Audi A6 Avant

Audi A6 Avant to the fore

17 May 2018

AUDI has unveiled the estate version of its new A6 saloon range, which is likely to arrive here this summer with prices topping £55,000.

Already awash with highly-profitable SUVs, which are currently all the rage, the company is continuing to indulge the hard core of motorists who insist upon more conventional models.

These are the saloon, hatchback and estate designs that are slowly falling out of favour in deference to the all-conquering SUVs.

Audi calls its estate models Avant, with the A6 being among the most respected of the lot, thanks to its enviable combination of practicality and driving dynamism.

Now the Avant returns to the A6 range, with a useful luggage capacity of up to 1,680 litres, hybrid engines, four wheel drive and a very respectable towing ability.

Much loved by the county set, where the vehicle excels in hauling horse boxes, farm trailers and even caravans, the latest A6 Avant achieves new levels of sophistication.

It is now 4.94 metres long, 1.89 metres wide and 1.47 metres high, with shorter overhangs front and rear, which results in a lengthened wheelbase and more space inside for occupants.

The tailgate and the luggage compartment cover open electrically as standard, and an optional sensor is available for the tailgate which enables it to be opened using a simple movement of the foot.

Three headlight formats are offered, with the most sophisticated being the HD Matrix LED headlights, recognisable by the five horizontal lines which form the daytime running light signature.

Emergency assist enhances safety by recognising when the driver fails to act in an emergency and providing a visual, acoustic or haptic warning. If the driver does not respond, the system takes over, turns on the hazard warning lights and automatically brings the car to a stop in its own lane.

There are up to five radar sensors, five cameras, twelve ultrasonic sensors and a laser scanner.

There will be four and six-cylinder diesel and petrol engines and all are now supported by mild hybrid technology.

This is based around a belt alternator starter which recovers energy during braking that is harvested by a lithium-ion battery and enables coasting at speeds of between 35mph and 99mph to conserve fuel.

All versions will be equipped with either seven-speed S tronic twin-clutch or eight-speed tiptronic automatic transmissions, and quattro all-wheel-drive will be a standard or optional feature depending on the model. The sport differential that actively distributes power between the rear wheels when cornering at speed will also be available.

There are four separate suspension systems on offer, comprising a conventional standard steel spring set-up, sport suspension, damper control and adaptive air suspension, also with controlled damping.

Progressive steering which becomes even quicker and more direct as the steering angle increases is standard, and dynamic all-wheel steering can be added to further enhance this agility.

At low speed, the wheels steer in the opposite direction to the front wheels, reducing the turning circle by up to 1.1 metres to 11.1 metres, while at higher speeds the wheels turn in the same direction to optimise stability when travelling in a straight line or changing lanes.

Inside, the optional MMI navigation plus package is the top-of-the-line component in the infotainment range. Its data transfer module supports the LTE Advanced standard and incorporates a WiFi hotspot. The navigation system uses personal route assist to recognise the driver’s preferences based on previous journeys and generates suggestions from that information.

The Audi connect portfolio offers numerous online services, including the optional Audi connect key, which allows the driver to lock and unlock the vehicle via an Android smartphone, whilst the myAudi app connects the car with the owner’s smartphone.

Stand-out optional features include the Audi Phone Box supporting telephony with Voice-over-LTE protocol, and the Bang & Olufsen Advanced Sound System boasting15 speakers.

In addition to its saloon, coupe, fastback and estate models, the Audi range includes a formidable line-up of SUVs in the shape of the Q1, Q2, Q3, Q5, Q7 and the forthcoming Q8 that will do battle with the Bentley Bentley Bentayga and Rolls-Royce Cullinan.