The latest Audi four-cylinder TDI engines with their robust yet entirely unruffled performance are more ready than ever before to complement the refined elegance of the latest business class luminaries to wear the four rings, and they are set to do exactly that. The 2.0-litre, 204PS 40 TDI is now available to order in the A6 Saloon, Avant and A7 Sportback – the first time a four-cylinder has been fitted in the elegant five-door coupe – offering a level of pace and polish that befits each executive model range with a degree of efficiency that will be reflected in favourable calculations for business users.
All versions are initially front-wheel-drive, with a four-wheel-drive version of each model following later in 2018 that will employ the latest, ultra-efficient quattro on demand technology capable of channelling drive to the rear wheels in a split-second.
The engine’s torque-rich response and refinement, coupled with the acclaimed noise suppression capabilities of both the A6 and A7 Sportback, are seemingly at odds with its potential to return up to 62.8mpg with a CO2 output of as little as 117g/km (A6 Saloon on 18-inch wheels). Both the A6 Avant and A7 Sportback share a combined potential of 60.1mpg, corresponding to 124g/km (A6 Avant with 18-inch wheels) and 122g/km (A7 Sportback with 19-inch wheels).
For business users, the 25g/km reduction to 122g/km on the A7 Sportback versus a 45 TDI quattro version equates to an even more competitive BIK rating of 29% for a higher rate taxpayer.
The new A6 Saloon 40 TDI is hastened to 62mph from rest in 8.1 seconds (rising to 8.3 seconds for both the Avant and A7 Sportback) by the advanced direct injection TDI and seven-speed S tronic transmission, and can continue to a top speed of 152mph (A6 Avant 40 TDI: 149mph, A7 Sportback: 152mph).
MHEV – mild hybrid drivetrain
The pursuit of optimal economy extends beyond the engine bay to the new mild hybrid drivetrain (MHEV) which is a standard feature of all A6 and A7 Sportback models. Its key component is a belt alternator starter (BAS) connected to the crankshaft which, in this application, can recover up to 5 kW of power during deceleration periods and store it in a separate lithium-ion battery housed in the rear of the car. If the driver takes his foot off the accelerator at speeds of between 34mph and 99mph, the 40 TDI can also coast with the engine running at idling speed. As soon as the driver accelerates again, the BAS restores power quickly and smoothly. Equally importantly, the near-seamless activation and deactivation of the system and the low engine speeds that it permits make progress feel even more relaxed.
The driving environment also contributes significantly to the sense of calm. The A6 Saloon, Avant and A7 Sportback 40 TDI are equipped to the same high level as their six-cylinder counterparts, bringing out the very best in the carefully but comprehensively updated body and integrating the latest Audi technology as unobtrusively as possible to preserve the focus on luxury and absolute comfort inside.
The communications hub of the new A6 is the new MMI touch response operating concept based around 8.8-inch as standard and 8.6-inch lower touchscreen displays which appear to blend into the dashboard when switched off. Here, they are complemented as standard by MMI Navigation with MMI Touch. A larger 10.1-inch upper screen that brings with it the upgraded MMI Navigation Plus system, the fully digital Audi Virtual Cockpit and Audi Phone Box with wireless charging for QI-enabled compatible phones – all of which are fitted as standard to the A7 Sportback – comprise the top-level Tech Pack. The online services from Audi connect are also included on a renewable three-year subscription basis and have been expanded to include features such as natural voice recognition and personal route assistant – both round out the Tech Pack on A6 and are standard on A7. All models, regardless of body style, also come equipped with the Audi Smartphone Interface as standard.
Electronic driver assistants including the Audi Parking System Plus with rear-view camera, the Audi Pre-sense Front collision warning and automatic braking system and the Lane Departure Warning system also form part of the standard specification.
39 driver assistance systems available
Customers can opt for numerous additional driver assistance systems – a total of 39 will become available to make daily use easier for the driver. They are split into three packages: Parking (due for introduction in 2019), City Assist (with the new Cross Traffic Assist Front feature) and Tour. The latter includes features such as the efficiency assistant, which facilitates a driving style conducive to reducing consumption, and the Adaptive Cruise Assist, which supports the driver with helpful acceleration, braking interventions designed to keep the car in its marked lane and maintain distances.
In both A6 and A7 S line versions, Sport seats upholstered in leather and Alcantara with S embossing replace the standard seats finished in Twin leather, and the S line upgrade also includes a perforated leather finish for the sports steering wheel, stainless steel pedals and other S line-specific identifiers.
Externally, 18-inch alloy wheels and LED front and rear lamps draw attention in the A6 Sport, and the A6 S line with its lowered sport suspension goes a step further by incorporating 19-inch alloy wheels, exclusive S line body detailing and adaptive Matrix LED headlights with dynamic rear indicators.
For the A7 Sport, 19-inch alloy wheels are fitted as standard, while A7 S line models gain even more sophisticated HD Matrix LED headlights with dynamic front and rear indicators and coming/leaving home animations, numerous exterior S line styling enhancements and a 20-inch wheel upgrade.
Composure, but also control, were the key targets influencing the design of the suspension concept for the new A6 and A7 40 TDI. Complemented by standard progressive steering with a ratio that becomes more direct as lock is applied, the standard set-up for Sport models is a conventionally sprung multi-link configuration, and in the S line this is lowered by a further 10mm for enhanced cornering composure. For all three variants, a steel-sprung version with electronically controlled damping is available as an option.
The various options are all integrated into the control function of the electronic chassis platform (ECP). These systems are closely networked for maximum precision. The driver can use the Audi drive select system to activate different drive profiles in which the differentiation between comfort and dynamic options is more pronounced than in the previous model.
Audi A6 Saloon, Avant and A7 Sportback 40 TDI UK pricing
|A6 Saloon 40 TDI Sport||2.0 TDI diesel||204PS||7-speed S tronic||£38,640|
|A6 Saloon 40 TDI S line||2.0 TDI diesel||204PS||7-speed S tronic||£42,000|
|A6 Avant 40 TDI Sport||2.0 TDI diesel||204PS||7-speed S tronic||£40,470|
|A6 Avant 40 TDI S line||2.0 TDI diesel||204PS||7-speed S tronic||£44,100|
|A7 Sportback 40 TDI Sport||2.0 TDI diesel||204PS||7-speed S tronic||£47,140|
|A7 Sportback 40 TDI S line||2.0 TDI diesel||204PS||7-speed S tronic||£50,040|