Times have changed and by that I mean they seem to have become more complicated. We have more responsibilities, more pressures and more passwords. Juggling fifty obligations at once is driving us barmy - and Audi hasn’t helped matters with its nomenclature for its current crop of vehicles.
It used to be easy; the lineup was symbolized by a single letter followed by a digit (these represented the class and type of vehicle) but it hasn’t been as straightforward for the last few years. Today, if you stare at the boot lid of any of the German automakers cars you’ll go you cross-eyed because not only are the model designations back there, Ingolstadt thought it wise to add two more numbers to confuse us even more. These numerals are based on the power output of the particular vehicle so for instance the number “25” appears on models that have a power output of 109 horses and below while the largest number, “55”, is reserved for those ranging between 328 to 368 horses. Basically, the bigger the number is the more power the car has. Following this number is the engine technology - either TFSI, TDI, g-tron or e-tron. Got it? Good.
Our A6 tester has the 55 TFSI badge on the boot meaning its 3.0-litre twin-scroll turbo V6 is very healthy indeed. Featuring direct-injection, variable camshaft adjustment and variable valve timing, it makes 340 horses and delivers 500Nm of torque over a broad band from 1,370 to 4,500rpm and it doesn’t half get to 100kph in a hurry, 5.1 seconds to be precise. It has a top speed of 250kph and although I haven’t quite reached that, all it took was a mere twitch from my right ankle for the S-line to send a shiver down my spine…
Alright, no more rhymes. The new V6 weighs just 172kg (in case you were wondering) and it’s a very efficient unit; it has a fuel consumption of 6.1 litres per 100km, CO2 emissions of 143 g/km and is mated to a slick seven-speed S tronic transmission with quattro technology. If you don’t drive around with your teeth clenched and foot floored the system send the power to the front wheels but if all-wheel drive is required, a clutch instantly activates it without you even noticing. The big news in the drivetrain department is the fact it gets a 48-volt mild-hybrid system (consisting of a 10 Ah lithium-ion battery under the boot floor) which recovers regenerative braking energy to power the stop/start system and enable coasting between 55-160kph for up to 40 seconds.
The A6 is quite agile too thanks to its front and rear axles using a five-link design made from aluminium – the right stuff to ensure it feels light and stiff on the road (because, if you didn’t know, aluminium is light and stiff and is also used for the doors, bonnet, boot and fenders) and attached to the body by two subframes. It has an electro-mechanical steering system which supplies speed-dependent power assistance (it isn’t overdone and offers good feedback) and our S-line car has a stiffer suspension and rides on 20in wheels. The tuning focusses as much on delivering a comfortable ride as it does a sporty one but you can adjust the settings via the Audi drive select dynamic handling switch and choose between comfort, auto and dynamic modes.
Overall, this car is quietly quick and it remains composed even when you do your best to unsettle it. It’s too smart and too sophisticated to become flustered but I have it for another week so there’s still time to, most likely, get an unwanted fine.
There I go again…