Latest Audi A6 line-up on the way

Audi A6 has been revised for 2009 and the new range gets here later this year. It will include extensive engine updates and subtle restyling. The new line-up will be crowned by the new saloon version of V10 RS 6, when it arrives in the final quarter of this year.

The new Audi A6 range made its international debut early this month, underpinning enhancements to visual appeal, refinement, convenience electronics and equipment with improvements in fuel economy and emissions control averaging 12 per cent courtesy of new or updated engines. And it is both aesthetically and technically smarter.

The new A6 line-up will have two all-new engines in particular which will be among the headline-makers in the latest range – a 3.0-litre TFSI petrol unit which makes its debut here to effectively replace both the 3.2 FSI V6 and the 4.2 V8, and the advanced 2.0-litre TDI with common rail piezo fuel injection, whose impressive frugality makes the new A6 TDIe model possible. This 136 bhp diesel unit replaces the 2.0 litre pump jet injection engine with 140 bhp, and later in 2008 will also become available in the A6 in 170 bhp form.

In contrast to the familiar turbo charged Audi TFSI engines, the new V6 TFSI uses supercharging to elicit even more instantaneous response coupled with excellent economy. Audi is no stranger to this alternative method of forced induction – Auto Union models bearing the four rings were employing it during the 1930s.

The new 3.0 TFSI delivers an impressive 290 bhp at just under 5,000 rpm, and its equally creditable 420 Nm torque peak – remarkably close to the 440 Nm output of the 4.2 V8 – is available from 2,500 rpm through to 4,850 rpm. With tiptronic automatic transmission smoothly feeding in the plentiful power, and the latest quattro system that is now either standard or optional for A6 V6 models distributing it 40 per cent to 60 per cent in favour of the rear wheels, the new A6 3.0 TFSI quattro powers to 62 mph in just 5.9 seconds. Top speed – as is the norm for the majority of high performance Audi models – is restricted electronically to 155mph.

Equally importantly, the fact that FSI technology permits fuel injection into the combustion chamber in more precise measures than ever before guarantees outstanding economy, the 3.0 TFSI making up to 30 mpg possible according to the combined cycle test. Its 219g/km CO2 output is a 15 per cent improvement over the 3.2-litre V6 quattro model.

The latest direct injection technology is also at the heart of the new 2.0-litre, 136PS TDI engine. Optimised through the use of advanced piezo injectors, the common rail system not only contributes significantly to major improvements in performance, fuel economy and emissions, but also has a dramatic effect on running refinement.

Power transmission for the new range is, as before, taken care of by six-speed manual, six-speed tiptronic automatic and economy-maximising seven-speed multitronic CVT automatic transmissions.

Audi says that the new smoother and quicker A6 range has also been aided by extensive modifications to the standard suspension, key among these being optimised spring settings and the addition of new large-diameter front shock absorbers operating within a revised valve system. An update of the quattro all-wheel-drive system to the latest generation 40/60 per cent rear-biased version also brings greater agility.

Adaptive air suspension continues to be offered as an option, a specially reconfigured version of which gives the A6 allroad quattro its impressive all-terrain ability.

These very beneficial advances are enveloped by a subtly updated body featuring, at the front, revisions to the single frame grille, the bumpers, the air intakes and the fog lights, and at the rear a re-sculpted saloon boot lid, redesigned tail lights and detail changes including a new rear diffuser.

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