It’s about the toughest bit of rival striker marking you could ask a car to do. Granted, the new BMW 5-series suffers from Bangle-as-auteur styling and the irritation of iDrive, but as an executive diesel would you really bet against anything beating the 530d’s combination of brilliant dynamics and outstanding refinement?
The A6 has always been a popular diesel, the previous generation often shipping with the gruff-but-willing 130 PD, although the supposed range-topping 2.5 V6 TDi remained a minority interest. The new A6 will also get a four-pot oil-burner, this time a 140bhp 2.0-litre PD. There’s also some new interest at the top of the range with the all-new 3.0-litre V6.
The numbers certainly add up: 225bhp and 332lb ft: more than a 530d, Merc E320 CDi or the forthcoming Jaguar S-type 2.7 V6 diesel. The Audi features common-rail injection (instead of pumpe düse ‘unit injectors’), twin intercoolers and a compact turbo mounted on the ‘V’ of the cylinder banks.
Trick piezo injectors allow for ultra-accurate fuelling and up to five separate injection cycles per induction stroke, meaning smooth running and a near-total banishment of ‘tinkling noises’. Once on the move the engine tone modulates to a subdued, inoffensive, fuel-unspecific hum.