► Audi’s near-300bhp family-friendly PHEV examined
► 36g/km CO2 and 177mpg, apparently
► Quiet, comfy, succesful and fashionable
Audi, as a model, feels ripe for electrification, and it’s additional down the zero-emissions path than VW Group bedfellow Bentley. The Ingolstadt and Crewe-based manufacturers will develop inexorably nearer as they collaborate on the platform set to underpin Bentley’s first EV, due in 2025.
All of which is maybe why this part-petrol, part-electric A6 feels like an intrinsically good concept – not at all times a given with plug-in hybrids. Most efficiency PHEVs fail to persuade. However the A6 has by no means been about uncooked driver enchantment, and fits e-power fantastically.
I used to be occupied with getting a PHEV – why this one?
For supreme refinement and ease of use, in all probability. The A6 50 TFSI e quattro is, because the very lengthy identify suggests, an enormous Audi saloon (it’s barely any shorter than a full-size SUV like Aston’s DBX) with a reasonably potent mixture of a 2.0-litre four-cylinder turbo petrol engine (good for 249bhp), a 139bhp e-motor, a 14.1kWh battery and all-wheel drive.
That’s a system output of 291bhp and 332lb ft of torque with the traction to make use of loads of it in any given scenario. However, simply in case you missed the absence of S or RS letters within the identify, be assured this will not be a efficiency automotive. The A6, as soon as fitted with the required battery and motor, weighs north of two tonnes able to roll. And moreover, relaxed progress is the transient right here, not pace for pace’s sake. A 0-62mph time of 6.2sec and a 155mph high finish must be sufficient for many, although.
No, consider this A6 as a future-proofed model of that basically grown-up, easy household automotive you at all times promised your self. The hybrid powertrain is whisper-quiet and slickly built-in. It’s so clean and quiet that at instances you’re exhausting pushed to inform whether or not the engine’s even working, and the online result’s a supremely peaceable and stress-free drive.
It’s the identical story with the chassis. If something, it feels quieter than the Bentleys we talked about earlier, countering any deficiency in luxurious sound deadening with much less noise within the first place, due to this A6’s modest wheel and tyre sizes. And when you’re caught with what is, by trendy requirements, a conspicuous lack of physique management or suggestions, so properly does the automotive journey, and so settled does it really feel over fairly a lot each floor, that you simply’re not bothered.
My Audi assessment bingo card says you’re now going to speak in regards to the good inside…
All of which brings me to the inside, which is good. The design of the cockpit is elegant, spacious and calming, design boss Marc Lichte’s eye for cleanliness and penchant for sturdy horizontal themes serving to create a supreme sense of feelgood tranquillity, just like the lounge space of some up to date luxurious resort.
Extra virtually, Audi’s haptic contact interface is likely one of the higher programs, permitting speedy navigation of its varied features. The implication too is that Audi reckons on its patrons not being terribly within the geeky artwork of energy administration, in order that performance is tucked away within the infotainment (Automotive, then Effectivity, then Charging, then e-Tron) fairly than writ massive on the management panel.
Good, wise particulars embody the tremble to the throttle pedal that reminds you to come back off the ability (if you’re approaching a roundabout or T-junction, for instance) and the truth that, if it was chilly sufficient to want your heated seat on yesterday, chances are high it could be at this time – so the automotive fires them up the next morning.
The hybrid decisions are easy: EV (brimming the battery exhibits some 28 miles of pure EV vary with us; Audi claims 33), Auto and Maintain (to prioritise petrol energy and cling on to your cost). In blended use, on fuel-intensive quick routes, the A6 returned between 39 and 45mpg, deploying e-power at a charge of between 5.4 and seven.2 miles per kWh. Diesel-like economic system, then, simply as long as you’re frequently in a position to plug-in.
Audi A6 hybrid: verdict
The A6 50 plug-in is all the pieces you can need from an Audi – good-looking, civilised, fantastically engineered and straightforward to dwell with. However we’d urge you to strive the BMW or the Mercedes earlier than signing on the road.
Keep on with Audi, swerve the PHEV and an identical record value (£56k earlier than choices: the equal 5-series, the 530e is £52k; the E300 e £55k) will get you an S-line 50 TDI with comparable energy or the lighter, extra highly effective 55 TFSI, with practically 340bhp.
However for firm automotive drivers and, it should be stated, just about everybody else, the PHEV’s ultra-low CO2 numbers and useful gasoline effectivity will likely be an enormous draw. Likelihood is a lot of your day by day errands must be possible on e-power alone. Give in to that draw and also you received’t be upset. That is trendy Audi doing what it does nicely; undemanding, fascinating and really polished personal transport.
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