only offers the driver smooth straight-line stability at high speed. Passengers also enjoy more comfort since the steering movements seem much softer on the rear seats.

The redesigned wheel suspension is also made out of lightweight aluminum in many areas. Despite the larger wheels, measuring up to 21 inches and tire sizes of up to 255/35, than on the outgoing model, the Audi A6 has improved ride and noise comfort. Brakes with fixed calipers made from aluminum are fitted to the front axle. Audi 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.

Driver assistance systems. The new A6 with new and refined driver assistance systems sets new standards in its luxury class. These include the parking pilot and the garage pilot, which are set to extend the range of equipment during the course of the year: they autonomously maneuver the sedan into and out of a parking space or garage. The driver can get out of the car before activating and monitoring the process using the myAudi app on their smartphone. To do so, the driver must continuously hold down the relevant function key.

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The parking pilot and the garage pilot form part of the Park assist package, one of three packages. 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.

Behind the extensive assist systems is the central driver assistance controller (zFAS). It calculates continuously a detailed model of the environment from a fusion of sensor data. Depending on equipment, the sensor set includes up to five radar sensors, five cameras, twelve ultrasonic sensors as well as a laser scanner—another innovation.

MMI touch response operating system. With extensive intelligent personalization options, the car is tailored to the driver: The all-digital operating system allows central vehicle functions to be placed in the required position in the MMI screen using drag-and-drop—similar to the user experience with smartphone apps. Shortcuts and favorites buttons form the ideal basis for individual preferences and superb ease-of-use.

Up to seven drivers can store their preferred settings in individual user profiles and set up to 400 parameters. With its logical and flat menu structure, the system provides fast access to vehicle functions. The configurable favorites buttons help tailor the system to the user’s preferences. As an option, the lighting and multifunction buttons can be fitted with touch response technology.

The natural-language control processes questions and commands in two ways, with onboard stored data and also—in conjunction with MMI navigation plus—with the detailed knowledge from the cloud.

The MMI touch response operating system with haptic and acoustic feedback provides rapid, intuitive operation: Users hear and feel a click as confirmation as soon as their finger triggers a function.

The driver manages the infotainment on the top display, which has a 10.1-inch screen diagonal if MMI navigation plus has been specified. The bottom 8.6-inch display, located in the console in the center tunnel, is used for the climate control and for the convenience functions and text input; the driver’s wrist can sit on the selector lever of the automatic transmission. In addition, the head-up display projects important information onto the windshield. MMI navigation plus also includes the Audi virtual cockpit with a 12.3-inch display.

MMI navigation plus and Audi connect. The new Audi A6 offers an extensive range of connectivity solutions for safety, convenience and personalization. The standard specification includes MMI navigation, with MMI navigation plus—a media hub with a new design—available as an option. The top-of-the-line data transfer module uses the new LTE Advanced standard.

MMI navigation plus also offers a host of new navigation features. These include a self-learning function based on the driven routes, which generates intelligent search suggestions. Route guidance is provided online on the servers run by service provider HERE; these servers factor in the traffic situation in the entire region. If the flow of data is interrupted, the navigation switches to the online route guidance that runs in parallel. Six free six-monthly updates are available as standard for the navigation map.

Audi connect online services also provide the car-to-X services traffic sign and hazard information. They use the 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, which makes looking for a parking space easier. Using the myAudi app, owners of the new A6 can access the brand’s digital services via a smartphone.

As an option, the Audi connect key replaces the conventional vehicle key. It makes using the business sedan even more convenient, and 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.

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The new Audi A6 is due to roll off the assembly line at the Neckarsulm site and will launch on the German market in June 2018. The basic price as the Audi A6 Sedan 50 TDI is €58,050 (US$71,446).

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