Audi A6 provides upgrades to business class
Proving there is still life in the large sedan segment, Audi took the opportunity to showcase the eighth generation of the A6 at the 2018 Geneva Motor Show. As well as the usual emphasis on comfort and “sportiness,” the German brand has loaded the new BMW 5 Series rival with connectivity technology as well as a powertrain lineup that features electrification on every model.
From a connectivity standpoint, Audi’s tried and tested MMI navigation plus gets an upgrade, with many features revised or upgraded. There is now a self-learning function based on previously driven routes, which generates intelligent search suggestions. Route guidance is provided in the cloud by Here Technologies servers looking on a regional level to assess traffic situations and any other issues that may cause travel delays. Should there be an interruption in data flow, the MMI navigation plus system seamlessly reverts to the onboard route guidance that runs in parallel.
There are also more optional add-on modules, including two sound systems. The range-topping Bang & Olufsen advanced system delivers 3D sound to the rear of the car thanks to its height information. Telephony is also taken to a new level in relation to operation as well as the sound and connection quality thanks to the Audi phone box.
Communications with the environment outside the vehicle are said to be improved, with Audi connect’s online services providing car-to-X services traffic sign and hazard information. These systems use Audi fleet “swarm intelligence” to network the A6 with its environment. In addition, the German manufacturer says that an on-street parking service will be added shortly after the car’s market introduction.
Meanwhile, the evolution of the humble car key continues, as there is an option for drivers to replace their conventional key with the Audi connect key. The system is set up to allow a Google Android smartphone to unlock and lock the car as well as start the engine. Near Field Communication transfers data to the car, and the owner has the option of passing the access data to five different people or smartphones.
As previously mentioned, all engines in the new A6 range have an element of electrification, made possible through Audi’s new mild-hybrid electric vehicle (MHEV) technology. Here, a belt alternator starter (BAS) works together with a lithium-ion battery to provide the necessary power and allow the car to coast between 55 and 160 km/h (34 and 99 mph). The start-stop function kicks in at up to 22 km/h (14 mph). In traffic queues, the engine will restart from a standstill predictively, based on when the vehicle in front starts moving away. During deceleration, the BAS can recover up to 12 kW of energy. In real-world driving conditions, Audi has calculated that its MHEV technology can reduce fuel consumption by up to 0.7 L per 100 km.
A raft of driver assistance systems are available on the new A6, either as standard fitment or as part of one of three option packs. Parking pilot and garage pilot features form part of the Park Assist package, while the City Assist package includes innovations such as the new crossing assist, which audibly and visually warns the driver of potential danger in front of them. The Tour Assist package comes with adaptive cruise assist, which supplements the adaptive cruise control by means of gentle steering intervention to keep the vehicle in lane, and with efficiency assist, which promotes an economical driving style.
Behind the extensive assist systems lies a high-tech automated driving module from Audi: the central driver assistance controller, which continuously calculates a detailed model of the environment from a bank of sensor data. Depending on equipment, the sensor set includes up to five radar sensors, five cameras, twelve ultrasonic sensors, as well as a laser scanner—another major segment innovation on the A6.