Lighting and engines: two things Audi does well and with high technology. The revised 2009 A6 sedan and wagon will get new items from both categories.
The biggest addition for 2009 is a new supercharged V-6, the 3.0 TFSI. It uses an Eaton-sourced, Roots-type supercharger along with direct fuel injection to produce 300 hp and 310 lb-ft of torque. Performance numbers are not yet available for the A6 fitted with a U.S.-spec engine, but we expect a 0-to-60-mph time of less than 5.9 seconds. (The European model does the sprint to 100 km/h in that amount of time with a 10-hp deficit.)
Audi points out that this is not the company’s first foray into supercharging; the technology was used on 12- and 16-cylinder Grand Prix cars of the 1930s. Despite the company’s more recent love of the turbo, the T in TFSI will no longer stand exclusively for turbocharger. As we’ve previously said, this engine will make its way into the next S4 in place of the current car’s normally aspirated V-8.
The new engine joins Audi’s 3.2-liter V-6 and 4.2-liter V-8 on the list of available powerplants in the U.S. Even with the extra engine, Audi will continue its plan to offer fewer model variations in the States, and is limiting the permutations of 2009 A6 powertrains. The 3.2-liter engine will be offered exclusively on front-wheel-drive sedans with a CVT. The new 3.0-liter will be available in either sedan or Avant form, and only with Quattro all-wheel drive and Audi’s Tiptronic automatic transmission. Buyers wanting the 4.2-liter V-8’s 350 hp will have to choose a Quattro- and Tiptronic-equipped sedan. The list of engines that won’t make it to our shores includes two gasoline and four diesel powerplants. We’ll have to keep dreaming of an oil burner.
As for the lighting, the 2009 A6 is identified externally by new emitters front and rear, making use of one of Audi’s favorite technologies of late – the light-emitting diode. Reshaped headlights get optional LED daytime running lights, while the side marker lights and taillamps also use LEDs. A reshaped grille and front bumper give the A6 a cleaner and more aggressive front-end appearance.
The A6’s interior will also see some new light, by way of a higher-definition instrument cluster display. Audi has also upgraded the A6’s MMI interface to the third-generation of the system, seen already on the 2009 Q5 crossover SUV. A healthy dose of aluminum trim should also brighten up the A6 cabin.
Audi’s higher-performance A6 variant, the S6 sedan, gets the cosmetic changes from the A6 but remains mechanically unchanged. It is still powered by a 5.2-liter direct-injected V-10 making 435 hp. An S6 Avant is available only in Europe and is joined by the RS6 Avant and new-for-2009 RS6 sedan. The RS models are powered by a twin-turbo version of the S6’s V-10 and, with 540 hp, are the most powerful road cars the company has ever produced.
The 2009 A6 and S6, the ones available here anyway, will go on sale in January of 2009. At that time we’ll have a better idea of the new supercharged S4, which, if the new A6 is any indication, will probably have more LEDs than any Audi built to date.