The 2.0-litre TDI instead use a 12V electrical system that does not offer these features. The 12V system allows CO2 to be reduced by 4g/km and the 48V system cuts CO2 by 10g/km.
Although the mild-hybrid line-up is currently unusual in the car market, many manufacturers will soon offer the same in order to meet ever-demanding CO2 and air quality targets.
Audi also says a smaller petrol unit, a 2.0-litre TFSI, will arrive in the UK at some point in response to the growing demand for petrol, as diesel sales continue to fall.
Although there is no confirmed date for a plug-in hybrid A6, Audi said the chassis accommodates it. “We believe a plug-in hybrid will be bridge technology to electric,” said a spokesman. “Maybe there’s a surprise coming up.”
The new A6 is now offered with an automatic transmission only. Demand for manual transmission in its predecessor was less than 5% and Audi also recognises that adaptive cruise control works much better with an automatic gearbox. It also allows for some of the A6’s 37 driver assistance systems, such as parking a car remotely from a smartphone app, which is an updated version of its existing Parking Assist system.
The UK will have two trim levels for the A6 – SE and S line – and Audi’s quattro four-wheel drive will be standard on all 3.0-litre models.
The A6 is 7mm longer at 4939mm, 12mm wider at 1886m and 2mm taller at 1457mm than its predecessor. That makes it fractionally longer and wider than the 5 Series but 22mm lower. Wheel size has alsoincreased and ranges from 17in to 21in. The largest wheel size available on its predecessor was 20in.
The new A6, which weighs from 1575kg, is 5kg-25kg heavier than the old one due to the mild-hybrid systems. “The lithium ion battery and starter/ generator add 25kg,” said A6 project manager Renald Lassowski. “We focused on overall consumption rather than reduced weight. We did try to improve other areas, though, such as reducing the weight of brake calipers.” Along with more sporty styling, Audi has also worked on the A6’s suspension to make it “as agile as a sports car, as manoeuvrable as a compact model”. The all-wheel steering’s ratio changes depending on the car’s speed, with the rear wheels able to turn as much as 5deg by a spindle drive. At high speeds, this is intended to improve stability. At low speeds, the aim is to make the car feel more agile and reduce its turning circle.