Audi India today launched the seventh generation A6 in India, with prices ranging between Rs. 37.7 lakh to Rs. 47 lakh across four variants. The new Audi A6 will be available with a choice of four powertrain variants, across its 13 dealerships in the country.
The base diesel Audi A6 2.0 TDI is priced at Rs. 37.7 lakh, ex-showroom Delhi . The base petrol Audi A6 2.8 FSI is priced at Rs. 39.9 lakh. These two are primarily front-wheel drive versions of the A6. The next two versions come equipped with Audi’s trademark four-wheel drive “Quattro” system. The Audi A6 3.0 TDI Quattro is priced at Rs. 46.95 lakh, ex-showroom Delhi, while the petrol Audi A6 3.0 TFSI Quattro is priced at Rs. 47 lakh, ex-showroom Delhi.
These prices are quite competitive for cars in its class such as the Mercedes E200, E250 and E350 (petrol and diesel) which are priced between Rs. 39.5 lakh and Rs. 47.9 lakh ex-showroom Delhi. The Audi A6 is also better equipped than the Mercedes. Even when you compare it with the BMW 5 Series which is priced between Rs. 38.9 lakh and Rs. 45.9 lakh, the Audi appears to be slightly better value.
So what’s unique about the Audi A6?
For starters, its looks. The Audi A6 comes with the trademark large Audi grille with the four-ring emblem. The headlamps are unique as they are completely LED based – both the headlamp as well as daytime running lamps (LED headlamps is an option, standard fitment is xenon projectors).
The car is built primarily from aluminium, which makes it quite light. At 4.92 metres in length, the Audi is longer than both the Mercedes E Class and BMW 5 Series. This also shows in the decent interior space, and huge 530-litre boot. The rear also gets new LED tail lamp treatment, wrapping on the boot-lid, making this car stand out. The car rides on 225/55 R17 tyres on 10-spoke alloys.
Comfort and equipment
Audi has equipped the A6 with adaptive air suspension, which automatically adjusts for different driving conditions. For instance, if you drive at speeds higher than 120 kmph, the car automatically lowers itself by 20 mm to lower wind resistance and increase stability. It also allows for a plush, cushioned ride. The car is equipped with six airbags, DVD changer, pop-up multimedia touchscreen, Bluetooth, Bose surround sound system, four-zone climate control, push-button start and a reverse-camera.
While the petrol engines are out-and-out brutes, Audi has tried to make them frugal, by equipping the petrol variants with start-stop technology that shuts the engine off when you stop, and starts it the moment you take your foot off the brake. But still the 3-litre petrol engine version gives only about 9 kmpl overall. The diesel engine versions of the Audi are a different story altogether. The 2.0 TDI variant of the Audi A6 gives a claimed mileage of 20.1 kmpl, which is comparable to some of the small hatchbacks.
Performance and handling
Audi had organized a small test-track at the launch event for us to sample the A6 for its performance and handling. The A6 come with a seven-speed, twin-clutch transmission with paddle shifters and multiple drive modes, making it a really good drivers’ car. Power output varies across the four engine choices, with the 2.0 TDI four-cylinder diesel putting out 177 bhp of power, while the larger 3.0 TDI, 6-cylinder (V6) puts out 245 bhp of power. Among the petrol engines, the 2.8 FSI V6 engine puts out 204 bhp of power, while the mammoth 3.0 TFSI V6 engine puts out 300 bhp of power.
The car is equipped with dynamic traction control and the air-suspension also adapts to the drive mode. The seven-speed transmission has extremely smooth shifts that can’t be felt. When the car is at standstill the 3.0 V6 is so quiet, you have to glance at the tachometer to realize the car is running. But when you stomp on the throttle it takes off like a scaled cat. The car has a claimed 0-100 time of 6.2 seconds.
Audi has had a good run with its cars in India. Last year, the company sold 3,003 cars during the calendar year – which is a mix of the A4 sedan, A6 (older model), A8 and R8, as well as its SUVs – the Audi Q5 and Q7. This year, while lower down the price ladder carmakers are feeling the pinch, Audi has already sold 3,145 cars from January to July, which include its March-launched A7 Sportback.
Michael Perschke, head, Audi India says “We have a sales target of 5,000 cars in India this year, which we think we will easily achieve, as we are also expanding our dealerships to 18 this year.”
When asked who the target buyer for the A6 is in particular, Perschke said: “The Audi A6 will cater to executives who want a plush mobile office, but also want to get behind the wheel, as it’s a fun to drive, sporty and luxurious business limousine.”
While BMW and Mercedes have carved pretty comfortable niches for themselves in India, the Audi range provides those looking for sporty cars with loads of equipment, a good alternative.
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