THE NEW AUDI A6: THE POWER OF SOPHISTICATION
For the last two decades, there has been an unbroken tradition in the Indian automotive industry. It revolves around the country’s most coveted auto awards, which separate the best from the rest each year. We are, of course, talking about the Autocar India Awards. Ever since it was instituted 20 years ago, these awards have been eagerly awaited each year, and 2020 was no different. Like with every year, several cars lined up and revved their engines at the starting line. But very few actually made the cut. It’s not as if the ones that lost out were inferior in any way, it’s just that some cars deserve to be celebrated more than others. One of them was the Audi A6 – Autocar India’s Luxury Sedan of the Year. The business of luxury is a tough, uncompromising one and we will come to that in a bit. But first, let’s take a look at what Audi A6 had to go through in order to be recognised as a benchmark among luxury automobiles in India.
There are many reasons why the Autocar India Awards are so valued, and one of them is objectivity. Like with every pocket of excellence that was celebrated this year, the Audi A6, too, was judged on the basis of cold numbers and incontrovertible facts. It was evaluated by India’s most celebrated automotive jury, which comprises of Autocar India editor Hormazd Sorabjee, Autocar Show editor Renuka Kirpalani, Autocar India deputy editor Shapur Kotwal, automobile historian Manvendra Singh of Barwani, ace rally driver Gaurav Gill and ex-F1 racing driver Narain Karthikeyan. The Audi A6 was put through a series of exacting tests and evaluated on a range of parameters that covered the whole gamut, from Design and Styling to Driving Pleasure and Ownership experience. The competition for the Luxury Sedan of the Year crown was formidable, but in the end the Audi A6 came out on top. To know why, read on.
Balbir Singh Dhillon, Head, Audi India, with the Luxury Sedan of the Year award.
THE NEW AUDI A6: THE PHILOSOPHY OF LUXURY
Very few companies venture into the business of automotive luxury. It is an unforgiving terrain, as many across the ages have discovered. It’s not just about an obsessive attention to detail or a relentless pursuit of perfection that makes a luxury automobile stand out. As important is the fact that luxury is as much about how we feel about how it’s made. Audi has the formula down pat, though. It has, after all, been at the forefront of the luxury automotive game for decades. It knows how to alloy the finest materials with the best of automotive technology, and deliver a finished product that provides a soulstirring experience in more ways than one. The new eighth-generation Audi A6 is a fine example of the Ingolstadt-based carmaker’s capabilities.
Left to right: Gaurav Gill, Hormazd Sorabjee, Renuka Kirpalani, Manvendra Singh of Barwani, Shapur Kotwal, Narain Karthikeyan.
Design With Purpose
Audi has always led the way when it comes to sophisticated design, and the new Audi A6 takes the game a step further. With a tasteful mélange of taut surfaces, assertive lines and striking edges, the design language of the Audi A6 announces its sophistication, sporty elegance, and high-tech capabilities. The new Audi A6 is both, longer and wider than its predecessor, but it has an equally attractive stance and balanced proportions. The Audi A6’s taut elegance is, among others, achieved through the roof line that tapers into the flat C-pillars, and that characteristic also echoes its Quattro genes. The car’s short trunk lid ends in a curved, separating edge for optimised aerodynamics.
Inside: Intuition And Innovation
Great design can be a transformative experience, and that impact is not just restricted to the exterior design of an automobile. The Audi A6’s minimalist, clean design philosophy aids in elevating the experience inside the spacious cabin and helps focus on what’s important: the road ahead or, if you are at the back, the next corporate acquisition. Aiding the building of this serene space are tasteful touches of art-leather, rich trims, open-pore wood veneer and brushed aluminium. There’s also a parallel theme at play inside the Audi A6’s cabin, and that is the ‘future’. So, you have a futuristic-looking steering wheel, Virtual Cockpit digital dials, a wireless phone charger under the centre armrest, and a stand-out Bang & Olufsen premium sound system. Audi’s dual-touchscreen is another compelling highlight. Encased in a brushed-metal and piano-black frame, the system delivers tactile and acoustic feedback and intelligent text input. Also on the menu is natural language voice control with onboard and online search.
The Joy Of Movement
The Audi A6 is powered by a 45 TFSI engine. The 2.0-litre motor develops 245hp and 370Nm of torque, and is mated to a 7-speed dual-clutch automatic gearbox. These are impressive numbers, and, as with all Audis, the motor is incredibly refined. And silent. Power build-up is smooth and yet quick, and the gearbox is quick to respond to driver inputs. The Drive Select driving modes the Audi A6 is equipped with yank the driving experience up by several notches. Not surprisingly, the Audi A6 excels both, in town and on the highway, and its new heavy-duty suspension has a huge part to play in making it the all-rounder it is. The Audi A6 has good ground clearance – weekend explorers, take note – and can comfortably navigate the most vicious of speed bumps and undulations. The suspension is brilliantly calibrated and achieves a perfect balance: it’s neither too firm or soft. Drivers of all persuasions will also note that the Audi A6’s ride quality and bump absorption is top notch, and those attributes are achieved thanks to the car’s tall-profile tyres. At the end of the day, what you get is smooth ride comfort and unshakable stability with enhanced sportiness.
The Car That Wears the Crown
The Audi A6 gets the luxury sedan formula very right. It is both handsome and sporty, it’s got tons of space inside, is equipped with technology that matters, is tastefully appointed and it’s got an amazing ride. No wonder, then, that this is the car that impressed the jury the most. It is, deservingly, the best luxury sedan around.
THE NEW AUDI A6: THE JURY SPEAKS
The Audi A6 is a huge leap forward. The design is much sharper than before. It is a tauter-looking car and more in-your-face, not as subtle and subdued as previous Audis. The interior is also completely different. Touchscreens dominate everything, there are very few buttons around, and the quality is top class. The legroom, too, is an improvement over the old Audi A6, and it is a pretty spacious car.
The new Audi A6 is really impressive. As soon as you enter it, the lovely layout of the dashboard wows you. The interior feels super premium. That’s the feeling you get even when you drive this car, or are travelling in it as a passenger. It’s refined, quiet and very much a luxe automobile.
The new Audi A6 is a luxury car that is tailor-made for India. The chrome, the wood – that’s all there – and of course, the digital cockpit is impressive, too. The large centre console with the haptic feedback is beautiful. Audi has done a great job of giving Indian customers exactly what they want.
THE NEW AUDI A6: THE ANATOMY OF SUCCESS
The Audi A6’s 2.0 TFSI engine generates 245hp and 370Nm of torque. It melds dynamism and efficiency, and is mated to a 7-speed S tronic dual-clutch transmission that delivers rapid, butter-smooth gear changes.
Wide, low-slung single-frame grille with chrome trim hits home.
Intuitive, innovative dual-touchscreen MMI infotainment system looks ace and packs in a lot of functions. The touchscreens come with tactile and acoustic feedback and intelligent text input.
Heavy-duty suspension brilliantly calibrated and equipped to tackle Indian conditions. The Audi A6 is longer and wider than its predecessor. Taut surfaces and striking lines embody the Audi A6’s sporty yet elegant character and sophistication.
The Audi A6 is kitted with 225/55 R18 tyres that fill out the arches well.
Bang & Olufsen audio system is characteristically exceptional.
Passengers at the rear will love the dual zone climate control and USB ports.
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