A Boundary leap
Back with a supercharged petrol engine, the A6 with 295bhp on tap makes for an exciting car on paper. We find out if it’s as good as it seems.autos Updated: Aug 12, 2011 16:39 IST
Diesel-powered cars rule the roost these days, but there’s still a small breed of petrol-heads who are averse to this fuel and just wouldn’t trade the refinement and higher revs a petrol motor has to offer. That’s exactly where the Audi A6 3.0T with its 295bhp, 3-litre petrol engine steps in.
This Audi is supercharged, with direct-injection and unlike the old A6, which had a six-speed automatic gearbox, the latest model comes with a seven-speed twin-clutch transmission that incorporates a launch control function. In English, this translates to 0-100kph in six seconds, 0-200kph in 24.32s and a top speed limited to 250kph — not exactly shabby numbers and reason enough to opt for the petrol over the diesel. The petrol has 50bhp more than the diesel, 0.3s faster to 100kph, but makes 6kgm less torque.
Taps on the throttle are rewarded with instant forward motion and strong pulling power. The biggest difference though is with the gearbox. The old A6 T’s torque converter was jerky in its gearshifts, but this twin-clutch unit is a lot smoother.
Gearshifts are lightning-quick and the new A6, unlike the old one, gets paddle-shifters, which makes it all the more fun to run up and down the gearbox.
The Quattro system with its new centre differential gives the A6 loads of grip and the car displays good poise around corners. However, the A6’s handling isn’t very responsive and the inherent understeer and benign steering doesn’t make it as engaging to drive as a 5-series Beemer.
The pedal action is not very linear with almost nothing initially and strong bite later. Ride quality, however, is exemplary. What helps the ride are tyres that are slightly taller than before.
The interiors are richly equipped, well designed and superbly built. The front seats are properly supportive and the cabin feels rightly sporty, yet luxurious. The rear seats have good space but not enough thigh support.
The A6 3.0T will cost R56 lakh (estimated) and, apart from the rather shocking omission of powered steering adjust, our test car came well equipped. It has powered seats with memory, four-zone climate control, the adaptive suspension, Bluetooth connectivity, a reverse camera and a keyless start.