Audi hasn’t had much in the way of big sales-moving vehicles of late. Its German rivals, on the other hand, have been flexing their muscles and filling the market with everything from MPVs to manic SUVs and sound barrier-piercing limousines. Audi has been slowly releasing RS and S versions of some of its models and the A3 sedan was a welcome addition in early 2014. Now the German brand has unleashed both the updated A6 and A7 Sportback with accompanying S-derivatives.
What’s New?It’s a slight facelift to be honest, the exterior has had a revamp to make it look new and shiny, and the interior has had a few subtle changes for the same reason. The engines have received power upgrades and there’s a new four-cylinder entry level motor available. The A6 and A7 also do away with the Multitronic CVT gearbox that is replaced by the S-Tronic double clutch system.
Outside BitsAudi has some of the most menacing looking headlights you’ll ever see. In the dark it has to be the most recogniseable set of LEDs ever to pop into your rear-view mirror. On the A6 and A7 there’s the option of going full LED with Matrix tech that makes them even more piercing. Other modifications include changes to the side sills, front grille, rear lights and tailpipes. The overall appearance hasn’t changed much and the A6 still remains a good looker. As for the A7, that’s a bit polarising in the looks department so you can make your own mind up on that one.
Inside BitsAudi’s interiors always come across as well-built, pristine cabins to sit in and the A6 and A7 are no different. It’s ensconced in leather and soft touch rubber, there’s brushed aluminium across the dash and on quattro versions the word is etched into the dashboard. The major update comes to the multimedia system that has more graphics and options to play with, and I also noticed two USB ports and an aux port lurking under the centre console.
EnginesThere are upgrades throughout the range and at the bottom of the A6 line-up is a 1.8-litre turbo four-pot petrol that puts out 140 kW and 320 Nm and claims just 5.8L/100km. I didn't get a chance to sample the 1.8-Litre, but there was an S6 available. The 4-Litre biturbo V8 makes 331 kW and roars sweetly through the revs. Audi has made the S6 sound cleaner than its German rivals that crackle and pop under power. The S6 sings a clean, deep and pleasurable sound as it motors along. Lift off the throttle and there’s a gargle and a slight backfire bark. It’s spot on and exactly how a premium sports sedan that’s built to eat freeways should sound.
The A7 model we sampled on the launch was the version equipped with the bi-turbo 3.0 TDI motor, a diesel engine that pushes out 235 kW and 650 Nm. The power delivery of this diesel engine is linear and extreme. It’s a fast car with the diesel motor in it, and when you toggle the drive mode into dynamic it sounds grunty for a diesel. How much of this is real sound and how much is manipulated is another story, but it adds to the excitement.
For all the specs and details of the new A6 and A7 Sportback check out our specs article here
The DriveThe A6 and A7 both ride extremely smoothly and comfortably, even the sporty S6. Harsh bumps and potholes never crashed or jolted the suspension. In dynamic mode everything stiffens up and when you’re at speed on a mountain pass the chassis feels responsive and the car glued to the surface. It might lack a bit of steering feel from its electric system, but the overall feel from this sports sedan is impressive.
A6 and A7 PricingThe Audi A6 will only be available at launch in two models, the A6 1.8T FSI and the S6 4.0T FSI quattro. The pricing for the entire range, including the models arriving thereafter, will be as follows:
Audi A6 1.8T FSI 140 kW S tronic: R 601 000
Audi A6 2.0TDI 140 kW S tronic: R 631 500* (November 2015) (estimated price)
Audi A6 3.0TDI 160 kW S tronic: R 689 000 (June 2015)
Audi A6 2.0T FSI 185 kW quattro S tronic: R 749 500 (July 2015)
Audi S6 4.0T FSI 331 kW quattro S tronic: R 1 054 500
Audi A7 Sportback 3.0 TDI quattro S tronic: R 943 500
Audi A7 Sportback 3.0 TDI BiTurbo quattro S tronic: R 1 040 000
Audi S7 Sportback 4.0T FSI quattro S tronic: R 1 176 500
Audi RS7 Sportback 4.0T FSI quattro S tronic: R 1 596 000