With its 2019 A6, Audi ups its tech game inside and underneath. Outside, the A6 plays it safe with conservative styling that varies only slightly from the outgoing model. A sharper front fascia and flared haunches give it a hint more character than before, but the updates are subtle. The latest A6 is marginally larger than the outgoing model, which translates to a modest improvement in interior space.
The A6’s interior mirrors the A7, at least as far as front-seat passengers are concerned. A trio of LCD screens relay information to the driver, at least on models fitted with the company’s MMI Navigation Plus infotainment system.
Directly in front of the steering wheel, a 12.3-inch screen replaces conventional gauges and houses Audi’s virtual cockpit system that works in concert with a 10.1-inch screen at the top of the center stack on Navigation Plus-equipped A6s. Below, an 8.6-inch touchscreen handles climate and convenience controls as well as doubling as a touchpad for text inputs.
All versions of the A6-at least for the European market at launch—feature mild-hybrid technology that cuts out the engine at stoplights and while coasting and uses an electric motor for assistance under acceleration. Audi predicts improved fuel economy and performance for the European market, where a single gas engine and two turbodiesels will be on offer at launch.
The mild-hybrid system uses a belt alternator-starter that functions like a small electric motor paired to a lithium-ion battery. During coasting at speeds between about 34 and 100 mph, the A6’s mild-hybrid setup can cut out the gas engine entirely. Additionally, during braking, the mild-hybrid system can cut out the A6’s engine at speeds under 14 mph to save even more fuel.
Highly-optioned A6 sedans will also be capable of parking themseles in a garage or a parking spot while the driver is outside the vehicle using a smartphone app. The A6 can also be ordered with the Audi Connect Key system that discards a conventional key fob in favor of an Android app that can unlock, lock, and start the vehicle using Near Field Communication. Whether this feature will make it to the U.S. isn’t clear.