From £30,340
New twin-turbo diesel engine gives the A6 Avant massive real world pace with decent economy: an appealing fast estate

Our Verdict

Audi A6

The Audi A6 rises higher than any model before it and is now a real contender in the mid-size exec market

6 September 2011

What is it?

Up until now, BMW’s twin-turbo straight six – as fitted to the 535D amongst others – has defined the high performance six-pot diesel. But now Audi has an answer, matching exactly the BMW’s 309bhp and gently exceeding it for torque by offering 479lb ft of twisting force compared to the BMW’s 465lb ft.

This new Biturbo engine is the third and most potent of a trio of 3-litre V6 diesels offered in the new A6 range, all of which use different styles of transmission. With CVT and twin-clutch S Tronic ‘boxes used for the low and mid-power V6s respectively, the Biturbo reverts to an 8-speed Tiptronic in order to handle the rampant torque on offer.

Using a sequential configuration, the small turbine takes care of low-rev response and a much larger turbocharger provides higher rev power. A vacuum valve passes the baton between the two, beginning to open by 2,500rpm and at 4,500rpm handing the workload solely to the larger turbo.

What’s it like?

The results, sampled first in the new A6 Avant, are deeply impressive. Utilising the traction advantage of four-wheel drive, the new engine blasts this big, relatively heavy car from rest to 60mph in just over five seconds, and will easily run into the 155mph limiter.

But what really appeals is the manner in which the new engine achieves these numbers: it revs convincingly past 5,000rpm, and in ‘Sport’ mode the trick exhaust manages to make it sound appealingly aggressive.

This isn’t wasted in the new A6, because as we’ve said recently, while it’s not the most entertaining of drives it does feel a lot less inert than previous iterations, helped by the reduced front overhang and the Quattro differential fitted here.

Should I buy one?

Predictably, real-world pace is prodigious, but we’ve suspicions that the sports suspension and big wheels of this model may mean an over-firm ride in the UK. However, when you combine the performance above, with around 44mpg and only 169g/km of C02, plus the usual high quality cabin and estate practicality, it does make for a desirable package.

Paul Bailey

Audi A6 Avant 3.0 TDI Biturbo S-Line

Price: £46,000; Top speed: 155mph (limited); 0-62mph: 5.3sec; Economy: 44mpg; Co2: 169g/km; Kerb weight: n/a; Engine type, cc: 2967cc V6 twin-turbo diesel; Power: 309bhp at 3900-4500rpm; Torque: 479lb ft at 1450-2800rpm; Gearbox: 8-spd Tiptronic

Join the debate

Comments
33

6 September 2011

A S-line with an overfirm suspension who would have thunk it?

6 September 2011

I love sleepers like this. I'll have mine in SE trim and de-badged thanks very much.


6 September 2011

Would be great if they offer it in SE spec, agreed. Sub-5 seconds 0-60 performance* is useful about 5% of the time. A comfortable quiet ride is more important for the remaining 95%.

If this makes it into the A8, do we think they may ditch the V8 diesel ? Perhaps I should be saving my pennies now, to buy a 12 month old ex-management A8 3.0 BiTdi in about 2 years' time....

(* if 0-62 time is 5.3s, 0-60 is probably just under 5s, not just over as the article suggests).

6 September 2011

[quote Autocar]But now Audi has an answer, matching exactly the BMW’s 309bhp and gently exceeding it for torque by offering 479lb ft of twisting force compared to the BMW’s 465lb ft. [/quote]

You fail to mention BMW's massive mpg advantage of 52.3 vs 44 from the Audi.

You fail to mention BMW's massive CO2 emissions advantage of 142g/km vs 169g/km from the Audi.

You're doing readers and potential buyers a disservice by blatantly ignoring these facts. You'd rather make a biased story about Audi leap-frogging BMW rather than producing a balanced comparison. Standards have dropped.

6 September 2011

[quote morellomax](* if 0-62 time is 5.3s, 0-60 is probably just under 5s, not just over as the article suggests).[/quote] A false claim. Assuming a linear rate of acceleration (which is appropriate as the speed differential is just 2mph):

60*5.3/62 = 5.13seconds

Put up some figures to back your claim, or would you rather be a spoofer? I think we all know the answer to that.

6 September 2011

[quote The Special One]You'd rather make a biased story about Audi leap-frogging BMW rather than producing a balanced comparison[/quote]

It's a first drive of the Audi, not a comparison article. Given the limited space available why not simply highlight an advantage over a rival?


6 September 2011

[quote The Special One]or would you rather be a spoofer? I think we all know the answer to that.
[/quote]

I think we all know who's the 'spoofer' here...


6 September 2011

Considering transmission, power and weight 0-100kph in 5.3 seems a pair of tenths optimistic.

Anyway I'd go for the 535d anytime for looks and rear wheel drive. I think 5series it's the best estate you can buy today, preferably in Alpina B5 form...

6 September 2011

[quote The Special One]

60*5.3/62 = 5.13seconds

Put up some figures to back your claim, or would you rather be a spoofer? I think we all know the answer to that.

[/quote]

You should know you can't possibly compare like that- for all you're aware 62mph could require another gear. If this is the case it is likely 0-60 would be sub 5 seconds. Not that it actually matters, it's still very very quick

6 September 2011

[quote The Special One]

You fail to mention BMW's massive mpg advantage of 52.3 vs 44 from the Audi.

You fail to mention BMW's massive CO2 emissions advantage of 142g/km vs 169g/km from the Audi.

[/quote]Ah yes but the Audi has four wheel drive.

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