The new 2012 Audi A6
Elegant forms, supreme comfort, a logical ergonomics concept and extensively networked intelligence: In the interior as well, the new Audi A6 documents its leadership role in the executive class. In its display concept, the new head-up display is a special highlight.
The interior of the Audi A6 is an emotional space full of expanse and lightness. Its lines take up the sinewy sportiness of the exterior. The defining element of the cockpit area is the wrap-around inlay, beginning at the driver’s door and running in one large arc beneath the root of the windshield, then all the way to the front passenger’s door. Curved elegantly around the driver’s seat, the instrument panel with its large application area rounds out the concept of sweeping lines.
The wide, asymmetric center console is oriented toward the driver. The sporty seats in the A6 are mounted low, yet most drivers can see the entire engine hood thanks to the low front end, which reinforces the impression of open expanse and freedom.
The new Audi A6 offers space in abundance. The comfort-optimized door arrester and the long, low doors make getting into the car easy for all occupants. Audi also offers an electric power closing option.
At every seat, there is plenty of headroom, elbow room, legroom, and footroom, even for tall people. Compared with the previous model, the head clearance at the front, interior length and shoulder width have all increased slightly. The headrests in the rear compartment can be positioned extra low to avoid obstructing the view from the interior mirror. The optional electric roller blind for the rear window, which extends and retracts along tracks in the C-pillar paneling, provides nearly complete shading of the window. The blinds for the rear side windows are operated manually.
Redesigned: the front seats
The standard front seats in the Audi A6 can be manually adjusted ten ways – height, fore and aft, and backrest angle, plus the height of and distance to the headrests. The seats have been completely redesigned and feature ergonomic seat surfaces. The innovative foam in each seat provides varying degrees of softness and firmness depending on the zone.
Audi also offers a host of attractive options. The sport seats with contoured side bolsters have seat cushions that can be adjusted in depth and inclination; they provide electric four-way lumbar support. The lumbar support is also available separately, as are seat heaters for the front seats or for all four seats. The fully electric adjustable front seats are equipped with a memory function for the driver’s seat.
The highlight of the A6 amenities are the comfort seats, featuring electric adjustment plus memory function for both seats and outside mirrors. Their backrests, side bolsters and lumbar support can be adjusted pneumatically. On request, Audi will upgrade the comfort seats with a ventilation system for the seat surface and backrest that makes use of a novel and particularly effective aspiration technology. The technology employs four fans that can be operated at three levels. Also available is a massage function featuring ten air cushions, five programs and four intensities to pamper the back.
Only a few switches are needed to operate the seats. All primary adjustments are made using switches that mirror the shape of the seat. A multifunction switch controls the secondary functions, such as adjusting the side bolsters or the massage function, with the MMI monitor showing each step.
The new Audi A6 offers plenty of spacious, practical storage features. The locking glove box is very large, and the front door pockets can accommodate one-liter bottles. Two additional cupholders are located on the center tunnel, where there is also a center armrest plus storage compartment with continuously variable tilt adjustment.
In the back is an additional armrest with a small storage compartment. A 12V socket, drawers under the front seats and nets on the front-seat backrests round out the range of storage amenities. Audi also offers an optional storage package, which includes two cupholders in the rear armrest, two sockets in the rear compartment and a net for the luggage compartment.
All functions under control: vehicle operation
The new Audi A6 offers more than twice as many functions as its predecessor, yet its operation is easy and intuitive – typical of Audi. The large, clearly delineated dial instruments and the center display are situated beneath an elegantly arched cowl. Rich in detail with three-dimensional styling, the instruments can be read at a glance. In their initial position, the needles point to six o’clock. When the car is started, the needles briefly rise up then fall back into place, adding a sporty touch. Additional instruments provide information about the fuel level and the coolant temperature.
Starting with the trim level that includes the MMI radio plus, the new Audi A6 comes equipped with the driver information system, with either a 5-inch or 7-inch screen and a monochrome or color display, depending on the version. The system combines all key information and settings in an intuitive menu structure that works with one main area and two additional info bars. These can be easily read without requiring the driver to look away from the road for long.
Integrated into the driver information system is what Audi calls the efficiency program. It shows the contribution each technological component is making to fuel efficiency and also gives the driver tips for fuel-efficient shifting – a practical feature, given the fact that driving style accounts for approximately 30 percent of overall fuel consumption.
The driver information system is operated via the standard leather multifunction steering wheel. This latest-generation concept featuring two additional paddles enables convenient operation of the telephone, audio devices and onboard computer.
Audi offers a number of different steering wheels – with three or four spokes, shift paddles for the automatic transmission, a heated rim and a power adjustment system with an easy entry feature. The skeleton of each steering wheel is made of ultra-light magnesium materials.
The center console is home to a series of secondary switches, the slot for the CD or DVD player and the memory card slots. The lower section of the console contains the control unit for the deluxe automatic air conditioning system, with rotary controls surrounded by red and blue LEDs. The system provides indirect ventilation with virtually no draft. It takes into account the position of the sun and has a moisture sensor to prevent window fogging.
Powerful and efficient: deluxe automatic air conditioning
Quiet, discreet and highly efficient, the deluxe automatic air conditioning in the new Audi A6 is far superior to systems offered by the competition. Compared with the air conditioning system in the previous model, it delivers better performance while saving an average of 0.2 liters of fuel per 100 km.
The brushless fan motor requires little power and is both small and light. The internal heat exchanger is a coaxial line, with the intake end on the inside and the discharge end on the outside. The heat exchange between the two ends boosts the performance of the evaporator. The refrigerant mass flow is reduced, which in turn reduces the power consumption of the compressor. Thanks to a new oil separator, it does not have to continuously circulate lubricant and cooling oil. The deluxe automatic air conditioning continuously analyses humidity levels in the inside and outside air to determine the optimal mixing ratio for the lowest energy consumption.
Audi also offers an optional four-zone deluxe automatic air conditioning system, featuring a separate control panel and display for the rear passengers. Throughout the interior, three climate-control styles can be chosen – mild, medium and intense. For winter a fourth variant is available, which directs lots of heat to the footwells. A residual heat function uses the heat of the engine when the A6 is parked.
As an option, Audi also offers a programmable auxiliary heater with a novel operating concept. All the customer needs to do is choose a time to start the car, and the control unit does the rest. Its intelligent strategy lowers electricity and fuel consumption by 30 to 50 percent.
The center tunnel console in the new Audi A6 features additional controls. The standard start-stop button replaces the ignition switch – the key can stay in your pocket. The system can also include a convenience key for keyless vehicle entry. The pushbutton for the electromechanical parking brake, which can act as an emergency brake when the vehicle is in motion, and the terminal for the Multi Media Interface (MMI) operating system are also located on the center tunnel console. Audi offers the MMI radio version as standard.
Intelligent ergonomics: the MMI operating system
The MMI terminal is a clearly organized touch & feel landscape whose design presents a new evolutionary development. In its full version, MMI navigation plus, five hardkeys take the user to the main zones: Navigation, Telephone, Radio, Media and Vehicle. Two additional hardkeys (the menu overview and back button) complete the system. The central rotary pushbutton and the four adjacent softkeys are used to navigate through the menus. A dedicated cluster with volume control knob controls the audio zone. Another section holds the MMI touchpad for the optional MMI navigation plus system, which can be transformed into an area containing six radio station buttons.
The large onboard monitor for the MMI system comes with a standard 6.5-inch screen or an optional 8-inch screen. It is surrounded by a high-gloss black frame. In standby mode, the onboard monitor is recessed in the center of the instrument panel, with only its chromed top edge visible as a decorative molding. When the ignition is switched on, the monitor extends forward, then upward and outward in a gentle movement at graduated speed. Just like the optional driver information system, the MMI display is divided into three zones, and the menu control system follows a clear logic. The new selection menus, called wizards, have an especially classy appeal thanks to the circular arrangement of their icons. Elegant three-dimensional graphics and newly introduced animations give a striking presentation of the menu hierarchy.
All information at a glance: the head-up display
The head-up display – a new, optional high-end feature offered by Audi in the A6 – projects key information onto the windshield in the form of symbols and digits. The display appears as a virtual image in a window 262 x 87 millimeters (10.31 x 3.43 in) in size. It seems to hover over the engine hood at a distance of approximately 2.3 meters (7.55 ft), precisely in the driver’s primary field of view. The image window is height-adjustable.
To assimilate the information, the driver does not need to look away from the road and the eyes, accustomed to distance vision while driving, do not need to adjust. It takes only about half as long to look at the head-up display as it does to read the display on the instrument cluster – an important advantage especially at higher speeds.
The MMI system can be used to program which information will be shown on the head-up display – such as speed, navigation symbols, lists from the infotainment systems or indicators from the assistance systems. The speed limit display and night vision assistant also make use of the system.
Audi is the first manufacturer in the world to offer a full-color head-up display with TFT screen technology. In addition to red-green-blue color filters, new polarization filters are used; their high contrast is sufficient even for difficult lighting conditions. 15 blue-white LEDs provide especially bright backlighting for the TFT monitor on which the images are generated. A sensor in the base of the interior mirror adapts the display to the brightness of the surroundings. The driver can also adjust it at any time.
The light-emitting diodes and all other components have extremely low energy requirements. All components are designed to easily withstand the temperatures that arise in the head-up display. The system requires no active cooling mechanism – an additional efficiency-enhancing factor.
The windshield onto which the image is projected acts as a concave mirror; it enlarges the picture, creating certain distortions in the process. Two curved corrective mirrors in the light path, made of plastic with a special coating applied, even out these distortions and increase the optical imaging capacity. These new technologies from Audi keep space requirements low and give the designers free reign when designing the windshield. To avoid ghost images, the windshield and its noise-insulating safety film have a minimally tapered design.
When windshields are manufactured, tiny deviations from the ideal surface are impossible to avoid. Although only a few hundredths of a millimeter in size, such imperfections would produce a slightly uneven image on the head-up display. Audi has come up with a solution to avoid this effect: During production of the A6, the display is precisely calibrated to the windshield for each car.
Handcrafted quality: the finish
The great care that Audi devotes to the smallest detail defines the entire interior of the new A6. Materials are chosen with the utmost care; the workmanship is on a craftsman’s level. All of the switches move easily and without play. The gaps are even and narrow, measuring just a few tenths of a millimeter in some areas. Quality knows no compromise – this Audi maxim becomes tangible in the interior.
Chromed bezels frame the air vents, fine aluminum-look strips accentuate the optional fine wood bezels. The buttons have an appealing black soft-touch finish; the aluminum look turns the control knobs into miniature works of art. The shift gate and the start-stop button feature subtle red backlighting, and the door sills have aluminum inlays. The upper section of the instrument panel is covered in a soft-backed, leather-look material. The frequently used components in piano finish black in the Audi A6 are coated with a novel, UV-cured topcoat making them extremely scratch-resistant.
Audi is offering a wide range of decorative elements, colors and upholsteries at the launch of the A6. In addition to the standard and optional fabric upholsteries, the selection also includes the robust and durable Milano leather and the high-grade Valcona leather, whose varnish application only lightly covers the skin structure, allowing the material to breathe.
Another fine alternative is the Alcantara/leather combination. A leather package for the center console, the door armrests and the door pulls round out the selection.
The seat coverings are available in black, goa beige, nougat brown, titanium gray and velvet beige, the roof lining in black, silver and beige. The interior comes in black, gray, brown and beige hues. The sedan is fitted with micrometallic platinum inlays as standard; Audi also offers trims in Aluminum Trigon as an alternative. Two wood veneers – brown, open-pored fine grain ash and dark brown walnut – are available. An especially classy variant are the inlays in piano finish black.
A novel veneer of layered oak will be available soon. Using a technique developed especially by Audi, it is cut from a block in which extremely thin layers alternating between untreated and dark-stained wood lie one over the other. A special treatment at the end of the process produces a fine finish.
The S line sport package gives the interior a particularly elegant look. The sports seats are upholstered in Valcona leather; combinations of perforated Alcantara and leather are available as an alternative. The upholstery, as well as the carpeting, the instrument panel and the roof lining are draped in black, with stitching adding visual touches. The inlays are in matt brushed aluminum; S line badges gleam on the fenders and door sills. The steering wheel is specially designed, and the selector lever is wrapped in perforated leather. Sport suspension with 18-inch or 19-inch wheels rounds out the package.
Emotional effects: the interior lighting
Audi can equip the new A6 with an optional interior and exterior lighting package. It includes surround lighting, active door reflectors and a series of white LEDs in the interior – around the door handles, the door trim panels, the front footwells, the sun visors and the center tunnel console.
Another option is the ambient lighting, a complete emotional orchestration that uses light guides in many areas. It provides a series of additional effects – around the door sills, the door pockets and the reading lights in the rear compartment. Dramatic lighting makes the console on the center tunnel appear to float.
When it’s dark outside, the ambient lighting – whose luminous power can be configured via the MMI – gives the interior a larger, more expansive appearance. When the A6 is unlocked, the lighting in its interior illuminates in a wavelike pattern, starting with the driver’s seat. When a door is opened, it focuses on the corresponding seat.
The large, roomy luggage compartment in the new A6 is the same in the front-wheel-drive and quattro-drive models. The luggage compartment is precisely lined with fine carpeting, and its low loading lip and wide loading aperture make it easy to use. It provides a loading width of 1,050 millimeters (41.34 in) and a volume of 530 liters (18.72 cu. ft), enough for four large suitcases or four golf bags. Audi also offers an optional rear seat back with a 40/60 split.
The trunk opens automatically when unlocked. Two bag hooks, four solid, chrome-covered lashing hooks and a practical bin in the right wall of the luggage compartment help to get things stowed. A reversible mat with a rubberized back, a locking load-through hatch with ski bag and an electric drive for the trunk lid are available as options.
With the optional trailer hitch, the new Audi A6 can tow up to 2,100 kilograms (4,629.71 lb). If the trailer starts to fishtail, an additional function of the electronic stabilization program (ESP) intervenes. By applying the brakes to the sedan’s wheels in opposite phases, it brings the fishtailing motion back under control.
The equipment and data specified in this document refer to the model range offered in Germany. Subject to change without notice; errors and omissions excepted.