First drive: 2016 Audi A6 50 TFSI in the UAE
The Audi A6 has received a facelift for the 2016 model year, along with a few engine upgrades. The current generation has been around since 2012, and with the latest changes from the design department at the four-ringed German manufacturer, they have managed to make an already decent-looking midsize sedan even better. We had a long drive mapped out for us from Dubai to Ras Al-Khaimah, giving us some time to get accustomed to the new A6.
With its new front fascia, the A6 certainly looks better than the rather dated design of the BMW 5-Series or the over-priced Mercedes-Benz E-Class. The new headlight shape, front grille and air inlets in the bumper give it a wider look. The rear also gets improvements such as a new taillight design and rectangular exhausts.
We had a crack at the Audi A6 50 TFSI, which basically means it has the supercharged 3.0-litre V6. The engine has been completely revised, according to Audi, to make it more fuel-efficient and of course, deliver more oomph. Power is now rated at 333 hp, an increase of 23 hp, while torque remains the same at 440 Nm. The engine is mated to their smooth 7-speed S-tronic dual-clutch gearbox. All the A6 versions, bar the RS6 and diesel models, now get the 7-speed transmission, as Audi has chucked the CVT which was found in the previous front-wheel-drive models. With the added horsepower, 0-100 kph has dropped to 5.3 seconds, which 0.2 seconds faster than the previous model. Overtaking was an easy task, the 333 horses providing more than ample confidence while we were passing trucks on the single lane, two-way traffic roads.
Audi has also added a “coasting” mode, along with an updated start-stop system, for more fuel-saving benefits. The new start-stop system allows the engine to switch off more than once now when the car is stationary, simply by applying more brake pressure. The coasting mode releases the clutch automatically, so if the driver leaves the accelerator pedal and hasn’t depressed the brake, the engine cuts off and thus saves more fuel. Audi claims the combined fuel efficiency is now rated at 7.6 litres/100 km, a decent drop from the previous model’s 8.2 litres/100 km rating.
The air suspension was doing a good job in cushioning bumps on the road. And while driving some curvy roads on the mountains, Audi’s “Quattro” all-wheel-drive system kept things secure and providing no drama at all. Handling limits are pretty high, as we did a few moderate-speed entry and exit turns through some empty roundabouts but the tyres barely made a squeal.
After the drive, we felt Audi has kept all the winning attributes of the current-gen A6, and made everything slightly better. It offers luxury, practicality and decent performance, especially in A6 50 TFSI form, all the while looking better than its main German rivals.
For the latest prices and updates, check the Audi A6 buyer guide.