Business express: New Audi A6 at the 2018 Geneva motor show

Published: 07 March 2018

2018 Audi A6 saloon unveiled at Geneva
A8-inspired look and tech inside and outt
Mild hybrids, autonomy tech, and a sharper drive

The wraps have come off the new 2018 Audi A6 at the Geneva motor show, the new outside lane dominator having hot-footed it down from Ingolstadt.

Rear of the Audi A6 at the 2018 Geneva motor show

Audi is promising the world with its new A6: a sporty drive, a comfortable ride, space aplenty, a sharp-suited design and more tech than the International Space Station. Keep reading for everything we know about the new A6 saloon.

See the new Audi A6 at the Geneva motor show 2018

Audis all look the same these days!

Granted, if you look at the current Audi range there doesn’t seem to be a lot in the name of variation. However, designer Philipp Roemers, under the steady hand of styling chief Mark Lichte, assures us that the A6 is different to its A7 and A8 siblings: ‘Our goal [with A6] was to make the most sporty and progressive car in the segment,’ he vows.

‘A8 is about prestige and sophistication, with a silhouette that’s different to the A7, which is more dynamic with every line pushing backwards. With the A6 we are somewhere in the middle now, it’s very stable.’

Audi A6 designer chat

It’s the same story at the front. Roemers (above right, with CAR's Jake Groves) points out that ‘the A8 has the biggest grille, with angles that are a little more upright to show prestige and status. The A7 is very narrow and very wide, and the A6 is again somewhere in the middle. There are also different light graphics.’

The S Line model A6s look particularly sharp, with the grey car in these images featuring a noticeably angular bumper set and some attractive alloy wheels.

Talk me through the new 2018 Audi A6’s engine range

There will be four engines available from launch: three diesels and one high-powered petrol. A6 buyers still favour diesel, despite the Dieselgate emissions scandal, and strategically, parent company Volkswagen Group favours an e-fuel-based solution to extend the viability of all internal combustion engines.

Audi A6 red side pan

Although Audi says its committed to diesel for the forseeable future, it’s keeping a close eye on the market, and is poised to introduce another entry-level 2.0-litre TFSI petrol engine, likely named 40 TFSI. An Audi A6 PHEV plug-in might even join the range at some point in the near future, poised to take on the BMW 530e iPerformance.

Audi A6 specs, engine line-up

40 TDI
Engine 2.0-litre 4cyl diesel, 201bhp, 295lb ft
Transmission Seven-speed S Tronic dual-clutch automatic
Driven wheels Front- or Quattro all-wheel drive
Electrics 12v mild hybrid system

45 TDI
Engine 3.0-litre 6cyl diesel, 228bhp, 369lb ft
Transmission Eight-speed ZF automatic
Driven wheels Quattro all-wheel drive
Electrics 48v mild hybrid system

50 TDI
Engine 3.0-litre 6cyl diesel, 282bhp, 457lb ft
Transmission Eight-speed ZF automatic
Driven wheels Quattro all-wheel drive
Electrics 48v mild hybrid system

55 TFSI
Engine 3.0-litre V6 petrol, 335bhp, 369lb ft
Transmission Seven-speed S tronic dual-clutch automatic
Driven wheels Quattro all-wheel drive
Electrics 48v mild hybrid system

Trim specifications are yet to be nailed down, but we do know that both SE and S line versions will be available in the UK. We’ll find out more soon.

What is the Audi A6 like inside?

If you’ve had a chance to take a peek at the new A8 limo or A7 Sportback, the new Audi A6's cabin will already seem familiar. The cues are all there: Virtual Cockpit, thin-rimmed leather steering wheel, chunky gearlever and a high quality of finish.

Audi A6 interior

Audi has whacked in the twin-screen MMI Touch infotainment system, whether you like it or not, as the brand moves away from its rotary dial set-up. The system divides the car’s controls up between the screen, with the upper being used for navigation, media and vehicle controls like switching mode with Audi’s Drive Select system.

The lower screen, meanwhile, is specifically there to manage the front occupants' climate and seating needs, directing airflow and managing the temperature of both the cabin and the seats. Both screens use haptic touch feedback, buzzing and fizzing when you touch them. Strange at first, but actually works very well.

Audi A6 seatbelt clasp

It’s a properly premium place to sit, as you’d expect from an Audi. After our sneak peek at the car at one of Audi’s clandestine studios, we found the seats to be very supportive and the material quality excellent, and may have gotten distracted by small things like the metal finish on the centre console, new-generation Virtual Cockpit instrument display and the, er… illuminated seatbelt clips (see above).

Yes, really...

I take it the new Audi A6's tech list is similar, too?

Absolutely. Tech has trickled out from the A6’s bigger siblings, meaning it has the capability for Level 3 autonomy (check out what that means here), mainly thanks to the suite of radar scanners in the little modules protruding out of the grille. Those panels use just some of the five radar sensors, five cameras, 12 ultrasonic sensors and a laser as part of its suite of driver assistance kit.

The Level 3 autonomous tech isn’t quite available in the UK, just as Chris Chilton found out in his drive of the A7 Sportback, but the kit is there for when the UK eventually says yes to Level 3 autonomy being used on public roads. We're not joking: the new A6 is ready to drive itself.

Audi A6 infotainment 2

HERE mapping data is used to optimise the best route for you in the navigation system, your Android smartphone can be turned into a key through the myAudi app and there’s a parking pilot for both public bays and your home garage.

Air suspension is available, as is a sport spring set-up, along with rear-wheel steering. You'll need to spec your new A6 carefully to get the optimum model, for sure...

2018 Audi A6: price and release date

The new Audi A6 saloon will be available to order soon, launching in Europe from June 2018. Prices aren’t known yet but we expect the range to start from around £35,000 for an entry-level A6 40 TDI SE in the UK.

Waiting for the Audi A6 Avant estate? We’re expecting to see it in the summer of 2018, while a hotter RS6 should come by the end of the year. And if you live in China, you will be able to select the long-wheelbase A6 L model.

Check out all of our Audi reviews here


Audi A6 red rear quarter

By Jake Groves

CAR's staff writer, office Geordie, gamer, lover of hot hatches

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