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Audi refreshes A6 & A7 luxury barges

23.04.2015

“IT’S not that different.” These are the words often uttered at the Volkswagen Group’s vehicles mid-life update launches. But, as in most cases, the changes are more skin deep than anything, leaving owners of current models less bitter about owning an 'old' car. This past week I drove the updated Audi A6 and A7 ranges and, all around, both are more solid products. Let me explain why.

Exterior appointments

Both the A6s and A7s have received exterior changes. On the A6, keen-eyed observers will note a revised grille, new head/taillights, restyled bumpers and reshaped exhaust exits. The A7 has been given similar treatment with a new grille, reshaped exhaust outlets, revised LED lights as standard with the beautiful dynamic indicators at the rear that look like a scene from Tron. The exterior changes are not immediately apparent but upon closer inspection you’ll notice a more modern Audi façade, which makes these successfully refreshing.

Interior enhancements

The changes to both models can be better felt in the interior department. In the A6 and A7 models the infotainment systems have been updated with better Tegra 30 graphics chips from Nvidia. The updated system allows for more frequent SatNav updates as well as better online services in addition to the possibility of an in-car Wi-Fi hotspot.

Perhaps the most surprising addition to both models is the inclusion of USB slots, something the Audi brand has been lacking in recent years. The interior of both vehicles are beautifully finished, well laid out and built like the proverbial brick house.

Engine and specification updates

There have been a number of changes to the engine line-up and power outputs. Let’s start with the A6 range where an updated 140kW/320Nm 1.8-litre turbo replaces the old 2.0-litre as the base front-wheel- drive model, which now also gets the superb S tronic transmission. This model also gets new features such as Xenon lights, a chrome front grille and new 18-inch wheels over the car it replaces. 

The 2.0-litre turbo petrol is now featured in the quattro model A6 to the tune of 185kW/350Nm, which will be available in the coming months. This model now gets new features such as front electric seats, 19-inch alloy wheels and a reverse camera.

On the oil burner front there will be 2.0-litre and 3.0-litre turbo diesel models in the range later in the year. The top-of-the-range S6 model has been amped up to 331kW/550Nm for a 0-100 km/h sprint of 4.4 seconds and it now includes full LED lights as standard.

The A7 engine range differs slightly with four models on offer. The base 3.0-litre turbo diesel offers 200kW/580Nm and a consumption figure of 5.2 litres/100km. It also gets a new three-spoke steering wheels, 19-inch wheels, LED headlights and aluminium inlays inside. The bi-turbo 3.0-litre diesel has 235kW/650Nm and a decidedly sporty exhaust tone for a diesel. This model now gets a three-spoke steering wheel with paddles and sportier 20-inch wheels.

In terms of petrol engines there’s the brilliant 4.0-litre twin-turbo V8 in the S7, which now gets a restyled set of 20-inch alloys. It produces the same 331kW/550Nm as in the S6 with both models emitting a proper V8 baritone and seriously impressive levels of acceleration. The flagship in the range is the RS7; the brute remains unchanged in terms of output with 412kW/700Nm for a 0-100km/h time of 3.9 seconds.

Verdict

As with many Audi products these days, both the A6 and A7 are very difficult to find fault with. They’re supremely comfortable, efficient when they need to be, fast when you want them to be and have received updates that existing customers will find enhance the product ranges to where they need to be.

Pricing

Audi A6 range

1.8T F5I140 kW 5 tronic: R601 000  
2.0TDI 140 kW 5 tronic: R631 500* (November 2015)
3.0TDI 160 kW 5 tronic: R689 000 (June 2015)
2.0T F5I 185 kW quattro 5 tronic: R749 500 (July 2015)
4.0T F5I331kW quattro 5 tronic: R1 054 500  

Audi A7 range

3.0 TDI quattro S tronic: R943 500
3.0 TDI BiTurbo quattro S tronic: R1 040 000
4.0T FSI quattro S tronic: R1 176 500
4.0T FSI quattro 5 tronic: R1 596 000

 

Article written by Sean Nurse
23.04.2015
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