2021 Audi A6 Sport 50 TFSI e quattro C8

2021 Audi A6 Sport 50 TFSI e quattro C8

Audi has decided that enough is enough and G30 BMW’s 530e and the W213 Mercedes-Benz E 300 e has had the executive plug-in hybrid market for too long to itself and plans to muscle in with its new Audi A6 TFSI e quattro range. Initially available with this saloon bodystyle and a variety of trim levels, an estate will follow soon, as will more powerful editions. Its all part of a masterplan where the number of plug-in hybrid variants will see an explosion right across the Audi line-up, and is designed to drive down emissions levels so that the firm can comply with the EU’s 95g/km fleet average. This A6 is most critical for the fleet market, thanks to low company car tax rates, but private buyers will benefit, too, if their motoring has a mix of urban driving that sees it run on electricity for 34 miles on a single charge.


The recipe is a familiar one, with a 248bhp 2.0-litre TFSI petrol engine combined with a 141bhp electric motor, making a combined 295bhp power output. That makes for seriously quick performance away from the traffic lights, with acceleration to 62mph completed in just 5.5 seconds. There’s good mid-range pull, too, for swift, safe overtakes. Brake regeneration adds energy back into the battery pack when slowing down, and you can feel it as you lift off the throttle, making one pedal driving in some scenarios a reality. Refinement is top notch, and sound from the road, tyres and wind is near silent. The steering is responsive enough to keep more enthusiastic drivers satisfied, with handling that is well mannered and body lean that is kept neatly in check. Grip levels are good, thanks to the quattro system, and this will be particularly reassuring in the more slippery winter months. Ride comfort is a bit of a mixed bag, as there’s a degree of firmness befitting the ‘Sport’ moniker, but this can sometimes translate into a jittery experience on poorer surfaces.

Inside the interior of the A6 is well ordered with a touch of glitz afforded by the three separate screens. There are digital instruments that are delightful, a central touchscreen for the infotainment system and a lower display that takes care of all of the driving functions. Haptic feedback gives the impression that you’re pressing an actual button, but it takes a while to get used to. We love the stubby gear selector and the clarity of the screens, while all of the materials feel top-notch, with soft-touch plastics and beautiful appliqués used throughout. Head and legroom, both front and rear is excellent, and all-round visibility from the driver’s seat is pretty good. Boot space is smaller at 360 litres, which is a 170 litre reduction on a comparable diesel model. Storage around the cabin is taken care of thanks to a side opening area to the left of the gear lever, with a pair of cupholders, a compact area underneath the armrest, a reasonably sized glovebox and decent door pockets.


FACTS & FIGURES

  • On sale | Now In showrooms | Now
  • Prices | £53,340 to £77,600
  • Bodystyles | 4-door saloon
  • Engines | 2.0 Petrol plug-in hybrid automatic (295bhp)
  • Trim levels | Sport, S line, Black Edition, Vorsprung
  • Also consider | BMW 530e xDrive G30, Mercedes-Benz E 300 e EQ Power W213
  • Model tested | Sport 50 TFSI e quattro
  • Price | £53,340
  • Built in | Neckarsulm, Germany
  • Codename | C8 Platform | MLB
  • Bodystyle | 4-door saloon, 5-seats
  • Layout | Four-wheel-drive
  • Powerplant | 1,984cc, 4-cylinder, 16-valve, turbo petrol with electric motor and 14.1kWh lithium-ion battery pack
  • Transmission | 7-speed twin-clutch automatic
  • Max power (engine) | 248bhp @ 5,000-6,000rpm
  • Max power (electric motor) | 141bhp
  • Max power (combined) | 295bhp
  • Max torque (engine) | 273lbft@ 1,600-4,500rpm
  • Max torque (electric motor) | 258lb ft
  • Top speed | 152mph 0-62mph | 5.5secs
  • CO2 emissions (WLTP) | 35g/km (Euro-6d Temp)
  • Economy (WLTP combined) | 166.2-188.3mpg
  • Fuel tank size | 52 litres
  • Range (electric motor) | 34 miles
  • Recharge time (Domestic socket/7kW fast charger) | 7 hours/2 hours 30 minutes
  • Insurance group | 40
  • BIK rate (2020/2021 tax year) | 10%
  • Size (length/width with mirrors) | 4,939/2,110mm
  • Boot space (min/max) | 360 litres
  • Kerb/max towing weight | 2,010/2,000kg
  • Euro NCAP crash rating |
  • Warranty | 3 years/60,000 miles
  • Verdict | The A6 is a class act, and is perfectly positioned to exploit the growing popularity of the executive plug-in hybrid market.
  • EcoCar rating | ■■■■■■■■■■ 8/10
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