Audi will unveil the new A6 exec in 2010 – a year after its key rivals the BMW 5-series and Mercedes E-class. Our artist’s impression, compiled with the help of sources in Ingolstadt, reveals a slick-looking evolution of today’s four-door, but we’re left wondering if Audi needs to evolve its styling more dramatically. Isn’t the new A6 at risk of becoming just another Russian doll Audi design?
The now firmly established ‘goatee beard’ grille dominates the A6’s nose, and will be flanked by beautifully detailed headlamps incorporating Audi’s daytime running light eyebrows. The rest of the look is stock Audi: sober, classy but hardly exciting.
The new Audi A6: high tech
If we worry – prematurely – that the looks could end up being an enlarged photocopy of the Audi A4, there are no such concerns under the bonnet. This new A6 will be a significant new model: it’s the first mainstream Audi saloon to usher in a new construction method.
So far Audi has offered aluminium construction on its lower volume cars, such as the R8, TT and A8, but the A6 will also get a multi-material spaceframe to snip away excess flab – and improve handling, economy and emissions in the process.
Click ‘Next’ to find out more about the lightweight A6
New A6 to copy TT
According to a chief strategist CAR Online has spoken to, the TT is the role model for the advanced body architecture of all future Audis. Dubbed ASF II for aluminium and steel spaceframe, the innovative material mix weighs about 50 percent less than an all-steel construction while at the same time increasing the torsional rigidity by 50 percent.
The new passenger cell is made of aluminium, but there are steel and foam reinforcements where necessary. In addition, Audi is developing lightweight front and rear subframes which are integral parts of the compact but strong modular nose and tail structures.
Innovative bonding techniques and more efficient production methods will be applied to ensure top quality and competitive cost patterns.
So does the A6 set the template for all future Audis?
You could say that. The second-generation ASF system will be introduced top-down, starting with the next A6 and A8, along with the new A7.
Audi will struggle to use the high-tech solution on its smaller cars, but engineers are examining how alloys can be used on the Mk2 A3 and A1.
And this lightweight ASF system will pay dividends for Audi’s heavy SUVs and crossovers. The next Q7 will for instance be 300 kilos lighter than the model it replaces.
Click ‘Next’ to see the full engine line-up on the new A6
A new Audi, more promises of better handling?
Of course. Audi has made great strides in closing the gap between its front-drive execs and those sharper rear-drive rivals from Munich and Stuttgart. The A6 will use the group’s new MLB components set for models with longitudinal engines, so there will be new suspension, steering, brakes, Quattro and an engine mounted further back in the chassis for better balance.
It’s still early days for the engine line-up, but our sources suggest we can expect the following power choices:
• 2.8 V6 FSI, 190bhp
• 2.8 V6 FSI, 224bhp
• 3.2 V6 FSI, 265bhp
• 4.2 V8 FSI, 350bhp
• 5.2 V10 FSI, 420bhp (S6)
• 5.0 V10 FSI Biturbo, 580bhp (RS7)
Plus a pair of diesels:
2.7 V6 TDI, 185bhp
3.0 V6 TDI, 238bhp
Is Audi onto a winner with the new A6? Or should it be bolder? Click ‘Add your comment’ and let us know