First, however, let’s take a look at how the design has evolved. The silhouette has stayed virtually identical, and that’s a good thing. It has an almost-cab-rearward shape, with a long bonnet and
a stretched, curved glasshouse pulled far back, ending in a relatively short boot. Softer, smoother design elements are replaced by sharper, squarer, more in-your-face details. If you thought the new BMW grilles were big, you should get a load of Audi’s latest single-frame ‘Bulgarian Beard’. It’s wider than ever and all chrome, with more of the shiny stuff down in the bumper. The full-LED headlamps are a lot more angular now and feature a new DRL signature instead of the one we’re used to. At the back too, the impression you get is ‘familiar, but more’. The tail-lamps are larger and feature cool, intricate LED detailing, and are joined by a thin chrome strip. You’ll find more chrome in the bumper, including what looks like a pair of dual exhaust tips but are actually just a design element. There are many new creases – several on the bonnet and some on the fenders, while the shoulder crease has now been split in two, to independently accentuate the front and rear wheel arches.
Understated is perhaps a word you could’ve used to describe some older Audi interiors, but certainly not this one. The dashboard is full of layers and protruding slabs, made of brushed aluminium, art-leather, piano black trim and some very nice-looking open-pore wood veneer. There are even thick bands of brushed metal across the doors, which really drive that premium point home; most players in the luxury sedan game are at this standard of quality at the moment, but the A6 makes an effort to put it right where you can see and touch it.
The new steering wheel, too, looks very futuristic and behind that sits the latest version of the Virtual Cockpit digital dials, first seen on the Q7. There’s a wireless phone charger under the central armrest, and Audi’s even fitted the car with a Bang & Olufsen hi-fi audio system, which sounds exquisite.
It’s come to India a tad later than expected, and some rivals may have a little more time in the sun as a result, but the new A6 has come to the fight well prepared. It carries forward almost all the strengths of its predecessors and the values people appreciate from Audi, all updated to meet the needs of today’s mid-size luxury sedan buyers. The abandonment of adaptive air suspension is a big change, but Audi has done a great job with the passive dampers and steel springs, serving up a good blend of comfort and stability. It’s not a flat-out driver’s car, but serves up enough performance for most owners. Part of the Audi formula has always been tech, and it’s got that front covered with its fancy new dual-touchscreen system, which is cutting edge though it takes a little getting used to. The new A6 doesn’t take any major risks like some rivals did in this segment, but has Audi played it too safe this time? Perhaps, but in this case, that might just be a good thing. This is a car they just have to get right; so sticking with the tried and tested formula might just be the better course of action. Plus, there’s always room to change things up for variants introduced later on.