Auto focus

Matrix reloaded!

S. Muralidhar | Updated on January 23, 2018 Published on August 27, 2015










A facelift and a half The new Audi A6 is aggresively priced and pampers passengers with an all new level of comfort and class S MURALIDHAR

The Audi A6 gets a facelift and the outcome should win Neo’s approval

Audi’s marketing strategy in India has always had more than a touch of aggression. With the A6 being a crucial link between its flagship A8 and the executive luxury sedan A4, there are many reasons for Audi to refocus buyer attention on this sedan. The A6 was also the one that missed a special, identifiable character amongst the models in the line-up.

Audi has been putting out teaser ads and there has been a general air of expectation about the A6, but allow us to clear the air first and confirm that it is not a full model change, but more like a facelift for this sedan. However, a few of the new additions are quite substantial in terms of impact.

Design changes

The face-lifted new Audi A6’s most talked about change to the exterior design are the new Matrix headlamps. Fitted with the German brand’s proprietary light sensing LED array in a new signature line, the headlamps automatically sense and adapt the light beam to avoid dazzling the eyes of drivers in oncoming vehicles. The headlamps don’t just dip or return back to high-beam, but can also actually switch-off on one side depending on the ambient light conditions on the road.

The 2015 A6 also gets a brand new front fender with larger, more aggressive looking bonnet grille, air scoops and a 8-slat design. Another feature that catches the eye immediately is the larger rims that so neatly fill out the wheel arches. The older version’s 17-inchers are gone and the facelift now sports 18-inch alloys with 245/ 45 R18 tyres.

At the rear, the tail-lamps now have the same new LED signature light and these, like in the headlamps too, feature the dynamic turn indicators where the LEDs light up in progression to literally point to the direction of the turn like arrows. We saw this feature being introduced in the new Q3 launched earlier this year. There is also the diffuser and the new trapezoidal twin rear exhausts. Boot lid can now be released by just waving your foot under the car – a nifty feature that will be useful if both your hands are full with shopping bags.


Audi has chosen the opportunity to introduce some updated and upgraded features for the face-lifted A6’s cabin. The overall layout of the cabin and individual elements themselves look like they did in the previous iteration. But, there a number of new materials like the Milano leather upholstery, the open pore, fine grain Ash natural brown wood inserts on the dashboard and the door panels. There is also new ambient lighting and four zone auto climate control. The Audi MMI also gets a bump up to the next generation and is combined with a 14-speaker Bose music system and a dedicated 10GB hard drive for media storage. We also noted that the rear passengers have the option of choosing video screens.


We test drove the new A6 in Udaipur and its surrounding southern slopes of the Aravalli mountain range. Audi has narrowed down the options list for the new A6 supposedly based on market feedback. The only engine now on offer is the two-litre, four-cylinder TDI diesel engine that has been brought over into the facelift too. But, the turbocharged engine’s performance gets a marginal boost and it now generates 190hp of peak power and 400Nm of peak torque. Audi has also opted to launch the new A6 with one standard trim level only, which is the S-line. The model is now badged the A6 35 TDI S tronic. The other performance enhancing change is the addition of the 7-Speed S tronic dual clutch transmission, instead of the earlier model’s multitronic CVT gearbox. Fuel efficiency is also better at a rated 18.53 kmpl. Top speed is 226 kmph and acceleration is an expectedly leisurely 8.5 seconds for the 0 to 100 kmph run. But, given its limitations and the resultant lack of grunt, the new powertrain and package makes up with a big change in refinement and consistent performance.

Acceleration is very linear and though the response to throttle inputs from the dual clutch transmission may seem a bit slow at times, the shifts themselves are really quick. There is the option of using the steering mounted paddles for gear selection and there is Audi Drive Select with its four modes – Auto, Dynamic, Comfort and Individual – to choose from. The modes alter the character of the engine, gearbox, suspension and steering to meet the four self-explanatory settings.

Ride quality in the new A6 is clearly biased towards back-benchers. Comfort mode is a bit wallowy and though the suspension stiffens up a bit in the auto and dynamic modes, it is still on the pliant side. The face-lifted version is now also offered with adaptive air suspension with controlled damping as standard.

Bottom line

The new A6 is now meant to pamper the rear passengers in more ways than before. Surely, buyers won’t be complaining. The cabin is now really comfortable and quite, and the engine refinement adds to the peace inside. To focus more on the owner/ rear passengers’ needs Audi now offers electrical adjustment of the front passenger seat from the rear, and there is also a MMI remote control for the rear. There is also a list of added safety features including the eight airbags.

The one big reason to complain about the new A6 will be the fact that Audi has chosen to launch it with only one trim option. The only buyer options are the choice of body colours and leather upholstery colours. Otherwise, you get only one powertrain and one trim level. But, the new sub-Rs 50 lakh price should be a big draw for buyers. Wonder how Audi will manage more aggressive pricing for the new A4 when it is launched next year.

Published on August 27, 2015
This article is closed for comments.
Please Email the Editor