Audi has given its medium-large model, the A6 sedan a major makeover visually, mechanically and in its technology. The biggest change is the introduction of new design engines, as well as significant changes to existing engines. The sporty S6 variant has also been upgraded.

We have also driven the new five-door hatchback (Sportback) which we’ll cover in a separate story.

The redhot RS models will be introduced within a few months. The crossover cousin of the A6, all-new the Audi Q7 will be coming to us towards the end of 2015.

Frontal visual changes are substantial, with an even bolder shape to the radiator grille and headlights and slightly wider front guards. Similarly the rear lights have been flattened, again to give a wider, more planted look to the cars. The two areas of the body redesign are tagged together by side sills that give a slightly-lowered look.

The end result of this major facelift (or ‘presence redefined’ in Audi-speak!) is that the A6 looks different enough that you don’t have to be a full-on Audi enthusiast to recognise the MY15 cars.


Inside, the overall design theme has been retained, but bolder use of both the metallic and carbon-look materials again give a wider visual appearance. The seats have received a mild redesign with new trim colours and styles on offer. We particularly liked the diamond pleating on some versions we tested.

It goes without saying that the interior quality, both in design and execution, is as outstanding as in any other Audi. Any time we speak to interior designers of other marques, at least those operating in the affordable vehicle ranges, they all admit they look to Audis for inspiration.

The A6’s navigation system now uses an 8-inch monitor and is based on a new technology platform with Tegra 30 graphics chip designed in conjunction with from Audi’s partner Nvidia.


An all-new 1.8-litre four-cylinder engine producing 140 kW of power and 320 Nm of torque is an impressive piece of kit. After driving the complete range of models we feel that anyone who isn’t a revhead probably doesn’t need more engine than this. It’s smooth, responsive and works well with the automatic transmission to provide plenty of torque all the time. You get a lot of German car prestige for under $100,000 on the road.

Also new is a 3.0-litre V6 TDI diesel engine, with either a single turbo for 160 kW and 500 Nm, or a twin-turbo setup giving an outstanding 235 kW, and 650 Nm of sheer grunt is on tap from as low as 1400 revs.

The sporting Audi S6 gets a stunning V8 petrol powerplant. This bi-turbo unit gives you 331 kW of power, which is 450 horsepower in muscle car terms, and this is most certainly an upmarket muscle car – as evidenced by its 4.4 second time for the zero to 100 km/h sprint. This engine produces a very healthy 550 Newton metres of torque, an excellent number from a petrol engine.

With the exception of the 1.8-litre engine, which drives the front wheels only, all models use Audi’s quattro all-wheel-drive system.

We tested a good selection of revised Audi A6 models on a variety of roads in country Victoria. This is a big car, being similar in its dimensions to the Aussie Commodore and Falcon, so provides good interior space for four adults, five without too much hip rubbing.

Handling is good thanks to the relatively light weight of the car – weight reductions have been obtained by using quite a bit of aluminium in the body – and while you wouldn’t call it nimble the A6 is certainly safe and neutral in its handling. Should you hammer it really hard a combination of the quattro system (where fitted) and sophisticated electronic aids make the experience seem all too easy.

Ride comfort is good, though as is often the way, the big diameter wheels do make life difficult for thin tyres and Australian backroads can cause noises and rough suspension inputs at times.

As mentioned, we feel that many people will be happy with the smaller engine – if you’re not a revhead. As we are revheads we delighted in the performance of the most powerful of the engines and loved the sounds emanating from the intake and exhaust when you really get active with the pedal on the right.

The complete 2015 Audi A6 and S6 range is:
A6 1.8 TFSI S tronic: $79,900
A6 3.0 TDI quattro S tronic: $99,900
A6 3.0 TDI Biturbo quattro tiptronic: $124,900
S6 4.0 TFSI quattro S tronic: $169,900
Note: These prices do not include dealer or government charges. Contact your local Audi dealer for drive-away prices.

About Ewan Kennedy

Ewan Kennedy, a long-time car enthusiast, was Technical Research Librarian with the NRMA from 1970 until 1985. He worked part-time as a freelance motoring journalist from 1977 until 1985, when he took a full-time position as Technical Editor with Modern Motor magazine. Late in 1987 he left to set up a full-time business as a freelance motoring journalist. Ewan is an associate member of the Society of Automotive Engineers - International. An economy driving expert, he set the Guinness World Record for the greatest distance travelled in a standard road vehicle on a single fuel fill. He lists his hobbies as stage acting, travelling, boating and reading.
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