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.
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.
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.